By Mark Stryker.
See it here.
The overlapping a cappella voices that open Sam Sadigursky's "Words Project III Miniatures" (***, New Amsterdam, in stores Tuesday) hit the ear with a bracing freshness: What have we here? Sadigursky, a saxophonist, composer and multi-instrumentalist, creates compelling soundscapes that sit on the intersection of the classical art song and a wide-ranging eclecticism that references jazz, world music, post-minimalism and pop.
Sadigursky sets texts by Carl Sandburg , William Carlos Williams, Maxim Gorky and others with an aphoristic flair. He bypasses song forms for through-composed settings that hug the imagery of the poetry. Whispered like a secret, Emily Dickinson's "Light" marries a lonely woman's voice with gentle counterpoint from acoustic guitars. Williams' jaunty, slightly warped "Danse Russe" lopes along jazzily on a bed of walking plucked cello, with Sadigursky's voice doubled by plucked viola. Vibes and various "little instruments" create an exotic wash.
The bass line and vibes on "Danse Russe" recall Eric Dolphy's "Hat and Beard," but Sadigursky mostly creates a self-contained sound world of beguiling combinations of vocalists and mysterious orchestration. After a while, I willingly gave up trying to parse the details: As in some modernist poetry, the sound of the music becomes meaning.