Though Marianne Flemming calls Pure and Simple 'hippie chick music, exasperated blues, and whatever happened on the planet laments', there's a very sophisticated mellow jazz fundament at play here, almost a perfect mutant of Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Basia, and a couple others I can't quite pinpoint. Flemming composes very well, but her guitar playing ain't anything to sneeze at either, with Yascha Noonberg complementing everything beautifully on a variety of instruments, filling out each song like a one-man band.
Though Marianne has an attractively mellifluous tone when vocalizing, she's not afraid to cut up either, as in Ernest is Blooming. Her songs tend to the hedonistic, sensual, and muskily homey, taking a deeper delight in the everyday and its possibilities. Nothing is rushed, everything's allowed to unfold naturally, and the pretensions of modern society have no place, though her open attitude is far from rustic, just natural and earthy.
This is wine-sipping afternoon or night music, the kind of refrains you want when you're feeling human, when the rush and franticity of the workaday are getting to be just a bit much, when the benefits of technocracy are turning nightmarish. Pure and Simple is designed to put the life's blood back into brain, skin, heart, and…well, a few other places even more entertaining. Consider My Little Savage, a rhumba-samba reflection on kids and their anarchic wont, a track reminding adults of all they've come to forget as they "grew up" and "matured". The entire CD is like that, crafted from long experience yet still caught wide-eyed and wonder-whacked by life.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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