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The album liners disclose that 2° 'etage improvises with the panache of storytellers, painters and poets. Starkly expressive, the program is sculpted with a mindset that parlays the old adage, "let the chips fall where they may," largely framed on airy dialogues, minimalism and unorthodox soundscapes. They work from a platform, consisting of fractured passages and take their time unraveling themes other than spots where eminent drummer Gerry Hemingway interjects rumbling fills into a broad plane of free-flowing exchanges.
"The Ghost Train" is predominately steered by trumpeter and bugler Jean-Luc Cappozzo. With his multiphonics and breathy intonations amid other curiously interesting manipulations of air, he conjures a bewildering set of circumstances. Hemingway lightly peppers the asymmetrical pace via his use of brushes, while pianist Christine Wodrascka's work on this track is quite subtle. The trio's tactics are based on gradually ascending storylines, executed with splintered flows and numerous noise-shaping components. As the piece evolves, Cappozzo's scratchy phrasings may signal that a perfectly fine situation has gone terribly wrong. Hence, the musicians finalize matters with a slowly moving burnout. Ultimately, the listener needs to approach this recording with an open mind as the artists propogate a 360-degree panorama of mood-altering opuses.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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