Jul 22 2014
A recent eMusic/Wondering Sound Jazz Pick that has really grown on me the more time I spend with it is La Sortie, the new album by the sextet Lo-Res. Dreamy, with occasional outbursts… qualities directly attributable to how wind instruments comprise three of the six slots, which gives the music an airy touch, as well as the ability to jack up the power on command. It’s those shifting tides of tempo and intensity that characterize the best traits of La Sortie.
Most notable is the deft way in which the compositions of flautist Belinda Woods establish that airy presence right from the start, weaving it indelibly into the melody so that even when the ensemble shifts from a floating motion to one with choppier waves, like it does on opening track “There’s a Tiger On the Run,” that initial infusion of tranquility colors the whole of the song… even when tranquility no longer suits as an effective descriptor of a particular passage.
“The Sisters of Mercy” and “The Elevator” also follow that pattern of serenity-outburst-serenity, with the latter’s intertwined melodic lines making it the standout album track. The way in which Woods, saxophonist Timothy Pledger and trumpeter Gemma Horbury entangle one another in their individual flight patterns, then suddenly break into a tight harmonic formation is as addictive as a song is likely to get.
A few of the compositions stray from the fold just far enough to lend the album some necessary differentiation. “The Goodnight Pharmaceutical Company” gives guitarist Diego Villalta the room to kick out some heat, and “Synthetic Strings” tethers itself to the catchy groove set down by bassist Ali Watts and drummer Daniel Brates.
But the album ends the way in which it began. Title-track “La Sortie” enters with a quiet grace and a pretty melody, and then just drifts across the dance floor until the final note is played.
Some seriously beautiful moments on this very enjoyable album.
Your album personnel: Belinda Woods (C & alto flutes, C-melody sax), Timothy Pledger (alto & tenor saxes, bass clarinet), Gemma Horbury (trumpet), Diego Villalta (guitar), Ali Watts (bass), and Daniel Brates (drums).
The album is Self-Produced.
Jazz from the Melbourne, Australia scene.