Music Reviews from the Staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House


May 3, 2017
All This I Do For Glory - Colin Stetson
It is not immediately apparent how a piece of music can simultaneously strike the listener as both sublime and pyrotechnic. Yet, on All This I Do For Glory, Colin Stetson presents nuanced works for solo woodwinds (various saxophones and a contrabass clarinet) in which his propensity for manipulations of the instruments accomplishes this mysterious task. Stetson is able to coax sounds from the instruments, of which, to our knowledge, no other human being is capable. The hypnotic drone is generated not just simultaneously with exclamatory phrases and rhythmic percussion but from the same pair of lungs through the same, single reed instrument. These six pieces present a body of work of prodigious creativity and effortless appeal. While fans of Stetson's previous releases need no enticement to his work, they will find not only familiar themes but new saxophonic explorations as well on All This I Do For Glory. It is encouraging that since its invention in 1840 by the Belgian Adolphe Sax, the saxophone is still able to lure dedicated performers into extracting heretofore unheard sounds. Stetson is such a performer. That he can concurrently occupy the role of experimentalist while producing tracks that are eminently listenable is a testament, presumably, to a personal creative vision, in which the idiosyncratic needs of the artist are satisfied in a manner that remains accessible to a broad, external audience. This album is a delight on every level.