Thirteen Ways is Eighth Blackbird’s commercial recording debut album on Cedille Records, featuring music by four of America’s most gifted composers:David Schober (b. 1974), Thomas Albert (b. 1948), Joan Tower (b. 1938), and George Perle (b. 1915). Tower’s sparkling Petroushskates is a vibrant homage to Stravinsky; Schober’s elegantly crafted Variations, by turns ethereal and insistent, garnered the 1999 Wayne Peterson Prize from San Francisco State University; Perle’s Critical Moments II, one of the ensemble’s recent commissions, is “remarkably fresh in its spiky crystalline fragments, rapid atonal flurries and muted wisps of sound” (Los Angeles Times); and Albert’s kaleidoscopic Thirteen Ways is as evocative and stimulating as the poem that inspired it.