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Nuove Musiche

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Album Review

The idea behind Sarah Pillow's Nuove Musiche was to take 17th century melodies and give them a jazz-rock treatment. Pillow sings the original lyrics, whether they be in English, Spanish, Italian, or French (an English translation is provided in the booklet). Musical background is provided by the jazz-rock outfit Brand X (Percy Jones, bass; John Goodsall, guitars; Frank Katz, drums; Marc Wagnon, keys), helped by guests Chris Speed (clarinet on one track) and Beverly Au (viola on one track). All tracks have been rearranged by Pillow, Wagnon, and Goodsall, keeping the melody and most of the chord progressions intact, but the incarnations this music takes are varied and quite surprising, including jazz-rock ("Usurpator Tiranno"), funk ("Exulta, Filia Sion"), jazz ballad ("Il Mio Cocente Ardore"), and classical crossover ("Orphée"). The album's unifying factor resides in Pillow's warm and delicate voice delivering these beautiful melodies from Purcell, Monteverdi, Caccini, and Dowland, which can't help but sound anachronistic. The stylistic shifts from one piece to another might puzzle some listeners and, the fact is, some experiments are not that conclusive. Overall, however, Nuove Musiche is an enjoyable attempt at revamping and introducing this repertoire to the jazz public. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Sarah Pillow's skills as a vocal interpreter make her equally at home in classical and jazz styles. Her early performance experiences came participating in festivals like the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, but she also had a solid technical education at the Chautauqua Institution in New York and at the Oberlin Conservatory. After moving to New York, she began performing with a variety of settings from shows with the New York Philharmonic to tributes to John Cage to sets at the Knitting Factory....
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Nuove Musiche, Sarah Pillow
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