Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ozere, Finding Anyplace

This blog covers jazz as anybody reading it will know. But from time to time it covers other genres of interest, as yesterday's and today's post will attest.

Today, the band Ozere and their Finding Anyplace (self-released). It is a Canadian outfit that starts with the premise of a string-band instrumentation for a folk-country orientation. There is Jessica Deutsch on violin and vocals, Emily Rockarts on vocals, Adrian Gross on mandolin and acoustic and electric guitars, Lydia Munchinsky is on cello and background vocals, and Bret Higgins plays acoustic bass.

There are modern singer-songwriter string band songs to be heard here. They are quite good and the vocals are excellent. Then there are instrumental adventures that take folk fiddling and otherwise folk-country styles and make something modern of them. Ms. Deutsch plays violin in a convincingly post-fiddle fashion, but the rest of the band is excellent as well. There are also world music elements to be heard with guests on darbuka and bandir, etc., and that keeps you guessing for what is coming next in the best ways.

The memorable songs, the excellent folk vocalizing, and the band's very interesting arrangements carry the day.

I find after repeated listenings that Ozere has something very much of their own going. If you like a hybrid modern folk sound that retains a modern version of authenticity yet a contemporary knack for winsome songstering, this one will give you some very satisfying music.

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