[Return to home page]


Reviews From The Media



Reviews of The Miles Davis 'Lost' Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles (University of Chicago Press, 2016)

Reviews of Infinite Spirit: Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band (FRM CD, 2016)

Reviews of You'll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock & the Mwandishi Band" (University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Reviews of Textures and Pulsations (Bob Gluck & Aruan Ortiz, Ictus Records, 2013)

Reviews of Tropelets (Bob Gluck & Andrew Sterman, Ictus Records, 2014)


New York Times, January 14, 2011 reviews a January 11, 2011 performance of "Faith" (from Neil Rolnick's 'Extended Family', 2011) at Le Poisson Rouge, NYC [http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/arts/music/14round.html?_r=2]

"'Faith,' a free-spirited concerto for piano and computer, was composed for Bob Gluck, a rabbi who gave up his pulpit and become an accomplished jazz pianist. Mr. Gluck performed it with virtuosic fluidity and maintained a lively give-and-take with Mr. Rolnick's tactile, almost orchestral computer part" - Allan Kozinn


Zzaj reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), Issue #111, 2011 [http://rotcodzzaj.com/wordpress/?page_id=56]

"...the trio projects power on all the tracks, especially my favorite (the closer) "Lifeline"; one of the best & all the moods you might imagine are covered in this one! I give Bob & crew a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. This is definitely one of my favorite CD's for 2011!" - Rotcod Zzaj


Roll reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), March 2011 [http://www.rollmagazine.com/mar11/articles/cdreview.php]

"... Something Quiet is as advertised, a collection of thoughtful, generally quiet jazz numbers. Performed with Joe Giardullo on soprano saxophone and Christopher Dean Sullivan on drums, Gluck's latest recalls a time when contemplative jazz was still new, when Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane were making waves... while the songs themselves are terrific, it's through the understated and tasteful group interplay where they really come to life. Witness "October Song", which opens with all three performers entwined before Gluck's aggressive piano leads them away from their mutual reverie. Heady stuff, indeed… always wonderful, an honest-to-goodness acoustic jazz album that can stand alongside your favorites from any era." - Crispin Kott


All About Jazz reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), December 29, 2010 [http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=38248]

"As a composer and player, Gluck ranks with the likes of Andrew Hill and Cecil Taylor. The model for Something Quiet incorporates structure, power and the lack of restrictions. Without alienating traditionalists, Gluck extends the range of sounds and broadens the scope of compositions, but not to the extent of being atonal. Like the best free jazz, it can only be "free" to a certain degree. The role of each player needs to intersect, as well as possessing the flexibility to break from convention. Something Quiet is completely original, artistically spontaneous, and intellectually challenging." - Karl Ackermann


Audiofile Audition reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), December 22, 2010 [http://www.audaud.com/article?ArticleID=8327]

"On his new 67-minute excursion Gluck omits electronics to focus on his original acoustic music while showing his abiding attraction to abstract jazz with a unique trio approach: Gluck on acoustic piano, Joe Giardullo on soprano saxophone and Christopher Dean Sullivan on standup bass; as well as a broad stylistic scheme that merges chamber jazz with tempo changes, differing tonalities, varying volume and a musical tapestry where anything can and often does happen... [Gluck's] reharmonized version of Hancock's “Dolphin Dance,” the sole cover, done as a bass/piano duet. This rendition has a subtle shape that reinforces Hancock's original objective while including chordal and melodic adaptations that deliver a distinct edge to Gluck's translation. While Gluck is in the limelight most of the time, Sullivan supports with underpinned emotive interaction." - Doug Simpson


Book's Music reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), February 28, 2011 [http://www.thisisbooksmusic.com/2011/02/28/review-bob-gluck-something-quiet/]

"...very enticing but far from being a whisper. Bob Gluck (piano), along with Chrisopher Dean Sullivan (bass), and Joe Giardullo (soprano saxophone), play in a way that almost sounds like they are creating their own secret code, only known amongst themselves… These are audio paintings and it's great to hear how drawn out they are, how the playing takes you from one place to another, or basically they're flirting with your brain to create the kind of vivid imagery that comes from playing this type of music. I love it." - John Book


