Pianist Sarah Bob is a passionate and trailblazing advocate of the music of our time who has introduced the music of dozens of living composers to the world. ‘…nobody move…’ is a collection of works by six award-winning composers whom Sarah commissioned for the Boston-based New Gallery Concert Series which she founded 20 years ago. Her exuberance and exactitude are common threads tying together the album’s diverse musical dialects, from Jonathan Bailey Holland’s evocative chord clusters in The Intimacy of Harmony to Curtis K. Hughes’ electro-acoustic Avoidance Tactics #1 and his varied suite of miniatures, vestibulations; from the late Lee Hyla’s energetic Solo Cadenzas from his large-scale orchestral work My Life on the Plains, lovinglyRead more arranged by Sarah Bob, to David Rakowski’s cheeky ‘Mind the Gap #18,’ tender ‘Wayo’ and edgy ‘Ghepardo;’ from Shaw Pong Liu’s powerful ‘Never Has Been Yet,’ which sets Langston Hughes’ poem ‘Let America Be America Again;’ to Randall Woolf’s fearlessly virtuosic title track. ‘…nobody move…’ is a striking album that ranges from in your face to contemplative moods, entertaining the ears of contemporary music lovers and novices alike.
Randall Woolf’s high-powered toccata is redolent of the encores with which Yvar Mikhashoff closed his recitals, while Jonathan Bailey Holland favours a more introspective and latterly hieratic expression. David Rakowski’s insinuating trio of preludes recalls Gershwin in its rhythmic verve if not melodic fecundity, whereas a suite of études drawn from Curtis K Hughes’s compendium Vestibulations focuses on miniatures at once pithy and tangible. As arranged by the pianist, Lee Hyla’s piece deftly elides between keening virtuosity and an affecting emotional poise. For the most part, though, this proves a stimulating overview of an enterprising project, with Sarah Bob a dextrous and charismatic exponent.