Numinous / Joseph C. Phillips, Jr.: On Climbing Heaven and Gazing on the Earth


Of Climbing Heaven and Gazing Over the Earth


Joseph C. Phillips, Jr. & Numinous


Vipassana (Innova 720)

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Amanda Monaco (electric guitar), Tom Beckham (vibes), Deanna Witkowski (piano),

Ben Kono, Dan Willis, Ed Xiques (woodwinds); Dave Smith (trumpet, flugelhorn), Deborah Weisz (trombone), Mike Pinto (vibes), Brenda Earle (piano), Sebastian Noelle (electric guitars), Peter Wise (percussion), Luke Notary (percussion), Charenee Wade, Julie Hardy, Amy Cervini, Sofia Koutsovitous, Monika Heidemann (voices); Ana Milosavljevic, Skye Steele (violins); Orlando Wells, Joshua Davidowitz (violas); Jody Redhage, Lauren Riley (violoncellos); Thomson Kneeland (bass)


Composed by Joseph C. Phillips, Jr.


Recorded: Brooklyn, March and August, 2007


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Composer Joseph C. Phillips, admirably aided by the ensemble Numinous, delivers a stunning 18 minute performance here, blending elements of Steve Reich and Pat Metheny and other sources of inspiration into one of the freshest recordings of the year. Imagine Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, but with an expanded harmonic sensibility, a jazzier pulse, and occasional hints of sweeping Maria Schneider-esque melodies. The individual ingredients are familiar, but I guarantee that you haven't heard them put together in this way before. For want of a better term, let me call it über-minimalism. Phillips' writing is brilliant, and the ensemble performs it with clarity and passion. Count me as a believer.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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