O's Place Jazz Magazine reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), February 26, 2011 [http://www.OsPlaceJazz.com]

"... a very open free fusion… resulting in a mesmerizing adventure." *** / 4 - D. Oscar Groomes


All about Jazz reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), February 5, 2011 [http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=38665]

"Gluck and bassist Christopher Dean Sullivan engage for a subtle, introspective and largely temperate spin on Herbie Hancock's classic, 'Dolphin Dance'... The duo persuasively combines a touch of gravitas with a jazzy verve to complement delicate pastiches of sound and an open-air bridge, where Sullivan counters Gluck's expansive creations…. Gluck offsets the tried and true by exposing a myriad of possibilities and emotive aspects amid thought-provoking encounters with his band mates..." - Glenn Astarita


Jazz Inside reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), February 4, 2011 [http://jazzinsidemagazine.com/publications/guide/february-2011]

"... so sonorously jarring as to serenade and surprise just about any listener's ears... you can hear just what's essential beyond sheer technique… the merger of feeling and melody, rhythm and sound… a partnership of resonance and vibration delivering to the fullest … enhanced by the sweetest of pulsing rhythms and cascading notes... road signs of timelessness." - Bob Gish


Grapplegate Music Review reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), March, 2011, p. 36 [http://gapplegatemusicreview.blogspot.com/2011/02/bob-gluck-trio-present-something-quiet.html]

"Bob shows the subtle sensitivity of a pianist who has listened carefully to what's good in improvisational music today... Joe Giardullo... control, timbre, and phrasing of a master. Christopher Dean Sullivan brings in the bottom as a third line-creating voice... Put all that together and you get music that challenges your ears at the same time as it delivers musico-logical brilliance." - Gregory Applegate Edwards


New York City Jazz Record reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), February 2, 2011 [http://www.nycjazzrecord.com/]

"Gluck is a master of tension and dynamics and his openings on several of these pieces reflect tranquility with hints of pathos and foreboding. Through exquisite chordal choices and Sullivan's coloration, the pianist subtly increases these latter elements until Giardullo rips off a glissando or Gluck summons up jolting power chords to bring the tension to the breaking point… Giardullo is most clearly the keeper of the jazz spirit here though and he is a versatile player coaxing both beautifully rounded and high-pitched screeches from his instrument when the situation calls for them. As the session title implies though, the emphasis is the former and his perceptive lines on the unhurried "Going Away" and closer "Lifeline" merit special mention." - Elliott Simon


Ni Kantu reviews "Something Quiet" (2011), February 23, 2011 [http://cliffordallen.blogspot.com/2011/02/music-reviews-february-2011.html]

"... 'Dolphin Dance' is a duo for piano and bass, focusing on Gluck's lush, strident approach while retaining a gently atonal ambiguity around rhapsodic chords, supported by delicate, woody pluck in both rushes and thumping shades… “Going Away” focuses on an upward harmonic movement; Giardullo, whose soprano has a whole, soft sound, climbs through breathy intervals and, in a way, acts as a winsome foil to the pianist's more architectural phrase concepts. Sullivan's bass, mostly played pizzicato, offers robust, chugging counterpoint to the kaleidoscopic foraging of reed and keys. The trio's sparse weight can fill in, expanding into spiky orchestral mass in "Still Waters" as Giardullo howls over the top, the piece culminating in a meaty bass workout. Something Quiet is full of wide-open and often extremely intense music from this colorful chamber trio, and it is well worth seeking out." - Clifford Allen


JazzTimes Community reviews on "Sideways" (2008), July 7, 2009 [http://jazztimes.com/community/articles/24940-a-near-masterpiece]

"... All three are master improvisers and interpreters of music. All their solos are highly structured, multilayered yet extremely unpredictable making them delightful to listen to time and time again... The Bob Gluck trio has created a near classic work of art, one that will easily withstand the test of time and especially with the pristine sound of the CD will definitely reward repeated listenings." - Hrayr Attarian


