Thursday, March 30, 2017

Martin Speake & Faith Brackenbury - Zephyr (2017)

Coming from different musical backgrounds the Martin Speake and Faith Brackenbury duo bring a mix of folk, jazz, classical, indian, rock and much more to create a soundworld of at times beauty and others more raw and driving energy.

An unusual instrumental pairing of Speake's alto sax and violin/viola, played by Faith Brackenbury, this album is bursting with freely improvised lines weaving in and out of melody, harmony, discord and with influences of many varied genres of music. 

The strings often rhythmically supporting the alto's lyrical lines with double stopping or, as on the title track Zephyr, both instruments playing intimately, haltingly, softly drawing the listener in.

The album is framed by two structured pieces, the first O Pastor Animarum by Hildegaard von Bingen, 11th century composer, naturalist, writer and mystic that the duo then make their own. Then to finish Faith plays viola and sings on an improvised version of the traditional folk song Down By the Salley Gardens.

These particular tracks make this duo far more than a free improv recording. Zephyr is an album that will give the listener a flowing experience of these two musicians' spontaneous creativity and a taste of complexity and simplicity in one.

01. O Pastor Animarum 06:10
02. Zephyr 02:48
03. Entangled 02:56
04. The Other Hoedown 03:21
05. Finding You 03:52
06. Beautiful Night Raga 04:39
07. Droned Out 04:00
08. Yagapriya 03:13
09. Land Of Beauty 03:38
10. She And He 02:08
11. Down By The Salley Gardens 06:30