SARAH WILSON – Trapeze Project

Brass Tonic

An anthropologist, puppet theatre music composer and trumpeter – turned songwriter in 2000 to fight the sorrow generated by an important loss – Sarah Wilson writes according to principles which, for her own admission, haven’t changed much from when she started, despite successive formal trainings. Being mostly constructed on rather graspable bass lines upon which equally clear contrapuntal activities occur, these tunes stand along the borders of jazz but are definitely more akin to proper songs – including the instrumentals. The accompanying performers do mean jazz, though: besides expert soloing, pianist Myra Melford, clarinettist Ben Goldberg, bassist Jerome Harris and drummer Scott Amendola give an invaluable contribution to the transparency of the structures, allowing the enjoyment of extensive stretches of aural respite accepted with a convinced nod even by a callous reviewer specialized in stuff from the extreme fringes of the world of sounds. On the contrary, Wilson’s voices – both the actual one and her trumpet’s – are unpretentious, gentle, slightly melancholic, always with an attentive look at the correct unfolding of concepts that an average listener can follow without any risk of tiredness. For good measure, she also performs a Joy Division cover (“Love Will Tear Us Apart”), an absolutely lovely rendition. Keep an eye on this deceptively frail woman: we still need this kind of modesty, and the bright quietness transpiring from this album (Wilson’s second after 2006’s Music For An Imaginary Play) is revitalizing.

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