All About Jazz New York reviews "Sideways" (2008), July, 2009 [http://newyork.allaboutjazz.com]

"...Gluck alternates melodic sensibilities with more abstract impulses, sometimes even within the same piece. He gives a tender solo piano rendition of Joe Zawinul's gorgeous ballad 'A Remark You Made', though the Weather Report man's 'Unknown Soldier' gets more of a going over. Elsewhere Gluck discreetly splices electronics into the mix, such as the unearthly mewling cries which vie with Bisio's bass throb towards the end of a fine version of Ornette Coleman's 'Lonely Woman', distorted keyboard musings on 'Rather Wonderful' or the Sun Ra suggestive solo 'Yet Another Pharoah'." - John Sharpe


Keyboard names Bob Gluck "Unsigned Artist of the Month" (June, 2009) for "Electric Brew" (2007) [www.keyboardmag.com]

"... an engaging tapestry of living sound... Electric Brew is a welcome reminder of what magic can happen when rules are not so much broken, but taken out of the equation completely. Highly recommended." - Michael Gallant


Cadence reviews "Sideways," the CD release by The Bob Gluck Trio, on the FMR label, January - March, 2009. [© Cadence Magazine 2009, www.cadencebuilding.com]

"... a sense of openness and improvisational acumen with shards of daring... What the trio excels at most prominently is its use of sparse sensibilities that speak to emotional cores, whether following thematic elements within the context of a groove or along an explorative plane..."

[Sideways is] "a potent first document of this expansive trio, with Gluck's open-ended compositions and those of others sparking the creative improvised explorations from all."

"Gluck is a brilliant improviser... [Sideways includes] arguably the most touching and memorable take on ["A Remark You Made"] since its initial version on Heavy Weather..." - Jay Collins


Journal SEAMUS (20.1. Spring 2009) reviews Bob Gluck's performance [© The 2007 Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, University of Richmond, October 19-20

"Bob Gluck started off the afternoon concert with an excellent performance of his Electric Brew, for piano, shofar (the traditional Jewish ram's horn), and computer. Opening with elements of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, the shofar and its computer-processed output moved far away from the electric jazz material. But over time the processing system begins to map previously performed material onto the heralding gestures of the shofar for an effective close to the work." - Keith Koffman


The Free Jazz Blogspot reviews "Sideways," the CD release by The Bob Gluck Trio, on the FMR label, February 14, 2009.

"Bisio and Sharp are stellar again, but the real credits should go to Gluck, not only for his playing, but for the musical vision he sets down here... We get a trio of three equal instruments creating a "total sound", a broad listening experience, that does not need to rely on melody, but comes to its full effect when the musicians' creativity leads us into new territory... the trio' s version of "Lonely Woman" is brilliant. Ornette Coleman's beautiful tune is fully in sync with the rest of the album's desperate tone, full of shattered hope, and deep longing for a better world. Great music. I truly hope to hear more from this trio in the future."


Erik Lawrence reviews "Sideways," CD release by The Bob Gluck Trio, on the FMR label. Chronogram, July 28, 2008.

"For some of us in the early 21st century, tradition is the sound of freedom. Such is the case with this new work led by Albany's Bob Gluck, an accomplished and passionate pianist in the most elusive tradition of avant-garde masters Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill, McCoy Tyner, and Don Pullen. He's captured the magic of being at once sentimental and Space Pong crazy. Here and there, Gluck surprises the listener with the blast of a shofar (ram’s horn), doctored voice samples, and what he calls "electronic expansion of acoustic instruments." This techno addition is a surprising delight. With the able-bodied support of Albany's Michael Bisio on bass and the Hudson Valley's excellent Dean Sharp on drums and percussion, Gluck crafts a language of intense thinking, feeling, listening, and creating, mostly all at once.

