Tom Varner: SECOND COMMUNIONWhat the reviewers say about
Tom Varner: Second Communion
(OmniTone 12102) · All Music Guide · Down Beat ·
Downtown Music Gallery (NY)
· The Guardian (UK)  ·
Jazz'Halo (BE)
· Los Angeles Times · Len Wallis Audio (AU) · · Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD ·
Portsmouth Jazz Festival (UK) fanzine
  • "...the 25-minute reworking of Cherry's landmark suite ... is glorious, ranging from Varner's tour de force solo on Complete Communion to the slow-build tension and guitar skronk of 'Paris Ambulance Song' and the reprise...."  [Read review]
    —James Hale, Down Beat

  • "...a breakthrough, moving well beyond the novelty facets of the instrument and into the realm of original, deeply substantive improvisation and composition.... exquisitely well-crafted, gloriously unfettered dialogue among all the players ... By any measure, a tour de force."
    [Read review]

    —Howard Reich, Los Angeles Times

  • "'Don's Big View' is a brooding, 16-minute opus featuring grungy guitar and big, smeary ensemble statements; 'Watts '56' is a great 'portrait' piece....  [Varner treats] Cherry's material and example with respect and creativity ... assembling a band that can update the free-range feel of the 1960s' 'new thing' for the digital age.  And he's given it a fresh lick of paint by leading from an instrument with a capacity for surprise and swing."  [Read review]
    The Guardian (UK)

  • "In addition to four originals inspired by Cherry, Varner includes a captivating, full-length update of the 'Complete Communion' suite..."  [Read review]
    —David Adler, All Music Guide

  • **** [of 4] "A brilliant piece of repertory ... Varner himself has rarely played with more decision and adventure, pushing the horn into difficult areas with great skill.
    The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD

  • "...a keenly perceptive tribute ... gleaming sonic characteristics (OmniTone's manifesto) ... superior artisanship and forward thinking tactics signify an applied synthesis that provides the winning edge.  Emphatically recommended..." [Read review]
    —Glenn Astarita,

  • " and melodic brilliance.... One would imagine the French horn to have too moody a sound to be ideal for expressing the happiness implicit in this music, but in Varner's hands it generates pure elation." [read review]
    —John Shand, Len Wallis Audio (Australia)

  • "Few artists have demonstrated a degree of growth and accomplishment comparable to that documented by Varner's records in the last twenty years, and —in particular —by his most recent effort Second Communion..."  [Read profile]
    —Luigi Santosuosso, Jazz'Halo (Belgium)

  • "An incredibly beautiful and heartfelt tribute ... a superb band.... Half of this fine release is an inspired version of Don Cherry's masterwork Complete Communion ... the other half is more great pieces inspired by and written in the spirit of Don Cherry by Mr. Varner."  [Read review]
    Downtown Music Gallery (NY)

  • "... one of the truly outstanding releases during the year....  a wonderful gift to fans of Cherry or Varner, and will be of interest to those seeking compelling performances by an excellent cast of musicians." [Read review]
    —Jay Collins,

  • 2002 CD of the Year, Portsmouth (UK) Jazz Festival fanzine

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