Jessica Lurie: Drive & Licorice & Smoke

Celeste Sunderland By

Sign in to view read count

The Tiptons

Jessica Lurie
Licorice & Smoke

The Tiptons, that notorious, all-female saxophone quartet from Seattle, have a tremendous amount of fun playing together. Throw on any of the group's albums, released by their former band The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet (named for a woman saxophonist/pianist who lived as a man for 50 years), or their new disc Drive and the good times come pouring out of the speakers.

Their brand of bliss is not the fluffy type though. No, it's the kind of joy that burrows through the floorboards, on the coattails of Toni Stone's baritone, Tina Richerson's tenor, Jessica Lurie's tenor and alto and Amy Denio's alto. Denio's firm, sultry vocals touch on a mix of fado ache and Balkan desire on "Zemrude ; and Elizabeth Pupo-Walker's percussion creates an alternate atmosphere on the down-tempo waltz of "Ro and the Latin sway of "Hands Down . The title track is wild yet gentle and "Bye, Hoolie gyrates with a gypsy flair highlighted by the long quivers of Denio's melismatic vocals.

Saxophone solos are saturated with substance, but the starring detail, expertly portrayed on Drive, is The Tipton's ability to compose and bring to fruition, truly original and compelling music with each other.

Another album recently released that lingers among the upper echelon of originality is Jessica Lurie's new solo disc Licorice & Smoke. Despite the charming "Ba-Di-Ya-Da-Di singing that begin "Ha-Ha the first track, the disc starts out sounding merely like a sophisticated folk-rock venture. But before too long, the saxophonist meanders into rather chaotic madness, before plunging into total fearless abandon. Her own sax lines, alternating between languorously soothing and cataclysmic, are aided by the oft wicked electric and lapsteel guitar solos of Nels Cline, reaching a peak during "Strong Coffee .

Dan Cantrell offers puckish European glamour with his accordion, contributing to the exceptionally varied landscape. Witness the dusty twang of "Up From The Bottom Of A Well , the arid psychedelia of "Patzer , and the dirty guitar/saxophone entanglements of "Baby Yaga's Seven League Boots .

Tracks and Personnel


Tracks: Alma; Zemrude; SnoDog; Ro; Beppo's; Drive; Hands Down; 12 Days; Bye, Hoolie; Gemini Rising.

Personnel: Toni Stone: baritone sax; Tina Richerson: tenor sax; Jessica Lurie: tenor and alto sax; Amy Denio: alto sax.

Licorice & Smoke

Tracks: Ha-Ha; 70% Bittersweet; Up From The Bottom of the Well; The Pace That You Come From; Mexico; Solitaria; Patzer; Strong Coffee; Kroz Prozor; Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby; Southeastern Drive; Baba Yaga's Seven League Boots.

Personnel: Jessica Lurie: tenor and alto sax; Nels Cline: guitar; Dan Cantrell: accordion.


More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Leonard Cohen and His Legacy" Multiple Reviews Leonard Cohen and His Legacy
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Three from Henry Kaiser on Balance Point Acoustics" Multiple Reviews Three from Henry Kaiser on Balance Point Acoustics
by John Eyles
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad" Multiple Reviews Badbadnotgood Is Truly Goodgoodnotbad
by Dave Wayne
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition" Multiple Reviews NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!