Exposé Online banner

Jaggery — Crux
(Bandcamp no#, 2016, CD/DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-07-01

Crux Cover art

We last encountered Jaggery on their 2015 live album, where they presented superb versions of highlights of their studio albums plus a few new tunes. Those new tunes find a home on their latest studio effort. First up is “War Cry,” a moody, erratic song featuring ululating vocals from Mali Sastri, Daniel Schubmehl’s stuttering percussion, bowed bass by Tony Leva, and moaning phrases from Rachel Jayson’s viola. It’s a compelling but wholly unconventional track, and a bold way to start an album. Three different harpists also make appearances on the tracks, as well as drummer Dylan Jack, who alternates (more or less) with Schubmehl on the kit and other percussive objects. Moods range from the fairly serene “Garden” to the intense “Walls Are Windows” to the swirling triple-beat romp of “Raskolnikov.” Mali’s stunningly expressive voice is the focus much of the time, with imagistic lyrics and fluid octave-jumping melodies that demand attention. The unique instrumentation is taken full advantage of, with Jayson’s warm viola tones providing a frequent counterpoint to the vocal acrobatics. Harp is a nice touch as well, though it seldom really stands out. The parts are arranged more like chamber music than pop songs, and each instrument has a part to play beyond providing chordal support for the melodies. Leva’s bass, whether electric or acoustic, is often another melodic part rather than sticking to the roots. And Mali’s piano sometimes takes off on wildly unpredictable cascades of notes; at other times there are dense clusters of notes or sparse accents. Every track is a gem of modern art music, beautiful, arresting, and thought-provoking.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Jaggery

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Electrum - Frames of Mind – Here are three guys who love Rush and decided to record an album together of songs influenced by the Canadian trio. It's a scenario I've seen played out over and over (see Afterlife in these...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues