Sussman’s music weaves together the familiar instrumentation of American popular music, harmonic and rhythmic influences from jazz and Afro-Cuban music, and sinuous melodic lines. All the music, however, is mildly to moderately dissonant. OCTET is comprised of a brass section of saxophone, trumpet, and trombone, and a rhythm section of piano, electric piano, double bass and drums, plus vocals. The NY Times described Sussman’s music as “vivid, turbulent and rich textured.” The titles of Camille’s mvmts accurately describe their emotional tones. The mvmts of Scatter My Ashes are each inspired by a poem by Sussman’s wife, Sue, and the poems’ texts are sung by soprano Mellissa Hughes, accompanied by OCTET. Mvmts 1, 2 and 3 are sad; mvmt 4 a bit ironically whimsical; mvmt 5 reflective. The titles of the Piano Concerto’s mvmts accurately describe their musical contents. No song-like melodies are present; the focus is on sound textures, dynamics, and rhythms. Hot Times, with Mellissa Hughes’ beautiful voice conveying the lyrics, features operatic leaps and is a bit reminiscent of Porgy and Bess. Begging the Night for Change is melancholic and pleading. Moving In To An Empty Space is mildly optimistic, but not happy.