If audio releases were ships following one another and I was standing on the deck of Sasha Masakowski's debut recording, Wishes (Hypersoul, 2011), I don't think I could have seen as far away as needed to spy her follow-up Hildegard. Certainly not without a telescope. Like Wishes which Masakowski made with her ensemble, the Musical Playground, the artist inaugurates a new ensemble, Hildegard. The ensemble name is potent with meaning to the singer, whose middle name is Hildegard, and that in honor of the 12th Century German Abbess and mystic Hildegard von Bingen. These are lofty associations.
Where Masakowski's tendency on Wishes was "less is more," employing a smaller band with a more spare sound, she turns a full 180-degrees for Hildegard. Shimmering, electric, and layered, the pieces making up this present release are complex, out- of-the-box renderings that echo the art-rock movement of the 1970s and the electric jazz flavor of the same period. Masakowski melds a broad range of music and influences into this very forward-thinking electronic suite. There is much to admire here as the artist has not simply thought "outside-the-box" so much as stomp the box flat.
I was first exposed to jazz thanks to my Mother (stage name Tobey Castle) who was a professional singer with the Tommy Dorsey band back in the day. Mom sang to me all the time as a little girl, but it never occurred to me to pursue it professionally until I met my husband David
I was first exposed to jazz thanks to my Mother (stage name Tobey Castle) who was a professional singer with the Tommy Dorsey band back in the day. Mom sang to me all the time as a little girl, but it never occurred to me to pursue it professionally until I met my husband David. He encouraged me to become a songwriter and together as co-writers we have written material for two albums and an EP.
As The Brehms, we try to bring a beautiful ambience to any event, and we feel just as comfortable in situations where we are
background ambience, or pushing the energy in a large scale concert, and everything in between.