Eastman: Femenine (New Amsterdam)

What a joyful thing it is to encounter (while writing a short concert biog) Wild Up’s recording of Julius Eastman’s Femenine, released only three weeks ago on New Amsterdam Records. For a work that was almost entirely forgotten, by a composer barely emerging from myth, it seems remarkable that there are now at least four commercial recordings in existence (hear also: S.E.M. Ensemble’s 1974 recording on Frozen Reeds; Apartment House on another timbre; and ensemble 0 and Arum Grand Ensemble on sub rosa). This rendition, blossomed with instrumental solos (and arcing piano playing by Richard Valitutto reminiscent of the late ‘Blue’ Gene Tyranny), may be my favourite yet.