Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

7

People: 3xaWoman: The Misplaced Files

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
3xaWoman is the third genre-defying album from the avant-rock band People and the group's very first recording as a trio for the Telegraph Harp imprint. Originally founded by vanguard guitarist Mary Halvorson and irrepressible drummer Kevin Shea, the intrepid duo's prior efforts were issued by I And Ear Records. Joined by bassist Kyle Forester, this session finds the newly configured three-piece occasionally augmented by a stellar brass trio, consisting of trumpeter Peter Evans, trombonist Sam Kulik and tuba player Dan Peck.

Halvorson's widely celebrated improvisational prowess and Shea's capricious tendencies (best demonstrated in the "terrorist bebop band" Mostly Other People Do the Killing) fortifies People's mercurial virtuosity, although the band's unfettered approach is equally inspired by punk's rebellious nature. Eclipsing post-modern clichés, Halvorson's sober interpretations of Shea's wry lyrics offer meta-level meditations on songwriting that are as witty as they are sophisticated—paralleling her protean fretwork.

Although the hardcore bluster of "What's So Woman About That Woman" comes across as a brash riff on Lionel Richie's "Three Times a Lady," "The Lyrics Are Simultaneously About How The Song Starts And What The Lyrics Are About" is exactly what it sounds like, a step by step explanation of the song as it progresses, rocking with abstract verve the entire time. Artfully deconstructed pop songs have never sounded so enjoyable.

Despite such irreverence, there are ample examples of urbane proficiency on display. The contrapuntal horn choral that opens the album, "Prolegomenon," far exceeds the compositional capabilities of the average indie-rocker—an aspect that is further examined on the following number, "These Words Make Up The Lyrics Of The Song," a combative encounter between the core trio and horn section. Adding gravitas to humorous subject matter, Halvorson's harmonious vocals are vaguely reminiscent of Mary Timony's work with Helium and Wild Flag, especially on the catchy "Piles For Miles," while "Supersensible Hydrofracked Dystopia!!!" tackles topical subject matter—in a mere 51 seconds.

Negotiating tricky time signatures, sudden tempo shifts, and dynamic modulations in tone, the trio rocks hard, but smart, delivering fourteen idiosyncratic tunes that range in duration from less than a minute to almost seven. Boldly exploring the fertile no man's land between jazz, rock and the avant-garde, People play fast and loose with conventional song forms and listener expectations, but 3xaWoman never fails to impress or entertain.

Track Listing: Prolegomenon; These Words Make Up The Lyrics Of The Song; What's So Woman About That Woman; A Song With Melody And Harmony And Words And Rhythm; Supersensible Hydrofracked Dystopia!!!; Zwischenspiel; Reinterpreting Confusing Lyrics To Popular Songs; Interoperable Intertrigo; Piles For Miles; Psychic Recapitulation; The Virtuous Relapse; The Caveman Connection; The Lyrics Are Simultaneously About How The Song Starts And What The Lyrics Are About; The Disambiguated Clone.

Personnel: Mary Halvorson: guitar, voice, composition; Kyle Forester: bass, voice, acoustic guitar; Kevin Shea: drums, voice, lyrics; Peter Evans: trumpet, horn arrangements (1, 2, 4, 6); Sam Kulik: trombone, bass trombone (1, 2, 4, 6); Dan Peck: tuba (1, 2, 4, 6).

Title: 3xaWoman: The Misplaced Files | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Telegraph Harp

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Date Detail Price
Jan6Sun
12:00 pm
People
Beat Kitchen
Chicago, IL
Mar1Fri
10:00 pm
People
Moriska Paviljongen
Malmö, Sweden

Related Articles

Read Everything's OK CD/LP/Track Review
Everything's OK
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically CD/LP/Track Review
Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones...
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Legacy CD/LP/Track Review
Legacy
by Doug Collette
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Other Life Forms CD/LP/Track Review
Other Life Forms
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Live At Moods CD/LP/Track Review
Live At Moods
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 16, 2018
Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read "Song From No Man's Land" CD/LP/Track Review Song From No Man's Land
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e" CD/LP/Track Review 64:38 Radio Full Liv(f)e
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 25, 2017
Read "Los Vínculos" CD/LP/Track Review Los Vínculos
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 1, 2018
Read "Protean Labyrinth" CD/LP/Track Review Protean Labyrinth
by John Sharpe
Published: September 30, 2018
Read "Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album" CD/LP/Track Review Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "We Are the Orchestra" CD/LP/Track Review We Are the Orchestra
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 29, 2018