Put quite simply, Blood & Bone is both the sound of a broken heart laid bare and the sonic summation of a journey toward its reconstruction. It's an album informed by the gravitas of naked truth, finding vocalist Joanna Wallfisch creating and delivering a singular blend of poise, pain, and passion with startling clarity.
As with any path to discovery or healing, there are mixed emotions to be found along the way here. On the album's tied-together bookends"The Ship" and "Blood And Bone"inspiration is born through the acknowledgement that the strewn wreckage of heartbreak can be pieced together; in "The Shadow Of Your Ghost," Wallfisch's painful trip down a relationship's memory lane (and its aftermath) proves wince-worthy in its emotional translucence; self-pity and in absentia conversational reflection presents with the ring of sad truth on the tearful "Anymore"; and the uplifting "Bo Ba Bo" provides a needed dose of hope, strength, and perspective that pushes back in the face of so much uncertainty surrounding it.
While Wallfisch would certainly have been artistically justified had she decided to make such a tremendously personal statement on her own, she chose instead to invite collaboration and fellowship. In doing so, her intentions are amplified and her pure-toned voice is given a raised platform to stand upon. Jesse Elderher co-producer and the album's man-of-many-keyboardscalls to the gleam and the gloaming, drummer Kenneth Salters proves skilled at playing things even-keeled and providing stark percussive thoughts, bassist Pablo Menares solidifies all of the settings he inhabits, and several others shade their guest appearances with various emotional tones. But all join in solidarity with Wallfisch to help produce musical beauty of a many-colored sort that speaks to straight to the human condition.
Whether coasting over The Solar String Quartet's pastoral bed while chewing on the persistence of memory during "Summer Solstice," taking a lighthearted stroll through the radio-friendly "Runaway Child," riding a countrified road on "I'm A Traveler," or exploring the fear and vulnerability that come with love in "The Truth," Wallfisch manages to draw a mirror to herself while also allowing all of us to witness the reflections it produces. In Blood & Bone, everything is revealed.
The Ship; Road Trip; The Shadow Of Your Ghost; Dandelions; Anymore; Lullaby Girl; Summer Solstice;
Bo; Choices; Solitude In A Song; Runaway Child; The Truth; I'm A Traveler; Blood And Bone.
Released February 1st, 2018
Sea Gardens Publishing, ASCAP.
All songs written and arranged by Joanna Wallfisch
Produced by Joanna Wallfisch
Co-produced by Jesse Elder
Joanna Wallfisch - vocals, flute, keys, ukulele
Jesse Elder - piano, keys, organ, rhodes
Pablo Menares - bass
Kenneth Salters - drums
Elias Meister - guitar
Jared Engel - bango
Wayne Tucker - flugel horn, trumpet
The Solar String Quartet:
Tomoko Omura - violin, Leonor Falcon - violin, Allyson Clare - viola, Brian Sanders - cello
The Songbound Children's Choir, Mumbai (track BO BA BO)
Recorded at The Bunker Studios, Brooklyn, Sep 2016
Mixed by Todd Carder, Mastered by Alex De Turk
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.
African Jazz Beyond Jazz Big Band Blues Brazilian / Bossa Nova / Samba Classical / Chamber Dixieland / New Orleans / Swing Electronica Free Improv / Avant-Garde Fringes of Jazz Funk / Groove / Acid Jazz Fusion / Progressive Rock Hot Jazz / Gypsy Jazz Jam Band Latin Lounge / Exotica Modern Jazz R&B / Soul Straight-ahead (Bop, Hard bop, Cool) Vocal