Pete Lee: The Velvet RageBy
The music presented here, however, speaks volumes and eloquently too. The robust electric fusion of the opener, "Writer's Block" belies Lee's ability to compose exquisitely delicate string arrangements such as the title track, sumptuously embellished by The Amika Strings. By sharp contrast, "Edinburgh" is a positive powerhouse of energy segueing seamlessly into "The Mirror Stage" where the downshift in pace is underpinned by a solid rhythmic pulse propelled by Huw Foster's bass guitar, Ali Thynne's drums and Lee's electric piano. Bookended by strings, "Dependency" is a showcase for Josh Arcoleo's fine tenor work. The album concludes with "Stavanger" which slowly builds from a pastoral setting to a crescendo, finally subsiding with delicate strings and piano and featuring Simmy Singh on violin.
The Velvet Rage is unequivocally excellent, sporting twists and turns in mood and sensitivity. The strings are utilised with discretion and don't impinge on the jazz rock tracks which is a good thing. Lee clearly appreciates and understands the importance of context. Lee's keyboard virtuosity is matched by his compositional skills and this album is testament to that.
Writer's Block; The Velvet Rage; Edinburgh;The Mirror Stage; Dependency; Betty F; Stavanger.
Pete Lee: piano, Rhodes, synthesizer; Josh Arcoleo: tenor saxophone; Alex Munk: guitar; Huw Foster: bass guitar; Ali Thynne: drums plus The Amika Strings: Laura Senior, Rich Jones (1-7), Simmy Singh (7): violin; Lucy Nolan: viola; Peggy Nolan: cello.
Title: The Velvet Rage | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Ubuntu Music