Clare Fischer, Extension
Conceived and performed exactly as Clare Fischer intended, Extension is his masterpiece. Recorded in 1963, the album is a majestic culmination of his concepts, drawing upon myriad influences, including rich Ellingtonian voicings, the angular harmonic intervals of bebop, and bold modernist innovations proffered by classical composers such as Bela Bartok and Dmitri Shostakovich.
Released for the first time on CD by International Phonograph, Inc., this deluxe mini-LP styled reissue was mastered from the original 3 track analog tapes, capturing every nuance of the orchestra's scintillating tones, textures, and shadings. Counter to the norms of the time, these meticulously scored big-band charts are light on extended improvisation—but intentionally so—as Fischer considered the relationship between composition and arrangement equally important. Maintaining thematic control as primary soloist, Fischer proves to be a concise, yet original interpreter, demonstrated by his adroit pianism on the impressionistic tone poem "Quiet Dawn." His kaleidoscopic Hammond organ work, revealed elsewhere on the record, is equally colorful.
As part of the same continuum that includes Gil Evans, Stan Kenton and Gary McFarland, Fischer reveals a distinctive and unique compositional style. Accessible and sophisticated, Extension is a welcome reissue that will entertain and engage curious listeners on multiple levels.
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