Terra Incognita (Deluxe Edition)

Terra Incognita (Deluxe Edition)

The quintet Imani Winds plays the standard classical repertoire along with works by Elliot Carter, Roberto Sierra, Valerie Coleman (the group’s flautist), and other composers. On 2010’s Terra Incognita, this fine wind ensemble turns its attention to three prominent jazz artists who wrote pieces commissioned for the ensemble. (The members of Imani Winds — Coleman, oboist Toyin-Spellman-Diaz, clarinetist Mariam Adam, French horn player Jeff Scott, and bassoonist Monica Ellis —are African-American.) Pianist Jason Moran contributes the four-movement Cane, which explores his family history, particularly the life of one of his ancestors, Marie-Therese Coin-Coin. The piece features appealing textures that recall French Impressionism, mixed with other elements. Jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter is well known for his distinctive compositions, and here he is represented by “Terra Incognita.” Shorter’s writing for jazz groups often has a mysterious quality that transcends genre, and an enigmatic vibe also marks this piece. The two-part “Kites,” by clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, finds D’Rivera and pianist Alex Brown joining the quintet on a work that is by turns reflective and lively.

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