11

David Strother: Azul

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
David Strother: Azul Azul is an aural meditation by electric violinist David Strother that covers a wide swathe of emotions and delves fearlessly into the human condition. The word azul means "blue" in Spanish, and indeed the songs explore many shades of this emotional color. The blues also refer to loss: during the editing and mixing phases of the EP, Strother learned about the death of bassist and composer Charlie Haden, a musician who influenced him deeply, so the EP also serves as an homage to Haden and his profound musical contributions.

Azul consists of seven songs, all electric violin solos with floating ambient sounds, each one an exquisite miniature that paints an elegant emotional portrait. "Un Cafecito con Mi Amor" ("A Cuban Espresso with My Love") resonates with a tender beauty, giving a sense of a bittersweet meeting, perhaps a discussion of a final parting. Strother plays with a refined delicacy that's genuinely piercing, his violin shimmering through sensitive byways. "The End of Hope" is another thoughtful soundscape, a quiet journey into the dark places. It's as if Strother is depicting the sound of emotion, the way it quivers as it travels through the synapses. "One Sad Bus Ride" indeed gives the sense of being on a bus, perhaps surrounded by people but feeling alone, or maybe having a hushed conversation that would have been better conducted in private. The titles in these evocative pieces offer clues, and yet at the same time the songs are wonderfully open and available to whatever is brought to them.

"Elegy for Newtown" is a heartfelt meditation on an unthinkable tragedy, as well as a depiction of how music can help us process both the large and small tragedies of life. "2296" is a gorgeous piece with stark notes and looming electronic backgrounds, full of atmospheric sizzling and subliminal undercurrents. Again the title is evocative, perhaps referring to a date in time that holds special meaning, or some personal mystery yet to be uncovered. "Luminoso" is a Spanish word for "bright," and indeed the violin is brighter here, sweeping majestically as it rises through a background of thrumming ambience. The EP's final track, "The Blessing They Have Yet to Honor," is a luminous piece, with the delicacy of the violin offset by otherworldly electricity.

Strother has carved out a very special field for himself, a depiction of nuanced sensations too often overlooked in our noisy world. Through the vehicle and vision of his violin, he creates sonic haiku that allow us to experience the finer emotional colorings that, although sometimes challenging, infuse life with richness.

Track Listing: Un Cafecito con Mi Amor; The End of Hope; One Sad Bus Ride; Elegy for Newtown; 2296; Luminoso; The Blessing They Have Yet to Honor.

Personnel: David Strother: electric five-string violin.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "All L.A. Band" CD/LP/Track Review All L.A. Band
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "The Art of the Improv Trio Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Art of the Improv Trio Volume 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Dawg Yawp" CD/LP/Track Review Dawg Yawp
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Back Home" CD/LP/Track Review Back Home
by Mark F. Turner
Published: May 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!