Eight delicately structured originals and three tasty, personalized covers of tunes by Ornette Coleman and Joe Zawinul find these players conversing in ways that are sometimes silent as well as soaring and singing. These are seasoned improvising musicians who have found and honed their own communication skills and brought them to a greater whole. There’s no "follow the leader" and no "let’s make weird sounds" going on. This kind of mature freedom is very elusive to players and listeners alike—which is the tradition of improvised music, after all."


Adam Baruch reviews "Sideways," the new CD release by The Bob Gluck Trio, on the FMR label. Jazzis Web Shop, October, 2008.

"... the full foray of Free Jazz and Improvised Music highly spirited and excellently executed. Gluck, although classically educated, finds his way into Improvised Music of the Cecil Taylor vein quite naturally, expending the "traditional" approach by his use of electronic devices and even the Jewish shofar to express his ideas ... This is highly emotional music, as usual in the case of Improvised Music, which requires attentive listening and open-mindedness, but for the experienced listener this is quite a treat. Recommended to the connoisseurs of the genre."


Jeff Waggoner reviews "Sideways," the new CD release by The Bob Gluck Trio, on the FMR label. albanyjazz.com, April 16, 2008.

"Anyone who knows anything about Bob Gluck knows he's in for a delight when he plops the CD "Sideways" into the player. It surprises and engages throughout. Gluck... is a polymath, and it shows... he and his trio move the music's rhythms, melodies and timbres through history. It's a contemporary sound that provides timeless beauty." ... No small part of the success of this CD belongs to Gluck’s fellow artists in his Albany-based trio: Bassist Michael Bisio and percussionist Dean Sharp. Bisio's improvisational boldness and brilliance stands him in good stead in any context... Gluck never uses a sound in isolation – each tone is part of the picture, providing context and comprehension. Sideways won’t come out of my player for a while."


Peter Aaron reviews "Sideways," the new CD release by The Bob Gluck Trio, on the FMR label. Roll: Creative Living in the Hudson Valley, June, 2008.

"Released on the overseas FMR label, the Bob Gluck Trio’s Sideways hits from many directions to bring together three of the upstate jazz scene’s topmost forward-thinking players; the set pairs the Capital Region’s pianist and electronics whiz Gluck and famed bassist Michael Bisio with the Hudson Valley's always-somewhere percussionist Dean Sharp.

A marvel of confident restraint, the music here is characterized by vast tracts of openness and a steadily rumbling undercurrent courtesy of Sharp and Bisio. The tension-thick title piece would be the perfect soundtrack to some dark thriller; fraught with the foreboding menace of Bisio’s slithering line and the leader’s Chinese water-torture plinking, it will easily bring your neck hair to rapt attention. Things get hot and spiky here and there, especially when Gluck blows a shofar on the lengthy reading of Joe Zawinul's "Unknown Soldier" that opens the disc (it sounds like he does it again on the version of the Ornette Coleman classic "Lonely Woman" at the close, though the liner notes make no mention of it). But for the better part of its 60 minutes, however, Sideways is content to live in the moment as Gluck, Bisio, and Sharp converse with calculated simpatico, each playing his hand like a shrewd shark, content to wait it out and let the chips fall where they may. Making this is one game you’ll want to be in on. www.electricsongs.com"


Paul Wieder reviews "Electric Songs" (2003). JUF News, Chicago, December, 2008.

"...two instruments predominate. One is the saz, a Middle Eastern stringed instrument with a rounded, lute-like body and long, bass-guitar-like neck. The other instrument is decidedly Jewish: the shofar. The sounds he gets from the first will please Leo Kottke lovers. And the shofar experiments? Yoko Ono must have some Jewish fans."


Downtown Music Gallery describes "Electric Songs" (2003).

"...an excellent and highly musical contribution to the evolving tradition of expanded electronic performance."


eJewish observes.

"Gluck's work has been called 'bold, innovative, and fun'."


Nathan Wolek reviews "Electric Brew" (EMF, 2007), in Array, the journal of the International Computer Music Association, 2007-08 (published in February, 2009).

