Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best Albums of 2011: Daniel Levin

JazzWrap revisit a great year of discoveries in 2011.

Daniel Levin (cello)
Inner Landscape (Clean Feed; 2011)

Releasing three records in a year made my decision extremely difficult as to what to choose from cellist, Daniel Levin, growing catalog. But after some intense listening and probably even closing my eyes and pointing, I finally decided on Inner Landscape. A solo work divided into six suites (if you don't mind me calling it that) that are expansive, challenging and entertaining.

Levin's great skill comes in creating a sound that is not only enveloping but it explodes your original theories of what the cello can do. His performances on record and live are beyond both jazz and classical. Inner Landscape is an improvised masterpiece but burst with undulated patterns and themes. You should expect the unexpected when taking this journey. "Landscape 3" might be the only piece that is calming to uninitiated but this is an album that demands you attention to the detail.

Inner Landscape was Daniel Levin's first solo cello album after a series of duos, trios and ensemble sessions. It's great to hear what his world sounds like all on his own.