Bud Ran Back Out

One of the most entertaining listens that’s come across my desk in a long time is, believe it or not, a CD of MIDI generated performances by a composer principally known as a music critic. Sound unlikely? Check out Kyle Gann’s Studies for Disklavier hot off the presses on New World. The artistic reward for Gann’s labors on the first book-length study of Conlon Nancarrow, Gann takes that famed ex-patriot’s player piano concept into the 21st century. In so doing, he also harkens back to an earlier barrelhouse past, especially in works like Texarkana, and my personal favorite (for the music as well as the title), Bud Ran Back Out. Here, cycles of 7, 8 and 9 overlap creating bebop beyond the wildest dreams of Bud Powell or Thelonious Monk (whose In Walked Bud would be great to hear back to back with this one). Kyle, thanks for not calling it This Bud’s for You.

—FJO