SCHWANN Spectrum


Love Not Love Lust Not Lust

Kitty Brazelton, vocals, piano;
Phillip Johnston, alto & soprano saxophones;
Lydia Van Dreel, French horn;
Chris Washburne, trombone, tuba; Elizabeth Panzer, harp;
Matt Turner; cello; Hui Cox, electric guitar;
Roland S. Wilson, Jeff Song, Keith Lambeth, electric bass;
Dane Richeson, drums, percussion; Todd Turkisher, tambourine

BUZZ-Records ZZ 76005

In the liner notes to her sophomore Dadadah release, vocalist-songwriter-bandleader Kitty Brazelton describes the fare of her experimental seven-to-nine piece orchestra as musical cinema, where her tunes are illustrated "by exploding [their] form with instrumental reactions." It's an apt depiction of this compelling disc where pop-rock and improv jazz collide/commingle/congeal, where beauty and ferocity restlessly reside in close proximity and where contrariness (note the CD title) creates a jarring freshness like two clashing weather fronts prompting thunder and lightning yet ultimately delivering downpours of bracing rain.

Brazelton writes complex compositions that are rooted in pop catchiness. So a tune like the gripping "Soul Kiss" has a melodic center and rhythmic drive, especially in the horn--funk chorus, but also includes a curving song structure that allows plenty of room for her band to stretch. Likewise on Beauty Wild and Curious," which is buoyed by a turbulent rhythmic undergirding, the song's flow is suspended for avant jazz--infused untamed outbursts and gentle musings. And for the CD's 19-minute finale, Brazelton leads her ensemble through the seven-part suite "From Her Story" which moves through a range of musical moods from a light madrigal to a haunting bass interlude.

Then there are the numbers that operate within the basic pop song format but also include unusually strong instrumental breaks. "You're in Love" gets sliced by Matt Turner's shivery arco cello and Hui Cox's soul-shaking electric guitar; the relaxed, lyrical "Around You" features moving French horn support from Lydia Van Dreel, and the fast-paced rocker "Waitin' For Ya Baby" howls with Phillip Johnston's alto saxophone exclamations.

While the CD offers brilliant sonic palettes (a screeching cello meets an angelic harp; an angst-y electric guitar coexists with gorgeous alto sax-trombone-French horn harmonies), Love Not Love Lust Not Lust ultimately succeeds on Brazelton's passionate vocals and her edgy, yearning delivery which give the disc its urgency and allure.

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"Love Not Love Lust Not Lust"

Kitty Brazelton, Bandleader

large electro-acoustic ensembles

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