Album Remarks & Appraisals:
In the last decade, no other artist has influenced the development of classical music and jazz in such a way as Uri Caine. His adaptations and re-compositions of classical works have found enthusiastic acceptance throughout the world, and he is celebrated for these eclectic and inventive interpretations. Here, Uri Caine continues his series of adaptations with Verdi's 'Otello'. For the first time, Caine arranges a dramatic work with a mixture of stage and concert elements. Verdi's operatic story is the central thread through the composition, but Caine equally cites from Shakespeare's original play. Arias are juxtaposed with R&B elements, bebop, and electronic sounds, but Verdi's famous melodies never lose their authenticity.
JazzTimes (p.81) - "THE OTHELLO SYNDROME is obviously a meticulously crafted piece. While its daring and eclecticism will no doubt spark lively controversy, its heart points up the beauty of Verdi' score."
Lyricists: Sadiq Bey; Arrigo Boito ; Julie Patton; Bunny Sigler.
Uri Caine Ensemble/Uri Caine: Uri Caine (piano); Nguyên Lê (guitar); Ralph Alessi (trumpet); John Hébert (bass instrument); Zach Danziger (drums).
Audio Mixer: Adrian von Ripka.
Recording information: Musikhochschule Detmold, Germany; Electronic Music Stud.
Editor: Adrian von Ripka.
Arrangers: Ralph Alessi; Bunny Sigler.
Keyboard virtuoso Uri Caine is one of those musicians who seems to be everywhere at once, appearing as a session man on countless projects. Yet Caine also fronts and records regularly with his own ensemble, and 2008's THE OTHELLO SYNDROME, based on the Shakespeare play, provides a fine cross-section of the group's efforts. Straddling a line between jazz fusion and groove-based pop, Caine's group, which features a large cast of musicians on winds, brass, electronics, and percussion,in addition to a rotating cast of vocalists, is sleek and accomplished. Some of Caine's other recordings emphasize his adventurousness, but this outing is smooth, accessible, and fun.
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