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The Chord Catalogue

Tom Johnson- piano


A 31- page liner notebook full of mathematical charts and formulas is enough to put anyone off this cd. It’s intimidating to a math phobic reviewer like me. And usually the cd’s with the most long-winded liner notes and the most unapproachable theories usually have the least to offer musically. But maybe it takes more than a couple pages to get a fix on "all the 8178 chords possible in one octave." In this case, the octaves are c to c1. The first few chords are too simple and logical in the repetitiveness and progression. After about ten minutes we get to 5-note chords that make you lose your sense of balance and time a bit. Kind of like "In C" played on a piano, or "In C" reduced, flattened to a thin line of simple, shimmering pianistics. The whole schmeer doesn’t have enough staying power for me, but lovers of extreme minimalism may well be captivated. Kudos to XI for plowing terrain that would otherwise go uncultivated, though.

                                              -Richard Grooms

XI Records
PO Box 1754
Canal St. Station
NY, NY 10013



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