Home » Jazz Articles » Merry Peers: Merry Peers

3
Album Review

Merry Peers: Merry Peers

By

Sign in to view read count
Merry Peers: Merry Peers
The collective name under which Brad Henkel and Yoshiko Klein operate suggests that the duo's debut release is a record filled with jolly songs about inconsequential things (or that it's a tribute to the Grand Slam winning French tennis professional, Mary Pierce). Whether such intentions are deliberate or not, it takes only a few seconds of "Glad We Did" to make it clear that jollity is thin on the ground, even if some sections of these two lengthy compositions might raise a wry smile. What there is in abundance is invention, imagination and atmosphere.

"Glad We Did" shifts between industrial noise, unsettling and often indecipherable spoken word (Henkel's voice is electronically altered), ambient passages, spooky-yet-plaintive electronic wails and even a cheery section that's reminiscent of the children's TV show, The Clangers—an unlikely influence on Merry Peers, but still loved by reviewers of a certain age.

"You Say Me" is structured in a similar way to the first track. Opening with a droning, church organ-like sound, it overlays with frenetic bird calls before moving, via a few seconds of quiet monophony, into a far more intense section—a wall of sound that lifts in volume and strength before gradually resolving. Once again, there are a few calm seconds before the sound rebuilds in volume and intensity. "You Say Me" ends with the sound of the wind, then all is quiet.

There are times on Merry Peers when the music creates a sense of reverie, others when it sits quietly in the background and yet others when it leaps to the forefront and demands full attention. Its unpredictable and surprising nature ensures that it rarely allows the attention to wander. In a nod to music's commercial past Merry Peers is available on cassette as well as download.

Track Listing

Glad We Did; You Say Me.

Personnel

Brad Henkel: trumpet, voice, effects; Yoshiko Klein: synthesizer.

Album information

Title: Merry Peers | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Slip Imprint


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.