"[In his playing of Ofer Ben-Amots' Akedah] Gluck's piano playing is given the chance to shine without electronic intervention, and listeners should be appreciative. Together with Is there still time?, we get a clear sense of the range of abilities Gluck possesses as a pianist"


Seth Rogovoy reviews "Electric Brew" (2007), Berkshire Jewish Voice, August 11, 2008.

"His music is on the cutting-edge of acoustic-electric fusion, spanning jazz, classical, electronics, sampling, and, of course, Jewish music... Gluck’s latest recording, "Electric Brew" (Electronic Music Foundation, www.emf.org), takes its overall inspiration from Miles Davis's landmark album, Bitches Brew, but uses the singular musical vocabulary that Gluck has invented and elaborated upon for the last decade or so."


"Heavy Weather": Greg Haymes lists "The Music of Weather Report" with Bob Gluck, Keith Pray and Brian Melick in the Albany Times Union, April 3, 2008.

"Adventurous University at Albany music professor and pianist Bob Gluck recently released his latest CD -- "Electric Brew" on the Electronic Music Foundation label -- which finds him playing piano, shofar and electronics on music inspired by Miles Davis' classic 1969 jazz fusion album, "Bitches Brew" ... But Gluck is turning his attention to another band of groundbreaking jazz fusioneers in concert at the Recital Hall at UAlbany's Performing Arts Center ... as he pays tribute to Weather Report..."


In April, 2008, the Italian "Zawinulfans.org" website, dedicated to the music of the late great pianist Josef Zawinul, posted announcements and descriptions of the "Music of Weather Report" show by Bob Gluck, Keith Pray and Brian Melick here and here (which included a notice about the new "Sideways" CD. Zawinulfans also posted an autobiographical statement about Gluck's current work.


Alan Kozinn, New York Times, 'The Electronic Shofar,' Classical music event listings, February 2, 2007.

"... some contemporary composers have found its [the shofar] strong, piercing timbre useful, among them Alvin Curran and Bob Gluck, who have each created works that combine the shofar’s timbre with electronic sound processing. They share a concert at which they will perform their recent shofar works."


Joel Chadabe, "The Electronic Shofar," program description and artist interview, February 1, 2007. The interview text can be found at the Arts-Electric web-based Arts magazine.


Kurt Gottschalk, allaboutjazz.com, March 2007, review of "The Electronic Shofar".

"Over the course of three solos and a duet, the composers did what they could with the instrument, which has a range of four or five notes, like a pair of tone shepherds. The pieces developed into a kind of musical game: intone and rest, triggering different sorts of filters or prerecorded sounds. If the point was to explore the possibilities of electronics with the shofar, the discovery may have been that those possibilities are few. The strongest piece of the night was Gluck’s "Electric Brew/Shofarrr," an improvisation built around two themes from Miles Davis' Bitches Brew with prerecorded double-bass phrases. That piece built nicely from its disparate elements and benefited from the simple variety of sound sources."


Greg Haymes, "Sound sampler: 60x60 showcases a wealth of brief, contemporary compositions," Albany Times Union, February 9, 2006.


Solo Concerts and Sound Installations


Malcolm Miller, "Keele and London; Miles Davis in new clothes," Malcolm Miller reviews Bob Gluck's solo concert at Keele University," Tempo, London, April 2007.

"Gluck uses an 'eShofar', an electronically expanded version of the ancient ram’s horn, itself a thought-provokingly paradoxical clash of ancient and avant-garde; yet the exciting part is the system that allows various degrees of control in sound-settings and random processes, with stirring semi-improvisational results... a fizzing arrangement of this classic of Davis’s 'electric' period [based upon 'Bitches Brew']. Here the timbral nuances of the shofar are picked up and transformed in semi-predictable ways by digital filters, harmonizers and multi-tape delays, with a resulting high level of spontaneity and surprise, within an overall controlled shape. For the listener, recognizable jazz harmonies and bass patterns were subsumed within a feverish fabric of wildly evolving electronic sonorities with exhilarating effect."


