Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Pete Lee: The Velvet Rage

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
The title of pianist and composer Pete Lee's debut album derives from Alan Downs's book The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World. Perhaps by way of explanation, Lee has added a short word on the inside cover of the CD digipak; "I mean for this album to be the soundtrack to my personal celebration; accepting and learning to understand my place on Earth, enjoying this very moment, and the next, and the next." He concludes this line with the pithy recommendation to "Listen out for the Velvet and the Rage."

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.

Track Listing: Writer's Block; The Velvet Rage; Edinburgh;The Mirror Stage; Dependency; Betty F; Stavanger.

Personnel: 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

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019