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Music for The Last Flower: CD Release Performance Review

rail-logotypeFrom compassionate pianist and composer Diane Moser—with Marty Ehrlich, reeds; Ken Filiano, bass; Mike Sarin, drums; and Ben Williams, trombone—performing a suite from her new Music for the Last Flower CD based on James Thurber’s The Last Flower—A Parable in Pictures, which chronicles all the cycles of war and was written and published in 1939 after the Germans invaded Poland. Moser’s six-part suite has been long-in-progress and describes that book through music, with sweeping and compelling mood changes that take us through all those emotions and cycles. Moser has been a long-time, but quiet, force on the jazz and new music scene and a frequent collaborator with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Gerry Hemingway (both appear on the CD version of the piece). In concert and on CD, I experienced a wide range of textures and was taken on frantic rides that turned from mournful to embracing, and comforting, then swinging/life affirming, then fierce and fiery again: like war itself. It is a beautiful, fully realized piece. I highly recommend the CD; it will warm your soul as easily as it will break your heart. Moser states in the notes that rhythms of tanks, bombers, hopelessness, despair, love, and rebirth are interrupted again by chaos and devastation and she hopes that a prayer can be heard which will result in bringing peace. “Outtakes” by Steve Dalachinsky April 2nd, 2014
Diane Moser, image from James Thurber’s The Last Flower. Illustration by Megan Piontkowski.
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