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Pyeng Threadgill: Head Full of Hair, Heart Full of Song

Angelo Leonardi By

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Pyeng Threadgill ha debuttato nel 2004 con un originale reinterpretazione del repertorio di Robert Johnson (Sweet Home: Pyeng Threadgill Sings Robert Johnson —Random Chance Records) e ha proseguito con un paio di dischi confermando l'accattivante sintesi di blues rurale, R&B, neo soul e sprazzi di rock. Era quasi un decennio che non incideva a suo nome (ricordiamo la collaborazione col pianista Marc Cary nel tributo ad Abbey Lincoln) e da qualche settimana ha pubblicato questo concept album in cui canta e rievoca le sue radici familiari (come noto, figlia del grande sassofonista e innovatore afro-americano Henry Threadgill e della danzatrice-coreografa Christina Jones). Nel contempo celebra la bellezza delle donne africane e afro-americane, contrapposta ai modelli trasmessi dalla cultura di massa. Pyeng conferma le sue molte doti: è autrice, nei testi e nella musica, di tutti i brani tranne un paio e partecipa agli arrangiamenti.

Rispetto al rigore e alla concentrazione dimostrati in quel debutto il clima è variopinto e in qualche caso più leggero: "Black Magic," "Loose Change in My Shoe" e "Hearth Beatin' Fast" sono temi soul molto belli che potrebbero entrare nel repertorio di Alicia Keys o Macy Gray. Le calde e aggraziate interpretazioni di Pyeng ne esaltano le nuances melodiche e auguriamo loro ampio successo. Non mancano però momenti intensi come l'interpretazione di "Trav'lin All Alone" che riprende le atmosfere torride del blues rurale o il jazzistico "Secret Parade," che si snoda su una base iterativa di chitarra.

Un album riuscito, che la voce luminosa della cantante e il lavoro dei suoi partner (in particolare il chitarrista John Shannon) rendono molto piacevole.

Track Listing: Cotton Candy; Head Full of Air, Heath Full of Song; Black Magic; Pearlie; Drums Are Here to Save You Now; Loose Change In My Shoe; Four Hours; I Went to the Water; Little Creatures; Jacaranda City; Missing Mississippi; Hearth Beatin’ Fast; Trav’lin All Alone; Secret Parade; Drums Are Here to Save You Reprise; That’s All.

Personnel: Pyeng Threadgill: vocals, Wurlitzer; John Shannon: electric & acoustic guitar; Derek Nievergelt: electric & upright bass; Tyler Wood: clavinet/B3 organ, piano; Kassa Overall: drums. Derek Nievergelt: vocals; Amma What: vocals; Amma What, Nhumi Threadgill, Luna Starr Threadgill-Moderbacher, Mieke Hutt-Nievergelt: vocals.

Title: Head Full of Hair, Heart Full of Song | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: New Porch Music

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