Thursday 25 February 2021

February release: JAZZ

'Peppermint' by Damsel Talk & Nicolas Boccanera

'Peppermint' is the inspired new project created by the duo of British vocalist Jenny Moule (under the guise of Damsel Talk) and Argentinean pianist Nicolas Boccanera.  Drawing on a variety of inspirations for the project - Moule from her theatre background and skill as an improviser and Boccanera from his training in classical and jazz - 'Peppermint' is bursting with ideas and creativity that are just joyous to experience.  The union here is fascinating in itself - two artists sharing such a clear, distinct and, frankly, fearless vision for their music that is really a huge part of 'Peppermint's magic.

With Moule & Boccanera forming nearly all of the elements of the music themselves, the compositions do allow for the subtle inclusions of additional instrumentation with guests Violeta Garcia (cello) and Sebastian Greschuck (trumpet and trombone) playing their parts well within the construct of this intrepid sonic soundscape.  Notable standouts include 'By The Roots', 'Had We Our Senses' and 'Sonnet 148' which are bolstered by a vocal that I just don't have the adjectives to describe but for now will settle on... exquisite.

'Vega' by u.joe

Acting as something of an alter ego for the drummer, producer and founder of the New York jazz collective, Bright Dog Red, Joe Pignato presents a series of recordings initially created back in 2003 but have since been repackaged and remastered nearly twenty years later for audiences to enjoy.  Being as familiar with Bright Dog Red's brand of improvised electronica and hip-hop-inspired jazz as we are, the complete reinvention of Pignato's sound is a real thrill to immerse yourself within and completely different from the awesome catalogue BDR have amassed through Ropeadope Records with 'Means to the Ends', 'How's by You?' and 'Somethin Comes Along'. 

With tracks from 'Vega' veering on the ambient at times as well as some future soul and trip hop influences, the album is kicked off in lush fashion with 'AM' which is just lush in its presentation.  From there, 'Vega' makes way for other highlights like the rousing 'Sturbato', the awesome piano work on 'PM' and the apt conclusion to the project in the dreamy 'Snooze'.  

'Blimey' by Vangelis Angelopoulos

The new album from Greek guitarist, Vangelis Angelopoulos, boasts an excellent collection of songs recorded over the last fifteen years that we can only imagine would have been a joy to have revisited for this release.  As with last year's excellent 'Marrakesh Mystery' by the Vangelis Angelopoulos Trio, 'Blimey' finds its home on VA Music, the label established by Angelopoulos as a vehicle to showcase his fantastic projects.  

Spearheaded by an incredible animated video for the track 'As The Sky Falls', 'Blimey' is packed full of standout tracks - the near seven minutes of 'Longway Home' is a real gem as is the blues-inspired 'A Day in London'.  'Promise to Helen' is bursting with the kind of energy you'd expect from being able to see the band perform the track live, while the covers of 'And I Love Her' as well as 'Blue in Green' certainly warrant special mention - the former for the track's spirited, drums-heavy rendition and the latter for its sublime vocal.  Both captivating in entirely unique and distinctive ways.

'Say His Name EP' by Alessia Piermarini

Singer, songwriter, pianist and loop pedal artist, Alessia Piermarini, was able to find inspiration during last year's lockdown subsequently creating and releasing two new tracks forming part of her new EP.  With two excellent full-length projects already to her name, 'PG Major 7' (2008) and 'Synth o Matic' (2014) - the latter of which featuring a fantastic duet with US vocalist Jaguar Wright - Piermarini's versatile style continues to showcase her talents across a range of genres and styles.

For the tracks comprising the EP, 'Isolation Blues Rhymes' and 'Say His Name', both, in massively different ways, demonstrate Piermarini's talents as a one-woman tour de force: first, 'Isolation Blues Rhymes' demonstrates her skill as a loop pedal artist interspersing the layering of her vocals with a variety of additional sounds forming her own musical soundscape, while 'Say His Name' positions Piermarini behind the piano keys for a sublime lead vocal that carries the song.

No comments:

Post a Comment