If I seem distracted or somehow self-absorbed these days, I apologize.
When I lose my place in our conversation, if I tap my foot while we’re speaking, if I interject something about your third eye or just bark out ABOUT THAT while we are in discussion of something, it’s not my fault.
It’s because I have listened to and absorbed into my bloodstream the album Yellow by Emma-Jean Thackray.
I currently have one foot in where we are and another foot in the word she has created. And I will only slightly apologize that I prefer to lean hard on the foot that is full of the funky kudzu she drops in the soil.
She: As Pitchfork reports…
As a teenager in Yorkshire, Thackray was the principal trumpeter in her local brass band, a musical tradition often associated with the North of England. The use of brass here, with the sousaphone joined by the trombone, trumpet, and saxophone, seems to call back to that era, giving her cosmic jazz a fascinating Northern English (and New Orleans) tint. Thackray has previously wondered whether “some Yorkshire white girl” should participate in the Black American musical tradition of jazz. This, perhaps, is her answer, with the tremble of brass making Yellow something more than a straight copy of someone else’s musical innovation.
Four listens and some reading before I registered the brass band connection, sometimes I hear the Meters in this thing, that the sousaphone here could drive the Forgotten Souls Brass Band, that the percussion could march a second line forward. But it’s beyond that. This woman is talking discussing magick. And she draws forward techniques of Clare Fischer (of whom she was not aware; I asked her in the Twitter, she said she does not know of him) and Chick Corea. She already states directly that this album is made with intent to describe a personal psychedelic experience. But I thinks she’s also cast a few circles in her lifetime, danced skyclad a time or two under a big bright moon, and, if she has not indeed, she’s singing about it better since nobody than Van Morrison.
This is a new world. This is Oz. This is the Yellow Brick Road, but The Mighty Oz is a bespectacled unassuming young bandleader from Yorks. Step in. Fight that tornado. You’ll be okay.