The Words Project is Sam Sadigursky‘s 2007 debut album on New Amsterdam Records, and the first of three albums in his endeavor to set poetry to music. Sadigurksy fills the album with his expressive saxophone/flute/clarinet playing in addition to leading an exceptional ensemble comprised of Pete Rende on piano, accordian, and pump organ; Nate Radley on guitar; Eivind Opsvik on bass; Tommy Crane on drums; and Robert Bunkhart on cello. Monika Heidemann, Heather Masse, Becca Stevens, and Noam Weinstein provide the exciting and personal voices for each poetry setting.
Guitarist Sebastian Cruz wrote in an extensive review of the album:
“Sam Sadigursky‘s setting of poems to music in The Words Project is remarkable and compelling, for more than one reason. The most important is that he deals with the poetry in poetic terms. That is, considering each piece’s particular logic. Each piece on the album is a unique world, the musical elements indispensable and precise, never overbearing. Sadigursky is able to establish an intimate relationship with each poem. Musical elements such as his choice of singers, instrumentation, rhythm, and mood, unfold naturally and organically from this relationship. The result is a recording that flows through a variety of enveloping emotions, from subtle and delicate to agile and intense. Propelled by the motion of the music, the words seem to float through song, surrounding and seducing us.”
The inception of The Words Project was met with positive criticism, listed as one of the “best albums of 2007″ in Time Out New York. Steve Smith wrote, “Sadigursky’s literate, luminous poetry settings are given voice by a bumper crop of impressive young singers,” placing it alongside records by Radiohead, Battles, Muhal Richard Abrams, and many more.