Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Recording: Peggy Lee Octet

Artist: Peggy Lee Octet

Song: two unknown pieces*

Recorded at Array Space, September 16, 2017.

Peggy Lee Octet - unknown #1

Peggy Lee Octet - unknown #2

I have seen Vancouverite Peggy Lee's intense improvised virtuosity as a solo performer, but didn't know as much about her work as a composer and ensemble leader, something I intended to rectify in checking out this group filled with West Coast heavyweights. (I dug the the slightly-idiosyncratic instrumentation, like having an electric bass and a double bass in the same group.) The whole ensemble included Meredith Bates (violin), Kevin Elaschuk (trumpet), Chris Gestrin (piano), Ron Samworth (guitar), Torsten Müller (double bass), André Lachance (electric bass), and Dylan Van Der Schyff (drums) — I knew some of them by reputation, and just watching the others gave a quick indication of the calibre of musicianship here.

Originally conceived as a sort of "imaginary soundtrack" ensemble, the group was celebrating their recent Tell Tale album, which was first conceived a few years back as a project called "Film in Music". More than the sort of sweeping widescreen-evoking sounds that often get tagged as "cinematic", the connection here was more narrative, with each instrument acting as a character, and getting its own share of improvised monologues and pared-down conversations alongside the full-group sections.

* Does anyone know the titles to these sections? Please leave a comment!

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