Olivia's Owls - Moments Arriving
(F-IRE Presents. F-IRECD73. CD Review by Patrick Hadfield.)
With thirteen tunes in less than forty minutes, Olivia's Owls cram a lot of different ideas and moods into their new CD, but some of them are lightly sketched out: they barely get going before the track is gone, and they are onto the next. Fleeting Moments Arriving, perhaps...
Led by bassist Hedi Pinkerfeld with Alex Coppard on saxophone, Charlie Laffer on guitar and Josh Stadlen on drums, Moments Arriving was recorded as live over a couple of days. Opening with Closure, the album starts with a wistful union of sax and guitar, before an insistent rhythm is set up by the drums and bass, pushing the guitar and sax riff forward. Many of the short pieces follow a similar format, with the guitar and sax setting the pace before Stadlen's forceful drums Pikerfield's bass join them. The melodies are lively and captivating, twisting and turning, and the music is energetic - particularly with the drums.
The band state that their influences include classical composers Fauré and Scriabin, and there is certainly a richness to the compositions that belies the creative process. These are tightly structured pieces, bringing classical and rock influences into a 21st century jazz format.
But I did wonder where they would have got to if they had carried on: I wanted them to explore their ideas more, to extend their tunes further. I would relish seeing Olivia's Owls live, too see where they can go. I like this CD a lot. Their live performance might well be even better.