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Wednesday, April 04, 2018

CD Review: Paula Rae-Gibson and Sam Leak - Permission

Paula Rae-Gibson (vocals, lyrics, also photography, filmography on CD cover) Sam Leak (piano)
(Review by Ann Alex).
‘O dear,’ I thought as I read on the insert that ‘ The two musicians have developed a synergetic approach to real-time composition’.  I even looked up ‘synergetic’ in the dictionary. I needn’t have worried as I loved this very unusual CD. The best way to describe it is: imagine a GASbook song with skilled lyrics but sung in a fragmented fashion, with lots of well-played, appropriate, piano coming between lines and words of song, deep unsettling chords, then scampering arpeggios, then sitar-like sounds from direct contact with the hammers. The piano was ‘prepared’ on some numbers, which means played unconventionally, touching bits not normally used. ‘ Melodic free jazz exploration’ is the phrase used on the insert to explain the music, which is a good description, although I don’t know how ‘free’ as the listener wonders about what happens in the editing process, if there is one.
The effect was certainly melodic, piano beautifully played, and Ms Rae-Gibson’s voice was sweet and deep by turns, with a pleasing nasal quality, very expressive, sensuous, with lyrics exploring the many aspects of love. For instance, I’ll Catch You When You Fall begins with an acapella love song, then the prepared piano clanky, falling, then sitar-like to the words ‘you touch me so deep’, and repeated riffs from the voice and piano, ending with lyrics ‘I’ll catch you when you fall, you’ll catch me when I fall.’ Full Blown Love plays with the idea in those lyrics, with the phrase constantly repeated, to high pitched fast tones from piano. There are 8 long tracks, and other titles are: Permission; Deepest Down; Rather Make Believe Than make Do; Second Best; Lovely Rain; Over Dark Waters.  
There is no biographical information with the CD, and the website quoted, www.33jazz.com appears to be where to go to buy the CD.
Ann Alex

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