The Press, Feb 2011
15 Feb 2011
A REVIEW shouldn’t start by quoting a rival assessment, but never mind – “Brilliant, the bee’s knees” is the view of Robert Wyatt, who knows all about music’s more remote shores.
Singer-songwriter Gillespie combines Bob Dylan’s laidback delivery and opaque poetry with strident touches of Joni Mitchell, throws in Arabic-infused jazz, thanks to her collaboration with beautifully blustering saxophonist Atzmon, and also manages a spot of beat poetry and a flurry of rap.
Is this jazz, folk or whatever? When music is this good, this lyrical, this unusually angry and politically strident, we should abandon attempts at classification. The opening title track provides a winning introduction to an album of too many highlights to mention, but those to cherish include Lucifer’s High Chair, Cinematic Nectar (with its touches of Kurt Weill), the politically charged How The West Was Won and The Bolsheviks And The Alamo, all angry defiance meets poppy chorus. Perhaps there is almost too much in Gillespie’s music mixer – but if we hear anything finer this year, it will be a miracle.