Vocalist-composer Kitty Brazelton is a high achiever who possesses a diverse and thoroughly interesting musical background! Ms Brazelton owns a doctorate degree in music composition, ....was leader of the progressive band, “Musica Orbis”, has composed numerous orchestral works, electronic pieces and teaches music at Universities.....So, how do we classify, Love Not Love Lust Not Lust ? After all and at the very least we need to place this article somewhere within the voluminous reviews of this monthly publication, which are categorized among various genres... Stereotypes, pigeonholes and classification are at times no-no’s when speaking of the arts. Bastard terms which irk the hell out of folks!!!!! On the other hand, our local record shops organize CDs according to genre, style and so forth. With that, Ms Brazelton’s new recording offers a hodgepodge of stylizations which at times borders art-rock, rock-jazz, grunge and free-jazz improvisation. Along with her rather large ensemble, called “DADADAH” Ms. Brazelton has conjured up an alluring and at times fascinating series of pieces, which meld disparate musical elements, yet it all seems axiomatic and natural.
The opening piece, titled “Beauty Wild and Curious” commences with Matt Turner’s ominous cello statements which immediately suggest something meaningful lies concealed. With a driving rock beat, this piece rekindles thoughts of the 70’s rock band, “Electric Light Orchestra”, yet Ms Brazelton’s deterministic and zestful vocalizing atop the ensuing, bright horn charts and memorable melodies offer much more in the way of excitement. Here, Ms Brazelton sings, “I am far too weak for wondering if your living heart could love me right” as the shifting arrangements suggest unanswered questions towards the coda. On “Sex Wind Dream”, we are treated to a gorgeous melody line as the composition bridges the gap between rock and jazz with cleverly constructed charts, affable themes and classical motifs. “Soul Kiss” is a straight up rocker featuring emphatic horns and some nasty psychedelic guitar work from Hui Cox. It may be worth mentioning the arrangements here are that of big band quality, which is also evident on “Cinderella’s Sister” as Ms Brazelton continually, demonstrates her acute ear for melody and harmony. There are well-constructed themes featuring solid or at times polyrhythmic performances from the fine rhythm section.. Guitarist Hui Cox goes for the jugular once again on the smoker, “You’re In Love” which offers some powerful vocalizing from Ms Brazelton further enhanced by Matt Turner’s intriguing and well-stated cello performances. The final track, “From Her Story” is a 19 minute opus which contains an abundance of twists and turns, electrifying solos from Cox and bassist Keith Lambert, bright horn charts, curious mood swings and effective implementation of tonal color as the band stretch out in full bloom on this piece.
Love Not Love Lust Not Lust is a serious work of art which defies that blasted word – “categorization”. Ms Brazelton’s originality and deeply personalized commitment to her craft should entice those who appreciate the purveyance of new frontiers whether it be rock or jazz. Success doesn’t always come easy yet Ms Brazelton’s finely crafted compositions and exemplary leadership illustrates how it all seems effortless and unconstrained. Highly recommended! * * * * 1/2
Kitty Brazelton; Voice, Piano (track 3): Phillip Johnston; Alto, Soprano Saxophone: Lydia Van Dreel; French Horn: Chris Washburne; Trombone, Tuba: Elizabeth Panzer; Harp: Matt Turner; Cello: Hui Cox; Electric Guitar: Roland S. Wilson; Electric Bass (tracks 4&6): Jeff Song; Bass (tracks 1,2 & 7): Dane Richeson; Drums, Percussion: Todd Turkisher; Tambourine (track 3)