Now, this was unexpected. Starting with a Mahavishnu-esque chord declension, an arresting voice a la Joni Mitchell by way of Toni Childs began encanting a vaguely arabesqued narrative arresting the ear purely through purity of tone and emotional content. 'Bewitching' is hardly a sufficient term. At first, I was minded of Avital Raz (here and here), but, no, that wasn't quite right. Next, the idea of a Phoebe Snow with dark inclinations arose (Soon on a Snowflake), but that didn't embrace matters either. The chamber aspects wouldn't settle easily into category or definition, especially as the quartet behind Chloe Charles displays erudition beyond what even the best sessioneers Snow or Janis Ian could entice would produce.
Little Green Bud is just a 5-song EP but what a great teaser! Masterfully engineered, it entablatures highly artistic intent executed with grace and ease, a venture drawing in various disparate elements to discover new borders in not-so-familiar modes…nothing in-your-face but much that slips sinuously into awareness before recognition and enigma manifest. Charles has a very well trained voice rife with honed emotionality without going over the top. Now that I think about it, 'seductive' would be a better adjective than 'bewitching' but on an intellectual level laced with the deeper eros knowledge brings. Her back-up is cleverer than hell in setting out the singer's balmy compositions, constantly incidentalizing. The percussion in Water is not very far from Trilok Gur or Jamie Muir's still stunning work with King Crimson.
I'm not sure why the EP mode was adopted, as everything screams for full lavish CD epicness. These aren't just good ideas, they're manna for a double-disc extravaganza, and that would be exactly the length required to indite the literacy and extended narrative connoted. I also suspect the songs on Little Green Bud aren't sequenced properly, pregnant with inverted linearity, but I damn sure will be impatiently waiting to see what the true full release on this is going to be.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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