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Care-Charming Sleep by Dowland Project

The Dowland Project’s Care-Charming Sleep is a unique brand of Third Stream music. Rather than the "usual" setting - that is, either a classical or jazz ensemble incorporating elements or modus operandi of the other - The Dowland Project performs pre-symphonic classical music, not Mediaeval or "early music," but music shortly preceding or following the Renaissance period (late 1500s-early 1600s). The group comprises musicians from both the classical and jazz spheres, led by a singer formerly with the classical vocal group the Hilliard Ensemble (who not-so-incidentally recorded with Jan Garbarek for ECM), the jazz guys being, of course, UK reedman John Surman and UK acoustic bassist Barry Guy. C-CS consists of madrigals, classical songs with the best-known composers being Henry Purcell, Claudio Monteverdi and Robert Johnson (no, not that one, but a British fellow, 1883-1633). While the pristine vocal style of madrigal form is adhered to, Surman and Guy bring a definite European jazz sensibility to the proceedings that meshes flawlessly with that of their fellow classical players’ interpretive skills. The low-volume results are soothing in an engaging manner, music with an aching purity that engages the mind and the heart, sounds that refuse to slip into the background. Imagine the Jimmy Giuffre Trio as they might’ve sounded in the mod mid-1600s, or if Ensemble Alcatraz embraced improvisation. In any event, this is a singular listening experience & a simply beautiful one, at that.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Dowland Project
  • CD Title: Care-Charming Sleep
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: ECM
  • Musicians: John Potter: vocals; John Surman: bass clarinet, soprano sax; Barry Guy: bass; Maya Homburger: violin; Stephen Stubbs: baroque guitar.
  • Rating: Five Stars
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