The history of CO2, The Creative Opportunity Orchestra, began in 1980 when founded by a group of professional artists in Austin, Texas. The original group of 20 musicians is now an organization numbering more than 80, however, performing groups seldom exceed 13 players. Considered by the state as a non-profit organization, CO2 performs on KLRU-TV, municipal park concerts, annual concerts at the Austin Opera House, The Performing Arts Complex and The Laguna Gloria Art Museum. Additional performances are provided for youth outreach programs and collaborative efforts with the Sharir Dance Company. The orchestra enjoys funding by the City of Austin, National Endowment for the Arts, IBM Foundation and many corporate sponsors. This CD contains six compositions and all are by members of the orchestra.
1- "Flywheel" by John Mills 9:40
2- "Milky Way Dreaming" in three movements by Tina Marsh 20:48
3- "The Episodes" by James Lakey 10:08
4- "Dervish" by Randy Zimmerman 12:46
5- "Homage" by Bob Rodriguez 9:50
6- "Ballad Borscht" by Jay Fort 8:00
Leader and vocalist Tina Marsh exhibits her wordless "vocalese" talents beautifully throughout this recording. Her range is such that she can duplicate almost any orchestral instrument. She may remind the listener of the 1950's Yma Sumac or perhaps of Canada's Karen Young who performs in duet with bassist Michel Donato. The music of CO2 is really impossible to place in a given category. Some listeners my think of "free form jazz" and others of "chamber jazz" but both forms are all but impossible to perform with a group of this size. The music is structured and space is left for the soloists to stretch out to the best of their most ample abilities. The suites written by Stan Kenton and Les Baxter immediately popped into my aging mind when I first listened to CO2. The "World Wide" CD was recorded in 1998. CreOp Muse also sent along an earlier CD titled "The Heaven Line" which is similar and was recorded in 1994. Both recordings are highly recommended. The soloists are quite outstanding, the compositions interesting and eloquent.