Album Review: TRIOS FOR ONE (Josh Lee, Bear Machine Records)

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by Tony Frankel on October 7, 2020

in CD-DVD,Music


“What started as an experiment ended up as a necessity,” said Josh Lee of his latest release, which consists of Viola Da Gamba trios. Josh Lee joins Josh Lee and Josh Lee for this positively engaging concoction of English madrigals from the 16th and 17th centuries. “Recording these pieces was a demanding study of polyphony,” he said. “Each part can be conceived of as a melody on its own. The question becomes how to shift focus from one part to another without drowning the others out. Just the logistics of what order to record each instrument in was tricky.” You see, Lee was prepared to record these jewels in miniature with colleagues, but the COVID-19 shutdown had him rethink the project. But this recording goes beyond what prompted its genesis; it’s positively transporting. I was reminded of the evening when I strolled down a candlelit pathway in Colonial Williamsburg for a concert in a small room. Hearing Trios for One — featuring works by Thomas Morley, John Ward, and Thomas Lupo — I was immediately comforted by the winning combination of earthiness and heaven-sent harmonies, creating the genteel and meditative powers I felt during that intimate concert many years ago. Highly Recommended.

Trios for One
Josh Lee, Viola Da Gamba
Bear Machine Records
18 tracks | 32:07 | released September 25, 2020
available at:
Apple Music

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