Sounds from the Big House
Peggy Lee, cello
Second release from the extraordinary ensemble. Lee’s compositions kick, simmer and sing, and confirm her as a major talent of what Muhal Richard Abrams called contemporary creative music. The seamless improvisations which colored the first recording so vividly and which erased the lines dividing inside and out playing are here too. This is a must for those that enjoyed the debut (also on SPOOL)
Produced by Peggy Lee and Shawn Pierce. Recorded and mixed at the Factory, Vancouver, B.C., (April 2002) by Shawn Pierce for Maximum Music.
What the critics are saying:
"Peggy Lee's Big House is a quirky place. For the most part, the free thinking Vancouver cellist (...) writes wistful, gentle swaying melodies coloured by instrumental ruminations and electronic effects from the musicians in her band. She keeps the players, seven in all, under close control; they seem for a split-second before they actually play anything, which makes for a measured and textured sort of music that takes on a certain melodrama only when its rhythms harden. Lee's own cello is often subordinate to the ensemble as a whole; Brad Turner's slippery trumpet and Tony Wilson's multifarious guitar are at least as prominent. When Lee does emerge, however, she's passionate but discreet, no more inclined to grand flourishes as a soloist than as a composer."
—Mark Miller, The Globe & Mail
"...the real point is that if this is avant-garde jazz music , it's the kind of avant-garde jazz music anyone can love. Lee can play "out" with the best of them, and since she's one of the world's finest improvising cellists, she often does. But as a bandleader, she's more concerned with striking a balance between sonic exploration and a more traditional melodic approach, and to that end she has constructed a group that can do anything. ... Passionate virtuosity and committed versatility like this are hard to come by, but if you've got this CD you'll always have some close at hand."
"The Vancouver-based cellist leads a sextet through an edgy program navigating a course between 21st century jazz and avant-garde chamber music on Sounds From the Big House. The orchestrations are superb, exploring a panoply of timbres, moods and rhythmic feels....
—Bill Barton, Coda