BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA CONCERT interview

THE GOSPEL AT COLONUS QUOTES AND REVIEWS

BAGDAD CAFÉ THE MUSICAL

CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD

TWYLA THARP'S "SEXTET"

WARRIOR ANT REVIEWS

BOB TELSON

The songs are a far cry from most theater music because they put the groove before the text, and the groove is always infectious and celebratory. With horns, percussion, guitars and singers, and Mr. Telson on keyboards, Little Village leaps national and continental boundaries with ease. The group is equally at home in a Zairean rhumba, a Brazilian carnival march, a Cuban cha-cha or South African kwela music.

It's an impressive feat for an American band to put across so many different styles, changing guitar tone and horn inflections along with rhythms and cross-rhythms. But Little Village is so good that it raises expectations even higher.

  • NY Times, Sept. 24, 1993, Stephen Holden, review of CD

BOB TELSON: "CALLING YOU" (Warner Brothers, $14.99). Eight of the mostly instrumental pieces on "Calling You" were composed for a Twyla Tharp dance piece, "Sextet." They make up a compendium of world music styles brilliantly reimagined, embellished and sometimes made to overlap by Mr. Telson, a classically trained American composer and multi-instrumentalist. Leading a band that features the shimmering guitars of Marc Shulman and Dominic Kanza, Mr. Telson spins out transparent textures that allude to the music of Brazil, Argentina, the Middle East, South Africa and Trinidad, among other places. Rounding out the album are two first-rate pop songs written for Percy Adlon movies, "Calling You" (from "Bagdad Cafe") and "Barefoot" (from "Salmonberries"), which is sung by K. D. Lang, who co-wrote it with Mr. Telson.

  • NY Times, June 4, 1989

Mr. Telson has a remarkable talent for relating to musicians from diverse musical cultures and for writing stirring, dramatic music in non-Western European idioms.

  • NY Times

The 35- year-old composer, keyboardist and performance artist has won critical acclaim for his score for ''The Gospel at Colonus,'' the marriage of American gospel and Greek tragedy that became the hit of the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival a year ago. But the audience tonight will discover that there's more to Mr. Telson than an accomplished blue- eyed soul composer. Musically he is a true man of the world who is on intimate terms with salsa, Afro-Cuban, European classical and gospel.

  • With the possible exception of Bob Telson, Adam Guettel is the most artistically promising American theater composer.
     
  • Newsweek Magazine, writing about The Gospel at Colonus

“Living, dazzling, exhilarating. The best white man’s capturing of the essence of black music since Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Hallelujah!”