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Worlds Apart The Peggy Lee Band

Worlds Apart

The Peggy Lee Band

Peggy Lee

In the press

Off the Record

Marc Chénard, The Music Scene, no. 6, September 1, 2004

In the six years since the inception of her “band,” a sextet including her partner drummer Dylan van der Schyff, Vancouver cellist Peggy Lee has issued three recordings, all of which have been issued by the Canadian indie Spool Records. In this latest entry, she and her associates maintain the course first established in the initial release. In spite of a somewhat boisterous opening track, there is a basic thread of mellowness to the music of this nine-track, 52-minute side. While this band’s instrumentation of trumpet (Brad Turner), trombone (Jeremy Berkman), bass (André Lachance), cello, drums, and guitar (Tony Wilson) may appear very jazz-like, the compositions (all by Lee) are more folksy in nature, almost pastoral, as in the closing piece Lookout, which even conjures up a kind of Western prairie lands imagery. To wit, there are distinctive stylistic signatures, most notably the near consistent use of ostinatos and pedal points underpinning ensembles and solos alike, which was also very prevalent in previous albums. Of note throughout is the importance of the guitar, for it acts as the main axis (both harmonic and rhythmic) around which the other instruments revolve. Unlike your more typical jazz record, whose quality is measured by the strengths of its individual contributions, this one is more of an ensemble effort; what we have here is a group serving a leader’s personal musical vision, one that is not so much informed by jazz stylings, but rather by a range of more traditional music. In sum, this release (and its predecessors) may well appeal to the more average listener, at least in relation to most other titles on this label, which generally devotes itself to experimental kinds of music-making.

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