Hearing Charlemagne Palestine’s magical approach to the piano live is one of the great “have to be there” experiences. As wonderful as his all-too-rare appearances on recordings have been, none really captures the total experience: in which his maniacal minimalist solo piano pyrotechnics are often accompanied by a sea of teddy bears and a snifter of cognac. But Cold Blue’s new A Sweet Quasimodo Between Black Vampire Butterflies, in which Palestine simultaneously pounds on two pianos, eking out otherworldly resonances, comes really close. There’s even a short prelude featuring the composer speaking and singing to the audience, as well as sharing some cognac.
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