Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Peggy Lee Band - Invitation

The release stream from Drip Audio is sparse. Over the course of the last few years, the Vancouver label has been putting out between one and four albums a year. In an era when labels and musicians seem to be flooding the market with every spec of sound they can set to tape, Drip Audio is an enviable example of no-filler curation. It's more, though, than a simple avoidance of filler; Drip Audio is the diamond standard: when they release albums, you make room in your year-end top ten list. 2012 example: The Peggy Lee Band's Invitation, an album brim-filled with musical grandeur of the highest order. It doesn't get better. For their fifth album (where have I been?) the group has assembled a deeply dynamic set of both gilded and crust-inhabited arrangements, effortlessly transitioning between jazz, orchestral and free improv motifs, all of it cohering blissfully. It's a marvelous set, really. The back-and-forth between major key jauntiness and loose instrumental unraveling on "Why Are You Yelling?"; the languid beauty of "Your Grace"; the dirty, meandering, crushed improvisations of "Not So Far" which twine and resurrect into an unlikely, casual grandness--the album's a miracle. In the post-election haze here in the US, this is something in which you can find true hope. I think I'm just going to turn off the lights and listen to The Peggy Lee Band for the rest of my life...

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