Andrea Brachfeld: Lady of the Island

Andrea Brachfeld - Lady of the Island
BUY THIS ALBUM ON AMAZON.COM

There is something magical about the sound of the flute no matter how well it is played; and when it is played as masterfully as Andrea Brachfeld plays it on her album Lady of the Island it is not only magical but mystical as well. This other-worldly beauty that Ms. Brachfeld brings to the flute comes from a refusal to accept that there are boundaries that cannot be crossed. So bold is her playing that it is possible to hear the notes sizzle and pop into a fourth dimension. For not only do the notes come alive in the world as we know it, but there is a spectral nature to them as well, which might account for the manner in which they echo seemingly from a dimension that exists only in the hidden recesses of the soul. Ms. Brachfeld also has a special way of stringing up the notes into lines that glitter and sparkle like ethereal strings of sound. She often stretches them to the limit of song and dance, carving great arcs of sound through the air; leaping like a mythical gazelle from one elevated plane to another bounding breathlessly from verse to verse.

Andrea Brachfeld also has a fearless approach towards repertoire and throws caution to the wind on the standards that she plays on this album, while bringing to the set several originals that imitate the rhythmic idiosyncrasies of the idiom of jazz with great depth of thought and unbridled ingenuity. On her own compositions Ms. Brachfeld is capable of writing with the swing of delight. “Bebop Hanna” is a delightful song where the flutist leaps for joy and is agape at the immensity of the world as she gazes upon it with a child’s eye. She does something similar on “Little Girl’s Song” a song about her daughter. Andrea Brachfeld shows she has a delightful ability to immerse herself in the subject of her muse. This is why she comes up with beautiful meaning in her narratives and character sketches making them entirely real and fleshing them out with humour and real quirks. These songs differ dramatically from Ms. Brachfeld’s other compositions. On the first, “In the Center,” a composition that she shares with pianist Bill O’Connell, Ms. Brachfeld as well as on “Four Corners” a chart she has written on her own, there is a dramatic focus on shape and space. The architecture of both songs pays homage to sound and silence, shape and emptiness in a beautiful manner. Both are exquisite songs and indicate that the composer has a boldness to go beyond the pale.

On the standards Andrea Brachfeld is magnificent in her approach to musical creativity as well as in her virtuoso approach to her chosen instrument. For instance, picking the alto flute to express the emotions felt by Duke Ellington in his aching elementally sad ballad is sheer genius. Turning Herbie Hancock`s tumultuous “Eye of the Hurricane” into a steamy Latin shuffling beat to open and close the song is also a master-stroke of musical ingenuity and belies an rare inspiration and begs the suggestion that Ms. Brachfeld is made entirely of music. Graham Nash’s beautiful melody is dreamily treated and indeed has that ethereal quality that Ms. Brachfeld imagined that Jon Lucien would bring to it were he part of this magical recording. Freddie Hubbard`s rarely-played chart, “Birdlike” pays tribute to the patron saint of bebop, Charlie Parker in inimitable fashion. Bill O’Connell also contributed a wonderful hard-bopping chart, “Dead Ahead” to the session.

And then there is that small matter of the musicians on this record. O’Connell always becomes a resident genius wherever he appears; here bring the mastery of his instrumentation and expression to this date, also stamping his ebullient personality all over the music. Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon shows why he is one of the finest players of that difficult instrument, playing with great humour as well as with the zeal of a soulful instrumentalist, something that very few musicians do today. Wallace Rooney’s solo on “Eye of the Hurricane” is truly memorable for his mighty blowing. Chembo Corniel enlivens all of the Latin interventions and Yasek Manzano is a revelation. Of course the session belongs to Andrea Brachfeld, who is as sensational and breathtaking as a master flutist can be, making a record as memorable as one can ever be.

Track list: Bebop Hanna; Eye of the Hurricane; I Got It Bad; Little Girl’s Song; Dead Ahead; Birdlike; In the Center; Lady of the Island; Four Corners.

Personnel: Andrea Brachfeld: C flute (1, 2, 4 – 7, 9), alto flute (3, 8), vocals (8); Bob Quaranta: piano (4, 9); Andy Eulau: bass: (1, 2, 4 – 9); Kim Plainfield: drums (1, 2, 4 – 9); Todd Bashore: alto saxophone (2, 6); Chembo Corniel: congas (2, 6, 9); congas and percussion (8); Wycliffe Gordon: trombone (1, 2, 6); Yasek Manzano: trumpet (2, 6, 9), flugelhorn (8); Bill O’Connell: piano (1 – 3, 5 – 8); Wallace Rooney: trumpet solo (2); trumpet (5).

Released – 2012
Label – Zoho Music
Runtime – 1:00:34

Raul Da Gama
Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

More from author

Related posts

11,264FansLike
1,461FollowersFollow
656FollowersFollow
1,846FollowersFollow
5,700FollowersFollow
160SubscribersSubscribe

Featured Posts

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

El Gran Fellové: Part 2- Enter Chocolate & Celio González

Early Sunday morning… I awoke to the pleasant surprise of a Google Alert in my email. I clicked to find Variety Magazine had published an...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more