301

Pyeng Threadgill: Of The Air

Francis Lo Kee By

Sign in to view read count
Pyeng Threadgill: Of The Air Of the Air, an album of original music that cuts a broad stylistic swath, is focused and honest, traveling through various contexts organically. There are several reasons for the honest coherence of this music. The CD is recorded in analog with a core group of musicians, a working band rather than a collection of heavy-hitters or hired guns. Lisa Mezzacapa (bass), Shelly Doty (guitar) and Micha Patri (drums) give it up to tunes that center around Threadgill's voice and imaginative lyrics, which can be thoughtful, playful or sardonic.

Labelling this music jazz vocals would be limiting, yet jazz aesthetics (is there such a thing?) sow the seed of much of this music. The jazz impetus is given away by the vocal interaction with the band, Threadgill's bluesy phrasing, swinging drums, rich acoustic bass, and original lyrics on tunes like "Ambrosia and Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz. Surely "Jitterbug Waltz has been covered by hundreds if not thousands of artists, yet Threadgill's version has a fresh and joyous swing to it that's irresistible. "Power Trip uses a saxophone choir and "Wishing Well uses overdubbed cellos (played by Dana Leong) to orchestrate the music and frame the voice in yet another setting that calls for attention.

The playful, clever words of "It's Late hit you as they peek out from the grooving Latin rhythm section with a slightly jesting effect. "Inner Lining has an infectious groove, but it never overpowers the lyrics, and in fact the song ends with just voice. Threadgills deliverys the words in a gentle but powerful fashion, haunting into the silence before the next track. "Close to Me is sweetly swaying, with acoustic bass driving the bottom, a marimba adding rhythmic snap, and a sustained guitar that floats in and around the voice and the other instruments. Of The Air has an atmosphere of peaceful confidence, evidenced when Threadgill sings in "Caterpillar Crossing, "watch the dreaming that you've done materialize, inch by inch, row by row. These legs are unstoppable. See this garden, watch it grow.


Track Listing: Wishing Well; It's Late; Before Day; Inner Lining; Caterpillar Crossing; Close To Me; Power Trip; It's A Dream; Ambrosia; Jitterbug Waltz.

Personnel: Pyeng Threadgill: lead vocals; Lisa Mezzacappa: bass; Shelly Doty: guitar; Micha Patri: drums; Dana Leong: cello; Dimitri Moderbacher: sax and clarinet; Ryan Scott: guitar; Nickolai Moderbacher: backing vocals; Jason Levis: marimba; Ward Spangler: castanets; Myra Melford: harmonium.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Random Chance Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Illuminations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Need to Bring Out Love" CD/LP/Track Review Need to Bring Out Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2016
Read "Sol Boricua" CD/LP/Track Review Sol Boricua
by James Nadal
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Gin Fizz Fandango" CD/LP/Track Review Gin Fizz Fandango
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!