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The World of Robert Ackerman - Box 1

Robert Ackerman

ROBERT ACKERMAN, saxophone and flute
Rick Crane, Tom Dicarlo, Bob Hanlon, Steve Johns, Bobby Kapp, Andy Kim, Chris Lough, Mike Richmond, Matti Saarinen, Tom Sayek, Steve Silverstein

Athena String Orchestra
Slovak State Philharmonic Players
Tristan Willems

Specially-Priced 3-CD Set



"Once again I find myself listening to this wonderful 3-disc set that my friend and colleague Bob Ackerman gave me several years ago. This is modern, imaginative music that has transparency so the listener can follow the interplay of sounds. There are some sublime orchestral pieces played by Eastern European musicians, as well as small ensemble work. In today’s world of hyped-up marketing overload, it’s easy to miss many artists who are making FAR more worthy contributions to culture than the creators of the crap that is foisted upon us by mega-companies on a daily basis.
Many of my favorite recordings were made by incredibly talented and innovative musicians who happen to be personal friends. I feel fortunate to have been surrounded by this level of artistry throughout my life."
Su Terry [May 2019]
"The "world" of Robert Ackerman? Listened to straight through, these three CDs feel more like a universe. Composing or performing (saxophone, clarinet, flute), Ackerman is equally at home in 12-tone experimentalism and jazz, stopping just short of making their mutual boundary seem arbitrary. He needs it, after all, to achieve the stunning effects he does while juxtaposing "South Carolina Sketches," "Visibility Zero," "Herb Fischer," and "Circling" in both styles. As for the eight "free improvisations" for bass, varying reed instruments, and occasional drums, they're exactly what they say."
Arsenio Orteza, World Magazine [March 2012]
“[Bob Ackerman] has played with some of the century’s great jazz artists including Coleman Hawkins, Ray Block, Paquito D’Rivera and Shorty Baker. To this day he is a well known and respected name as a performer with an extensive jazz background but this collection of his compositions gives us a good chance to hear another side of his many talents… As mentioned, this really is an extensive set and offers a good view of the work of the fascinating performer-composer. I personally enjoyed the more classical sounding works more than those that were more straight jazz (a product of my training and tastes; not a quality issue). Other listeners may feel the opposite. I do think that this three-disc collection would appeal to people who are already fans of serious jazz, who would be impressed by the long hair stuff – as opposed to the opposite crowd. However, I was impressed by the variety and sound of each piece in its own way. Ackerman is clearly a very talented and interesting composer whose music ought to have wide appeal. I do suggest that you hear for yourself and I am curious now what “Box 2” might contain!”
[ * * * ] Daniel Coombs, Audiophile Audition [June 2012]
"As a composer, Robert Ackerman straddles the jazz and classical realms; this collection displays his music to very good effect. Though there are plenty of nods to jazz, these are set in a classical context. He seems just as at home writing severe, angular, dissonant chamber music as writing lilting, breathy jazz licks with simple (but subtle) bass accompaniment. As a performer on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, Ackerman is exceptionally expressive and musical… there are many pieces on this release, and they show a large variety of styles and expressions. The discs are given titles: ‘Interplay’ for the disc containing the large composition of the same name, ‘Smaller Ensembles’, and ‘My Third Stream’. Much care has been given to the programming, and the album sounds cohesive from beginning to end. The recording is close and clear, and the performers are precise and engaged."
Byelick, American Record Guide [March / April 2012]
 "As an improviser, as well as a composer, Bob Ackerman is a good example of how useful it is to know and work with different musical styles on the regular basis. It feels is like not having to wear the same tie every day!"
Paquito D’Rivera [2014]
"Bob Ackerman’s music is beautiful and his story is a very personal journey full of love, dedication and passion. I was totally captured by his inspired compositions, orchestrations and improvisations. This is music I will live with for quite some time. Bravo Maestro Ackerman!!!"
Joe Lovano [2014]
"Bob Ackerman is one of the unsung heroes of reed instruments. He has so many skills at hand that I often wonder how he keeps it all together. He has a beautiful tone, plays intelligently constructed solos, and always with a very lyrical and imaginative expression of his ideas. He is a master musician deserving of much wider recognition. I hope this wonderful collection of music will further expose this great musician to the general public."
John Lee, Jazz Legacy Productions [2014]
"Saxophonist and composer Bob Ackerman displays his artistry, elegance and passion as a true virtuoso. He is to be commended on compiling such a wealth of high quality recordings and repertoire that reflect his many years of excellence and dedication to furthering the growth and development of the saxophone. His ability to compose for any style, ensemble or idiom is truly unique and the term “genius” (often enthusiastically overused) in this case, is more than justified. History will dictate what a wonderful and genuine gift Mr. Ackerman - “a true American artist” - has given us in this CD set. From the heart! Thanks for your inspiration."
Greg Banaszak, Sax Journal [2014]
This box-set has been a real labor of love. I have given a lot of attention to the programming. As you listen, you will undoubtedly find that I write from both a twelve tone and a jazz harmony approach. Sometimes they intermingle and sometimes not. With the big pieces like Interplay, I have juxtaposed short free improv sections that I think, compliment the writing - showing that I can improvise in the way I write. Remember I see improvising and composing as one and the same - two sides of the same coin. Enjoy!  [Robert Ackerman]
LANGSAMMER SATZ for string quartet (2003)
TWO MORCEAU for string quartet (2003)
CHANGES for 7 players (1967)
DARK CIRCLING for alto saxophone and bass (free improvisation)
INTERPLAY for 16 players (1969)
CIRCLING PERMUTATIONS for flute and bass (free improvisation)
VISUALS for clarinet and cello (1980)
TWO HAIKU for flute, violin and cello (2002)
THE WARRIORS for flute and bass (free improvisation)
ANYTHING BUT for clarinet and bass (free improvisation)

WATER for string orchestra (2007)
AURORA for string orchestra (2007)
WIRED for electric guitar (1967)
FIVE PIECES for acoustic guitar (1967)
MAJESTIC for flute and bass (free improvisation)
SHORT STORY DUO for flute and cello (2000)
TWO SHORT TRIOS for flute, clarinet and cello (2001)
HAVANA SPECIAL for clarinet and bass (free improvisation)
JUXTAPOSITIONS for flute, tenor saxophone, bass and percussion (free improvisation)
EDIOS for clarinet and string quartet (1985)
UNDERPINNINGS for flute, bass and drums (free improvisation)
WINTER’S DEATH sextet (2002)
SHORT STORY for flute and bassoon (2000)
SOUTH CAROLINA SKETCHES for sax trio (1998)

SCENA for strings, flute, clarinet, percussion, harp and cello (1968)
REFLECTIONS for flute and strings (2006)
GLACIER for flute and strings (2007)
VISIBILITY ZERO for string quartet (2003)
VISIBILITY ZERO for jazz trio (1973/2003)
HERB FISCHER for string quartet (2003)
HERB FISCHER for jazz trio (1973/2003)
CIRCLING for string quartet (2003)
CIRCLING for jazz duo (1963/2005)
CIRCLING for jazz trio (2007)
FOUR TRIOS for violin, viola and cello (2003)
CIRCLING PERMUTATIONS for jazz duo (2005)
GENTLE MOOD for jazz trio (1970/2001)
TRES X 4 for jazz trio (1967)

MSR Classics