Classy, poetic and sometimes surreal, Gabriel’s Message resurrects themes that have elsewhere been flogged and left for dead by the usual Yuletide mercenaries. With this recording, Matt Herskowitz has put the Easter back into Christmas. When you first listen to these dazzzling 50 minutes of improvisation, it’s like when people and things familiar from conscious life suddenly pop up in the night, but strangely reconstituted by the logic of dreams. It’s a welcome reminder that the better part of your brain is in a constant state of experimentation and re-formatting This CD is your best defense against the encroaching holidays – Christmas music without the cheese. And it doesn’t have to be wrapped if you want to give it as a gift. Enjoy.