Published Jul 11, 2013Wildly prolific avant-garde performer Jandek has been fascinating fans with a deep and deeply weird discography since the late 1970s. Having released over 70 albums, it comes as no surprise that he's just released a nine-disc box set of solo piano compositions.
As The Wire reports, the hefty set is called The Song of Morgan and was just released via the artist's own Corwood Industries.
The set includes nine discs, each of which runs for approximately an hour. The discs are titled Nocturne One through Nocturne Nine and come cased in individual sleeves in a cardboard box.
A product description over at Volcanic Tongue has this to say about the box set:
Easily one of the most anticipated releases of the year, a staggering 9xCD box set of solo piano works from Sterling Smith, each piece clocking in at circa 60 minutes: Nocturne One to Nocturne Nine, as they are titled, walk the line between a stately fully-composed feel and an aspect of endless diversion, as Smith states an initial theme and then fills it out and chases all of its implications and potential atmospherics without ever seeming to lose the trail or fall back on mere 'playing'. The atmosphere is spare, austere and with that melancholy feel of remembrance that defines the most affecting Jandek sides. The pace varies slightly from disc to disc, while remaining essentially ruminative. There are some great clipped phrases and odd bass soundings on "Nocturne Three" that almost sounds like a screwed and chopped Cecil Taylor. "Nocturne Five" is great, with a muted walking bass figure supporting odd, tentative high end melodies that have a lovely devotional feel while "Nocturne Nine" has a weird autistic Beethoven aspect that is very beautiful. But truly I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this set and will be living inside it for a long time to come.
Indeed, the box makes for the perfect accompaniment to scanning through all of the Jandek sleeves, further underlining the 'definitive' nature of the statement. It comes in a card box with a great shot of a chubby childhood Sterling on the front and with each disc in suitably austere individual sleeves. A major release and another towering example of the obsessive monomaniacal vision of Sterling Smith who remains, for my money, the greatest artist of the 20th century. Highly recommended.
The box set is available now for a mere $32.