Multi-instrumentalist Neil Pyzer’s From the Bush to the Pridelands
is an eclectic, multi-faceted outing which truly charts its own course. The program of all original compositions draws influences from Indian music (most prominently), contemporary jazz, new age, and numerous “world music” genres. Each piece has its own set of sonic textures, but common threads that run throughout the program are Pyzer’s snaking, inquisitive soprano sax, background synth washes, and an infectious percussion groove. On some songs, counterpoint to the soprano sax lead is provided by Kamelesh Patel’s sitar or Beverley Skeete’s wordless, sometimes nasally/growly vocals. “Pedro” features lyrics written by Skeete.
It’s really a very interesting listening experience. Pyzer has succeeded in creating his own unique fusion of musical styles from around the world, especially India. It’s cleanly and expertly performed by an ensemble that comprehends Pyzer’s musical vision. From a jazz perspective, you won’t hear anything resembling swing, bebop, blues, or any of the other ingredients that typify the genre, but Pyzer’s constantly probing and improvising sax lines are clearly informed by the jazz tradition.