The first thing you'll notice is the colorful cover art. Variations on a Summer Day grabs your attention before you have the shrink wrap removed. Pianist and composer, Frank Carlberg has created 13 compositions set to the text of poet Wallace Stevens. Like the cover artist, Carlberg enjoys the ability of splashing musical colors with the joy of a visual artist pushing and blending pigments on a blank canvas. Both the painter and the musician know the wonderful feeling experienced when something really comes together.
Christine Correa's subtle, haunting vocals are as imaginative as the beautiful blend of instruments. Although more akin to Free Jazz, some tracks verge on "bop". Unusual instrumentation just adds to the excitement and originality of the performance. The clarinet and especially, the bass clarinet are seldom heard in jazz today.
Although I'm generally a fan of more traditional jazz styles, this CD has enjoyed considerable play in our home during the past week. Don't even attempt to play this as background music. It demands your full attention and truly deserves it. This is a great effort by a group of dedicated and highly talented performers.