Dina Spritzer, "Czech curator strives to shatter 'illusion that Jewish means past tense," JewishTelegraphic Agency


Valentina Culatti, "eShofar, folk tradition and technology," Neural: Hacktivism, E-Music, New Media Art, March 20, 2006. Also at "networked-performance"


Catherine Fox, "Artists take a leaf from medieval Bible", Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), March 4, 2006.


Suzi Brozman, "A Medieval Bible Meets the Media Age," The Atlanta Jewish Times (Atlanta, Georgia), March 17, 2006.


Barry H. Schneider, "Composer and rabbi to perform music for piano, shofar and electronics," Ottawa Jewish Bulletin (Ottawa, Ontarioa), April 10, 2006.


Malcolm Miller, "Ingenuity and madness? Malcolm Miller investigates Robert Voisey's '60x60' project," Music and Vision, London, December 2005.

"Robert Gluck's one-minute environmental soundscape of Prague (composed there on a recent visit) was eloquently paced with samples of cobbled streets, pacing through buildings and open air, a Czech conversation, to give a sense of 'being there'."


Joshua Cohen, "Arabesques and E-Cantors: In Prague, a Digital Re-envisioning of the Marseilles Bible", The Forward (New York City), March 11, 2005.


Martin Mikule, "Prague Jewish Museum features artwork depicting mysterious wandering of an old Hebrew manuscript", Radio Praha (Prague Radio), February 28, 2005.


Kristin Barendsen, "Infinite layers: An open book draws viewers into timeless landscapes", The Prague Post, March 24, 2005.


Geraldine Freedman, "Classical music updated with electronics," The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY), January 27, 2005.


Feature web article about the March 2004 'Digital Expression' performances at the University at Albany.


"Bob Gluck, a spiritual mixmaster of sorts, melds old and new into a sensory melange of auditory awakening ..."

Susie Davidson, The Jewish Advocate, Boston, MA, November 8, 2002 more ...


"... Rabbi Bob Gluck creates environments of sound that are imbued with both contemporary musicality and Jewish spirituality ..."

Brett M. Rhyne, The Jewish Journal, Boston North Shore, MA, October 25, 2002 more ... (scroll down on that page)


"Bob Gluck's interpretations of traditional Jewish musical and liturgical traditions are bold, innovative, and fun. Who else can turn the haunting and spiritually uplifting sound of the traditional shofar, (ram's horn), of the Jewish new year into a soul journey that takes the listener to so many different places?"

Rabbi Dan Ornstein, Congregation Ohav Shalom, Albany, New York [January 19, 2002 performance]


"Here's yet another example of the old adage that you can't tell a Torah by its cover ... By combining elements of traditional Jewish music and culture with cutting-edge musical theories and interactive electronic instruments, Gluck allows listeners to, metaphorically, interface with the past."

Metroland, January 17, 2002


"'Shofaralong' opened with the conventional sounds of the shofar, which were recorded, looped and then manipulated, given an underwater quality. Suddenly the shofar blast, which can imply alarm, sounded like a contemporary siren, and then split into several different, simultaneous blasts of alarm. Later, it had the quality of a dolphin's cry or a baby's wail, before the piece ended with just the sound of pure human breath."

Seth Rogovoy, Berkshire Eagle, February 12, 2002


 Albany Times Union: feature article


Sounds of a Community (2001) press coverage


Stories Heard and Retold (1998, EMF 008)

"... Altogether, 'Stories Heard & Retold' is a CD filled with sounds from many different sources, woven with art and grace into gentle, varied, and evocative compositions." Click here for the complete article

ICMA Array

"The overall mood is one of deep respect and reverence, communicated by subdued dynamics and textures of murmuring voices and other sonic images. The aim is to recreate past experiences in the form in which they are remembered. The 'stories' are not clear, narrative reconstructions of the original events, but images on which a child's mind have focused, images which remained in memory and here are extended and woven together, using techniques available in electroacoustic music, techniques carefully selected and employed in the service of the sonic materials ... Altogether, 'Stories Heard & Retold' is a CD filled with sounds from many different sources, woven with art and grace into gentle, varied, and evocative compositions."

