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Julie Tippetts / Martin Archer: Ghosts Of Gold

Glenn Astarita By

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British vocalist Julie Tippetts' teaming with eminent jazz-rock keyboardist Brian Auger dates back to the late 1960s, featuring her minor-classic covers of works by Bob Dylan and Donovan, among other little gems. Moving forward, she's become a prominent exponent of the European experimental circuit, largely enveloped within her homeland's free-jazz scene. With Ghosts Of Gold, she aligns with the always adventurous, avant-garde and free form artiste Martin Archer, here performing on an arsenal of keys, guitars, percussion instruments, woodwinds and other implements of the trade.

Archer composed the music between 2007 and 2008, followed by Tippetts poetic text overlays. In a loose sense, the program might be akin to a collection of bizarre fairytales treated with abstract musical treatments. Nonetheless, the album defies rigid classification, which is a good thing. Archer's quaint electronics, bells and a rhythmic heartbeat provide a fluid backdrop for Tippetts spoken word and offbeat scat maneuvers on "Moonshine," while in other regions of scope and sound, the duo ventures into space-rock territory amid ethereal overtones, dappled with the vocalist's bluesy verse and avant, thumb piano progressions.

Uncannily entertaining and intriguing, Archer adds a cinematic flavor to these pieces via his layered synth motifs and otherworldly treatments, but executes a free jazz sax-drenched vibe atop Tippetts' recitals during "Parchment Dust." The duo generates a consortium of polytonal sound-sculpting passages, coated with mood-evoking sentiment and endearing, dreamlike escapades. Continuous sparks of ingenuity serve as the underlying force throughout.


Track Listing: Moonshine; The Bear that Walks at Night; Metamorphic Rocking; Run Another Road; The Winging; The Brink; Parchment Dust; Rainsong; Daydreams & Candel-ligt; Tightrope; The Summons/Brittle Brinstone; The Ghostly Apparition.

Personnel: Julie Tippetts: voice, thumb pianos, seed pod shaker, balinese xylophone; Martin Archer: laptop, sopranino, alto and baritone saxophones, Bb and bass clarinets, recorders, keyboards, harmonium, violin, guitar, bass, drums, percussion.

Title: Ghosts Of Gold | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Discus-Music

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