Theo Bleckmann: Origami
Bleckmann's electronic manipulations of the music on Origami mostly play a welcome supporting role, although on "I Remember You" he skips (yes, he skips, not your CD player) a slowly increasing number of times until it becomes a guessing game what word in the tune he's going to accent with 4 or 8 or 20 rapid-fire digital revisitations. Toward the end of the tune, there's nothing but incessant digital snips left. (Don't worry, they change. And it's interesting and good. )
The supporting cast on Origami consists of sympathetic players with plenty of experience in and out of the traditional jazz idiom. These four musicians do not regularly step out into solo space on Origami and when they do, they tend to actively reinforce the general dark, consonant flavor of these pieces. Bleckmann's vocal performance includes verbal and non-verbal expositions, regularly using overdubs and understated electronic effects to introduce texture and counterpoint. His main strength as a performer lies in his exquisite sense for simple melodies, and he appears content to explore that territory at length.
For listeners interested in a fresh, personal angle to vocal jazz, Origami has amazing properties. However, be warned that mellow introspection is the flavor of the day: don't expect any flash-and-bang (except for the notable exception on "I Remember You"). Origami is most definitely a peaceful record for quiet listening.
Track Listing: DNA; Douce Dame Jolie; None of the Above; Origami; Static Still; Alloy;I Remember You; Like Brother and Sister; Nova Scotia; An Den Kleinen Radioapparat; Rombicosidodecahedron; Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries.
Personnel: Theo Bleckmann: voice, piano; Ben Monder: guitar; Matt Moran: vibraphone; Skuli Sverrison: electric bass; John Hollenbeck: drums, percussion, melodica.
Record Label: Songlines Recordings
Style: Modern Jazz