Archer Endrich, International Computer Music Association Online Journal, February 22, 2002


"... The remarkable wave of sound overcomes the consciousness of the listener transporting him or her to another place ..."

J. Peter Bergman, The (Berkshire) Advocate, June 17, 1998


"... Gluck sees a similarity between what he does in his compositions, which manipulate ambient and found sounds such as a prayer service, and the work of the rabbis who expounded upon or manipulated the original text of the Bible through commentary or emphases ... While the rabbi's tools were the sermon, the song and the written text, Gluck avails himself of the latest in state-of-the-art electronics ..." Click here for the complete article

Seth Rogovoy, Berkshire Eagle, August 7, 1998


"Taking the fusion of contemporary and Jewish music to its farthest extremes in 1998 were ... Rabbi Bob Gluck's "Stories Heard and Retold" (EMF), which creates ambient experimental collages of Jewish folk and ritual sounds ..."

Gideon Aronoff, The Forward, November 13, 1998


"A mind wandering amidst the spoken words and sounds of the Jewish people can be a wonderfully artistic journey. Rabbi Bob Gluck makes me feel grateful for all the pleasures my ears have taken for granted over the years. His recently released CD, 'Stories Heard and Retold' is not for someone seeking traditional melodic music. However, if you like listening to contemporary works, like the electronic compositions of Edgard Varese, I would recommend investigating this music. The first half of this CD is devoted to the wide range of oral delicacies one experiences in a synagogue. 'Scene/Seen in Shul' is a masterful collection of this memorabilia. Gluck captures the interesting combination of individual voices in group prayer and gatherings through a sound collage based upon ambient recordings (processed and edited) from a variety of synagogue and prayer settings. One fascinating section is entitled: 'Pages Turning/Torah Aliyot' which uses the sound of a page turning to dreamily take you on a sensory ride ... The artistry that flowed into 'Stories Heard and Retold' is a moving gift to both Jewish culture and music."

Berta Frank, The Jewish Newsletter, Dec, 1998


Some Places I Have Been (1995)

"Bob's music is deeply intriguing and resonant, full of Jewish feeling yet thoroughly avant-garde. The interplay of Jewish source material and rich musical experimentation is unique and tremendously exciting."

Lawrence Bush, Reconstructionism Today


Bachcycles (1998)

"In the program's second part, Bob Gluck, a classically trained pianist, offered a dream sequence which he called 'Bachcycles' and in which he lovingly ornaments and cruellymutilates, richly adorns and crassly manipulates, gloriously brings to life and then abjectly immolates a succession of fragments from a beloved Bach keyboard prelude. Over the music, still images of moving bicycles (the Bach cycles, obviously!) flit by in landscapes constantly recurring, sometimes sharp sometimes blurred, like the treatment itself of Bach's eight note motive, while Dina Willians, Bob's acolyte, punctuates the musical flow with honks from a child's bicycle. What does it all create in a spectator's confused psyche? A new somewhat skewered perception of revered sounds? A disquietening shake-up of unquestioned values? And perhaps a smiling wink of the eye at the outrageous chutzpa of it all?" (11/22/98 concert, Simon's Rock College)

Simon Wainrib, Berkshire Record, 11/26/98


As a teacher

"Robert Gluck is an amazing phenomenon who has succeeded in combining the spirituality of progressive Judaism with the highest expression of contemporary sound language. There are very few individuals who accurately understand the deep meaning of Jewish music and its important role in affecting Judaic thought and contributing to universal ideas. Without any doubt, Rabbi Gluck is one of them."

Ofer ben-Amots, Assistant Professor of Music, Colorado College

  "Rabbi Gluck is a teacher of rare sensibility. He has the gift of being present to the people, so that their learning is a deep exploration and an adventure in (self-) discovery... he is adventurous and deeply committed to the spiritual journey inherent in all music. I commend him to all who would embark on a similar journey of the spirit."

Chaim Stern, z'l, author, liturgist, congregational Rabbi


[return to top of page]
[Return to home page]