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Laurence Vittes
Gramophone, April 2012

From beginning to end, Steven Mackey’s seamless musical fabric engages the ear as if it were charting sonic events in a shy and stuttering parallel universe.

…exhilarating project…rich rewards. It shows Eighth Blackbird as a force for good, and as a serious artistic collaborator on a very high scale, where the music entertains and pleases, and then goes on to something that provokes and stimulates. © 2012 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Norman Lebrecht
La Scena Musicale, March 2012

Much fun to be had…and eight versatile musicians makes the most of it. © 2012 The Lebrecht Report/La Scena Musicale Read complete review

Stephen Eddins, January 2012

powerful performance…eighth blackbird performs with its customary brilliance, dazzling with its instrumental virtuosity and versatility…Cedille’s sound is clean, spacious, and full of life. © 2012 Read complete review

Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, January 2012

The music is essentially tonal, with the consistent spice of meticulously hairy rhythms and freely sprouting flights of fancy, managed with jaw-dropping skill by this exceptional ensemble.

This is a remarkable project, likely of particular interest to young, sophisticated audiences… © 2012 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide online

Robert Carl
Fanfare, January 2012

…this work…shows an extremely talented composer in high form.

What makes this new piece particularly strong for me is that the music leads the action, instead of creating a sort of underscore. And that progression, by the way, is a unifying factor in the piece, hinting at the central moment in the work, a song called “Stare” (near the work’s Golden Mean, of all things), that’s genuinely memorable, the sort of combination of memorable harmony and tune that carves itself into your memory.

The forces that came together to make this piece also had good chemistry. Eighth blackbird quite simply rocks…Mackey plays electric guitar suavely and sounds exceptionally fluent, clean, precise, economical, never showing off, but impressive. And Eckert of course continues to amaze. He’s also the author of this libretto, which is simultaneously poignant, allusive, and focused, and a major factor in the work’s success.

Bravo to all. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review on Fanfare

Daniel Coombs
Audiophile Audition, November 2011

The music is very compelling, indeed. © 2011 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

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