May 30 2016
What makes the Isis Giraldo music adaptation of her father’s poetry so captivating can be traced to her specific delivery of this kaleidoscopic display of sound. More often than not, when a musician puts a wide spectrum of elements and influences into play, the resulting motion is one that sweeps the listener away on a journey. But with Padre, the pianist & composer develops an immersive experience, one where the ear is locked in place, and gets drowned in imagery while in that stationary position… not unlike watching a movie while melting into a comfy theater seat. In this instance, the movie is framed by straight-ahead and free jazz, Latin rhythms, gospel harmonies, pop music confections, rock music edges, and all the other, barely perceptible influences that, in combination, create the dramatic and resonant effect that is the linchpin of the cinematic experience.
Arguably, the representative piece of the album is a suite titled simply “I, II, III.” Actually, I can’t even confirm that it is, in fact, intended to behave as a suite. And yet, the way Giraldo constructs the flow and bonds from one part to the next and back again, the three consecutive tracks behave as a cohesive unit. Furthermore, the way she lets loose with both compositions and ensemble direction adds further evidence to the existence of a story arc within the confines of the greater album vision. “I” begins with a contemplative section that suddenly breaks from its reveries and shouts its thoughts to the skies. This, in turns, leads to the voices of “II” floating in an ambient drone before building up to the space-y melodic effects of one of Radiohead’s dreamier tunes. And how that leads into the swooning “III,” which, in turn, implodes from its own intensity, a sharp flame burning bright before fading out in embers… that’s the kind of lyrical scene-change that’s got all the ingredients for sonic addiction.
“Tus Ojos” is a comforting whisper and “Tormento” is perhaps a worry that not everything will be alright, but in the context of the recording, their straight-forward delivery shows that the emotional impact of these songs is attributable to more than just the dizzying flight pattern changes of soaring melodies. On the other hand, it’s hard not to fall hard for the album’s more eccentric tunes, like “Improvisation” and its parade march through non-linear space or “Trees” and the way it makes a torrential downpour of rhythm and warped melodic fragments as welcoming as a gentle mist on a hot day.
These are just a few examples of the music on this truly enchanting album.
Your album personnel: Isis Giraldo (piano, vocals), Ruben Dario Giraldo (poems), Jane Chan (cello), Simon Millerd (trumpet), Mike Bjella (clarinet, sax), Kai Basanta (drums), Ben Dwyer (bass) and Ryan Brower, Felicity Williams, Thom Gill, Ghislain Aucoin, Robin Dann (voices).
This Self-Produced album was released in 2015.
Listen to more album tracks on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Montreal, Quebec scene.