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Imani Winds


Release Date: 01/24/2006 
Label:  Koch International Classics Catalog #: 7661   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jeff ScottMaurice RavelAstor PiazzollaMario Lavista,   ... 
Performer:  Toyin Spellman-DiazMonica EllisValerie ColemanJeff Scott,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 51 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCOTT Titilayo. RAVEL (arr. Jones) Le tombeau de Couperin. PIAZZOLLA (arr. Scott) Fuga e Misterio. Oblivion . LAVISTA 5 danzas breves. COLEMAN Umoja. 1 SANTAMARIA (arr. Coleman) Afro Blue Read more class="BULLET12b">? Imani Winds; Rolando Morales-Matos (perc) 1 ? KOCH KIC-CD-7661 (50:56)


The members of Imani Winds are Valerie Coleman (flute), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (oboe), Mariah Adam (clarinet), Monica Ellis (bassoon), and Jeff Scott (French horn). This is the African/Latino quintet?s second recording; the first was ?The Classical Underground,? for which they received a Grammy nomination last year. The quintet was formed in 1997; the heart of its mission, according to Koch International Classics?s press material, is ?exploring the links between European, African, and American musical traditions.? There?s nothing wrong with that!


As the headnote suggests, the group contains composers and arrangers, as well as very proficient instrumentalists. Hornist Jeff Scott wrote Titilayo (?eternal happiness?) and arranged the two Piazzolla numbers. Valerie Coleman wrote Umoja (one of the Seven Principles of Kwaanza - the title means ?faith?) and arranged Mongo Santamaria?s Afro Blue for the quintet. (Although John Coltrane may have been the man who made Afro Blue famous, I associate it with the brilliant Abbey Lincoln, who sang it on her ?Abbey is Blue? album?a ?must have? for anyone?s jazz collection.)


The arrangement of Ravel?s Tombeau is by Mason Jones, who was first-chair hornist with the Philadelphia Orchestra during the Ormandy era. As it is in four movements, you?d think this was an arrangement of the orchestral version, but not so: Jones swaps out the ?Forlane? familiar from the orchestral version and replaces it with the ?Fugue? from the piano version. (The three other movements remain the same.)


Scott?s arrangements of Piazzolla?without bandoneón, of course?change the texture and the emotional color of the music so much that it is barely recognizable. Taken on their own merits, however, they are attractive. Coleman?s arrangement of Afro Blue is even looser, but considering the tune?s origins, this is less troubling, and no one can deny that Imani Winds cook here! Coleman?s Umoja , in which percussion joins in, is promising, but at 2:56, it feels like an idea that should have been taken farther. The same is true, although not so much, of Scott?s Titilayo . This is the opening track on the CD, and it is over before one registers how much one is enjoying it, let alone before one gets a feel for who the Imani Winds members are. Mario Lavista?s Cinco danzas breves are the only works on this CD composed with a wind quartet in mind. Again, brevity?a trait often praised?almost becomes the message itself, rather than the message?s carrier.


Lest this seem like a less than enthusiastic review, I must reassure readers that the Imani Winds shouldn?t be faulted for recording a portfolio of refined pencil sketches. If I wanted a massive oil painting, that would be my problem, not theirs. At the bottom of it all, these are five technically accomplished and yet soulful classical musicians (yes, classical ) who have indeed succeeded in their mission, as it was stated in the first paragraph of this review. This is not a musical revolution, then, but a very nice pastime while it lasts!


FANFARE: Raymond Tuttle
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Works on This Recording

1.
Titilayo by Jeff Scott
Performer:  Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe), Monica Ellis (Bassoon), Valerie Coleman (Flute),
Jeff Scott (French Horn), Mariam Adam (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2002; New York 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 17 Secs. 
2.
Le tombeau de Couperin: no 1, Prélude by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Mariam Adam (Clarinet), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe), Valerie Coleman (Flute),
Monica Ellis (Bassoon), Jeff Scott (French Horn)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1917; France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Mason Jones. 
3.
Le tombeau de Couperin: no 2, Fugue by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Mariam Adam (Clarinet), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe), Jeff Scott (French Horn),
Monica Ellis (Bassoon), Valerie Coleman (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1917; France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 2 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Mason Jones. 
4.
Le tombeau de Couperin: no 5, Menuet by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Valerie Coleman (Flute), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe), Jeff Scott (French Horn),
Monica Ellis (Bassoon), Mariam Adam (Clarinet)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1917; France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 52 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Mason Jones. 
5.
Le tombeau de Couperin: no 4, Rigaudon by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Mariam Adam (Clarinet), Monica Ellis (Bassoon), Valerie Coleman (Flute),
Jeff Scott (French Horn), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914-1917; France 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 3 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Mason Jones. 
6.
María de Buenos Aires: Fuga y misterio by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jeff Scott (French Horn), Monica Ellis (Bassoon), Mariam Adam (Clarinet),
Valerie Coleman (Flute), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1968; Argentina 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 4 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jeff Scott. 
7.
Danzas (5) breves by Mario Lavista
Performer:  Jeff Scott (French Horn), Monica Ellis (Bassoon), Mariam Adam (Clarinet),
Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe), Valerie Coleman (Flute)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Mexico 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 11 Minutes 38 Secs. 
8.
Umoja by Valerie Coleman
Performer:  Monica Ellis (Bassoon), Rolando Morales-Matos (Percussion), Jeff Scott (French Horn),
Mariam Adam (Clarinet), Valerie Coleman (Flute), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1997; New York 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
9.
Enrico IV: Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla
Performer:  Jeff Scott (French Horn), Mariam Adam (Clarinet), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe),
Valerie Coleman (Flute), Monica Ellis (Bassoon)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Argentina 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 6 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Jeff Scott. 
10.
Afro Blue by Mongo Santamaria
Performer:  Jeff Scott (French Horn), Valerie Coleman (Flute), Monica Ellis (Bassoon),
Mariam Adam (Clarinet), Toyin Spellman-Diaz (Oboe)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Imani Winds
Period: 20th Century 
Date of Recording: 06/2005 
Venue:  Performing Arts Ctr., SUNY Purchase, NY 
Length: 6 Minutes 43 Secs. 
Notes: Arranger: Valerie Coleman. 

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