14

Busnoys: Weaving The Spell

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Sometimes the world is easy to understand. Mostly, it's a puzzle. Take magic, for example—how does that work? Ask Busnoys, a vibes/bass guitar/drums trio from Bristol in England's West Country. The band seems to have at least some insight into the workings of magic. Its third album, Weaving The Spell, is full of relaxed, spacious, charms that draw the listener into the band's unique and lovely sound world.

Much of the music on Weaving The Spell—composed by bandleader and vibes player Martin Pyne—is inspired by stories and legends such as Homer's Odyssey ("Nocturne") and Arthurian legend ("Weaving The Spell"). Pyne acknowledges comparisons between Busnoys and Nordic jazz artists, but while the Bristol band shares the spaciousness and calm of much of the Nordic sound its own music feels much warmer, more intimate and somehow more comforting.

"Shadow Dance" is a fine example of this mix of space and warmth, bass guitarist/producer Jeff Spencer and drummer Trevor Davies displaying admirable economy while Pyne's ringing vibes hold the attention with an immediately engaging melody. "Barr Line"—named for ex-Busnoys bass guitarist and Weaving The Spell recording engineer Jim Barr—ups the energy quotient and the tempo while "Making The Point" shows Pyne in uncharacteristically assertive mood, his vibes given a harder, more staccato, tone. Pyne adds occasional electronics to the sound, but does so sparingly and sensitively—"Barr Line" and the edgy "Nocturne" are the tunes that benefit most from such additions.

Busnoys' calmness is exemplified by the exquisite "The Education Of Little Tree," with Pyne's delicate, sweet, melody underpinned by Spencer and Davies' perfectly-judged rhythms. On "Weaving The Spell" the trio is joined by violinist and vocalist Gina Griffin—the result is a song that mixes its surface beauty with undercurrents of something more mysterious and mythical.

Weaving The Spell, like previous album By Tapering Torchlight (Tall Guy Records, 2012), closes with its sole cover version. This time its Bill Carey and Carl Fischer's classic "You've Changed," a solo performance from Pyne filled with sustained notes and strong on melody.

The title of this gorgeous and inventive recordings is rather inaccurate. Busnoys weaves many spells on Weaving The Spell, each one a masterclass in the creation of atmospheric musical imagery. If A Midsummer Night's Dream ever needs a new soundtrack, Busnoys might be the band to deliver it.

Track Listing: Walking To Himmelvanger; Making The Point; Weaving The Spell; Shadow Dance; Barr Line; The Education Of Little Tree; Nocturne; You've Changed.

Personnel: Martin Pyne: vibraphone, electronics; Jeff Spencer: bass guitar; Trevor Davies: drums; Gina Griffin: violin, vocals (3).

Title: Weaving The Spell | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Tall Guy Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Two Of A Kind" CD/LP/Track Review Two Of A Kind
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Provenance" CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Happy Juice" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Juice
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 31, 2017
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor