With these two recent albums, one solo piano, another an ensemble project, Keyna Wilkins shows something of her style and musical imagination.
“Playing double bass and electric bass, Elsen Price invites us to join him as he rides the rivers, enters the woods, explores luminescent caverns and encounters freakish bees (buzzing included) in what could easily be categorised as eight mini-suites, each of three movements.”
In a program of jazz, blues, a touch of hillbilly bluegrass and a dash of gospel, Dianne Cripps shared some of her experiences growing up in the South, regaling the audience with stories and explaining why particular songs were special to her.
“I wanted Butchers Brew Bar to be in Dulwich Hill as I’d been living here for 20 years and while I loved the area, there was very little to do here at night.”
“[Elysian Fields’] aim of creating a beautiful recording has well and truly been achieved, and once our lives return to some semblance of normality following the emergence of the virus that has shaken the world, ‘Fika’ will indeed bring people together.”
“With everything that’s going on in the world right now, I want my show to provide a little comfort, to help people feel good. I want to share that southern comfort with the audience.”
But of course, this is a band overflowing with imaginative musicians. Jenny Eriksson’s electric viola da gamba is the anchor around which the good ship Elysian Fields sails. She was clearly enjoying herself onstage, relaxed and on fire.
“I like to sing songs that have elements of politics, social condition, environmental issues, generally songs that reflect the human condition.”
People say of Bill Frisell that he reinvented the way people think about the electric guitar. That’s possibly an understatement.
Elysian Fields is a seamless combination of old and new, composed and improvised, experimental and planned, intuitive and calculated. The result is like a thick winter blanket: warm and beautiful.