Tin Hat Trio: Book of Silk (2004)
Book of Silk has a purer, less referential feel than the group's three previous releases. The pieces are still slow and evocative, but many tracks carry a more introspective feel. The group is rounded out by guests Zeena Parkins on harp and Bryan Smith on tuba, giving it a fuller sound, but without the presence of celebrity singers (the one vocal track is handled by Kihlstedt), the musicians get to be themselves without the distraction of recognition. When they do reference signposts of the Americas (Elliot Carter, Buena Vista Social Club's Compay Segundo), it isn't in an attempt to emulate. In fact, if anything the chapters of Book of Silk sound not so much like any American musician as they do the Italian composer (and Fellini scorer) Nino Rota. A dustbowl aesthetic still shows through, but for the most part the fifteen tracks emote their own simple joys and sadness.
Track Listing: 1 The Longest Night 2 The Clandestine Adventures Of Ms. Merz 3 Company 4 Invisible Mobile 5 March Of The Smallest Feet 6 Hotel Aurora 7 Osborne Avenue 8 Elliott Carter Family 9 Things That Might Have Been 10 Red Hook Stoop 11 Same Shirt, Different Day 12 Pablo Looks Back 13 Light Black From Pole To Pole 14 Lauren's Lullaby
Personnel: Rob Burger - accordion, piano, prepared & toy pianos, bass & diatonic harmonicas, marxophone on "Same Shirt, Different Day"; Carla Kihlstedt - violin, trumpet & e-string violins, viola, voice, marxophone on "Pablo Looks Back"; Mark Orton - guitar, dobro, banjo. with: Zeena Parkins - harp; Bryan Smith - tuba, euphonium; and additional musicians: Matthias Bossi - percussion on "Company"; Amanda Lawrence - viola on "The Clandestine Adventures of Ms. Merz" & "Empire of Light"; Jill McClelland- Coykendall - clarinets on "Empire of Light"; Lori Presthus - cello on "Empire of Light".
Style: Fringes of Jazz