Pianist R. Andrew Lee, whose previous recordings for the Irritable Hedgehog label have featured illuminating performances of works by Tom Johnson, Ann Southam, William Duckworth and Jürg Frey, has just released a new album that brings to light a long-lost milestone of early minimalism: November, by California composer Dennis Johnson, winds through a set of pitches, motifs and improvisatory webbing with blissful leisure.
Reconstructed by the invaluable composer, musicologist, writer and advocate Kyle Gann, November now extends to roughly five hours in duration. Evidently it was once closer to six hours; La Monte Young, a friend and associate of Johnson's, has cited it as a crucial influence on his own solo-piano milestone, The Well-Tuned Piano. Gann's story about rebuilding November from a wobbly cassette – eventually augmented by a cryptic score and Johnson's fading memories – makes for a fascinating read.
Lee's set is available via Bandcamp as a four-CD set or as a download in a variety of formats, including lossless files. You can find out more about Lee on his website, follow him on Twitter and, if you plan to be in New York City on Saturday, March 16, hear him perform November live in its entirety at Issue Project Room.