Beth Custer In The Broken Fields Where I Lie

Creating unique music, including an inventive arrangement of Ellington’s “Echoes Of Harlem” for clarinet quintet, Custer composed 31 of this project’s 32 pieces. Twelve of them are original miniatures for the Club Foot Orchestra under one minute. From the raunchy gutbucket “Don’t Send Me Down That Hole!” the uptempo “Rough Rider” and “Tango Me Not,” to the rock dynamics of “Spray Twinkle” and jaunty “Clean Your Room,” Custer’s vivid orchestral charts showcase her quirky originality. The comic exuberance of so much of her ensemble music serves to balance the tragic perspectives of her solo performances like the title track, “I Will Be Said In This Life” and the Hamlet series. For an artist whose musical scope ranges from the liturgical “virtue” to the country ballad “Stay Put, Here With Me,” this oddball visionary deserves to find a much bigger audience. (BC)