Friday, 29 April 2016

Art Lande/David Samuels/Paul McCandless: Skylight (1981)

So, who's up for another gorgeous, crystalline session of early-80s chamber jazz?  Taken by itself, that kind of description might scare away a sizeable majority of a jazz audience, never mind anyone else, but have no fear - this is ECM we're talking about.  Skylight was a one-off trio date (although none were strangers to each other) between three Americans: pianist Art Lande, vibraphone player David Samuels, and Oregon (the band) reedsman Paul McCandless.

I've previously posted Kristina Krimsky & Trevor Watts' sole ECM disc Stella Malu.  Skylight, recorded two months later, is cut from the same cloth in some ways, notably Chillum, the mellowest track here, where McCandless leads with a serene, keening melody like a non-Nordic Jan Garbarek.  Other than that, and an overall rainy-Saturday-morning vibe to both records, Skylight differs from Stella Malu with a more explicitly jazzy bounce - and of course an extra player.  I really hope more of Samuels' ECM appearances get reissued at some point - this is the only place he can currently be heard on CD - but until then, there's always the excellent musica degradata.

Over on Side 2 of Skylight, the second-longest track Moist Windows/Lawn Party is perhaps the centrepiece for this trio - everyone gets a turn in the spotlight as the track winds a path through changes of mood and pace, returning now and then to a main melody.  And the great little minature Ente (To Go) is worth a mention for its music-boxy use of thumb piano.

Duck In A Colorful Blanket


  1. I'm up for it Alan! Thanks! There aren't many ECM recordings from back in the day that I don't have but this is one of them. Much appreciated! Thanks for the Pink Floyd too! Great blog!

  2. Listening to "Satu" for first time ever thanks to u. What a great album! Thx!