Other pieces serve less sprawling purposes, like M Variations (Melody for Madeleine), a swinging idyll that Erhlich first performed with a big band back in 1992, set up here to feature the pianist Uri Caine. And the title track, named after a poem by Arthur Brown, unfolds as a concert piece, beginning in salutary fanfare and ending, 23 minutes later, with something like a solemn valediction.
What happens between those markers is J. D. Parran, who reads the poem (in an impassioned cry) and also provides musical commentary (on bass saxophone). It’s a stunning performance, which he’ll reprise in a scaled-down version of the piece at the Stone, in Manhattan’s East Village, on Friday night. And this time around, Ehrlich — who’s in residence at the Stone all week, with a range of groups — will have his own instruments at the ready.
— Nate Chinen