June 2012, Babysue about the CD “Summer Circle”
Martin Schlumpf – Summer Circle (CD, Navona, Instrumental/classical/chamber music)
Intriguing music with a cool spontaneous feel. Summer Circle is divided into three sections: “December Rains for Solo Piano,” “Clarinet Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano,” and “Summer Circle for String Quartet.” According to the press release Martin Schlumpf “…presents expressive, complex, and rhythmically thrilling chamber pieces that marry the sophisticated intricacies of jazz with the studied nuance of modern classical” (couldn’t have said it better ourselves). This may be a bit on the peculiar side for folks who only appreciate the more smooth side classical. Schlumpf’s compositions are unpredictable, peculiar, and infused with a curious nervous energy that is inviting and somewhat strange. We totally dig the more challenging side of classical…so this album immediately grabbed and our attention and held us spellbound from start to finish. We weren’t going to say this but… With a name like Martin Schlumpf it has to be good. [With apologies to the artist, record label, and publicists for the cheap shot at humor…] More way cool stuff from the always provocative and challenging Navona label. TOP PICK.