1

Firey String Sistas!: That's What She Said...

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
The innovative and versatile cellist Nioka Workman leads the, New York based, dynamic ensemble Firey String Sistas, on the group's captivating sophomore album. The delightful That's What She Said... consists of eight originals that explore various styles with a jazzy sensibility and thematically cohesive manner.

The tracks range from the soulful to the stately veering occasionally into Latin territory. "Adversidad" is a wistful, passionate melody that violinist Marlene Rice plays over the hypnotic, sashaying beats of the band. Workman bows her strings with facility and grace endowing the music with a melancholic romanticism. Pianist Mala Waldron follows with a refreshingly crisp and equally lyrical solo before Rice returns to the tune's head.

Rice's lilting phrases and her colleagues' loosely swinging rhythms create a melodic substrate for Waldron honeyed vocals on the emotive "Shine." The thumping cadence of bass and drum punctuate Rice's agile and stimulating flights of fancy that embrace Waldron's rich, warm voice.

Waldron's equally expressive pianism shines on the cinematic "Fantasy." The classically influenced composition features, at its core, Warldron's cascading lines and shimmering tones. Rice and Workman alternate intricate and mellifluous soliloquies over drummer Karina Colis' splashing cymbals and bassist Melissa Slocum evocative reverberating refrains.

On the whimsical "T'Ainchy Blues" Slocum takes center stage with a playful improvisation that dances around Colis' soft beats. The latter takes her turn in the spotlight with thrillingly thunderous polyrhythms. The song also showcases Rice's ardent and lithe acrobatics and Workman's superbly eloquent extemporization.

There are rare moments where the momentum slacks such as on the overly syrupy "Castles in the Sky." The disc, however, closes on a high note with the rousing and boppish "To the Holy Land." The elegant and stirring piece highlights the seamless camaraderie among the quintet members as each individual instrumental statement overlaps with another forming a highly satisfying and textured performance.

That's What She Said... is a charming and delectable work by five supremely talented musicians. It is simultaneously accessible and sophisticated, poignant and erudite and, as such, should have a wide appeal. It certainly whets the appetite for more to come from this exceptional collective.

Track Listing: Shine; Ellie; Adversidad; T'Ainchy Blues; Fantasy; Miss Lady; Castle In The Sky; To The Holy Land.

Personnel: Nioka Workman: cello; Marlene Rice: violin; Mala Waldron: piano, vocals; Melissa Slocum: bass; Karina Colis: drums.

Title: That's What She Said... | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds" CD/LP/Track Review Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Eternally Even" CD/LP/Track Review Eternally Even
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "The Chase" CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Going North" CD/LP/Track Review Going North
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "No Favorites!" CD/LP/Track Review No Favorites!
by Troy Collins
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by John Kelman
Published: October 13, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.