Kittry Brazelton, voice and piano; Phillip Johnston, alto and soprano saxophones; Lydia Van Dreel, french horn; Chris Washburne, trombone, tuba; Ellizabeth Panzer, harp; Matt Turner, cello; Hui Cox, electric guitar; Roland S. Wilson, electric bass; Jeff Song, electric bass; Keith Lambeth, electric bass; Dane Richeson, drums and percussion; Todd Turkisher, tambourine
Kitty Brazelton's band DADADAH is a giant, ambitious ensemble that crosses genres as easily as it does instrumentation. Brazelton, steeped in the rock tradition of the last 30 years, has certainly dismissed the subtleties and nuances of Billie and Ella, but Brazelton is after a different sort of subtly. The nuances become apparent in connection with her dense compositions and orchestrations.
Her compositions on this album are extravagant. With four of the eight rock-based compositions stretching beyond eight minutes, Brazelton embodies the essence of development ñ taking her fairly simple, (yet beautiful) songs and leading them through section after section, proving, once again, the underestimated importance of composition in the Jazz tradition.
Matt Turner opens the album with a funky and very energetic cello line which brings the album immediately to your attention as something different. Brazelton's orchestrations bring to mind John Lurie's recently retired band Lounge Lizards. The album certainly reflects Lurie's use of chamber orchestrations mixed around Jazz experimentation and a heavy-handed rock attitude.
The horns are blaring and the drums are thumping, harp lines soar arpeggios and the cello plays delicate pizzicato lines. An over-amplified electric guitar will churn out a Zappa-like solo that abruptly will change to a merry-go-round rhythm or Jazz improvisations and dense orchestrations. This album seems to have it all.
Kitty Brazelton is not afraid of genres or styles. She, like so many great musicians today, is steeped in many conflicting traditions simultaneously, and that combination of "genres" becomes her own unique style.
by Stefan Zeniuk
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, October 2002 issue, all rights reserved