I wanted to get this up here, seperate from the Sunday Service. It definitely deserves its own post.
When Mike told me that his sister Kathryn was going to be releasing a new record, I put in my order immediately. I was promised a copy, and then it miraculously appeared in my bag of loot from Mike on our recent Taranna trip! Thanks heaps, Kathryn!
Mike reviewed this record on his site a while back, and I purposely avoided reading his write-up until I’d heard the album for myself. I recommend you follow that link to read his review too!
When I reviewed her previous album, Open (2010), I loved it. Its willingness to experiment and its outright brilliance and control in the playing demanded repeated spins. It’s still in my rotation now.
…Listen is no different, in its excellence, and in this compulsive need to keep going back. Inside the packaging, it says:
…listen is intended as a moment in time for contemplation. The listener chooses the length based on various points within the experience. The album is intended to be heard as one track but can be divided based on your desired length of listening experience.
Well, the adventure I have chosen (several times this week already, almost to the complete exclusion of all the other goodies I bought on that Toronto trip), is to play the whole thing from top to bottom. I can certainly see the value in breaking it up, based on themes and energies, but for me the real wealth is in the big picture.
This album is vastly creative, jazzy, often playful, and always evocative. Rather than “a moment in time for contemplation,” I absolutely feel movement, desire, and action in this music! I hear the soundtrack for an upbeat avant garde noir film, black and white and rainy/misty streets, chase scenes, men in fedoras and femme fatales in slinky dresses. Cigarette smoke twisting to the ceiling, liquor splashed carelessly on the hacked up bar, hearts broken, long shadows thrown on brick walls, and tough choices made.
Intertwined through it all is a jagged beauty, captivating and essential. It feels vital, real. The journey from point a to point i, as the tracks are titled here, is a landscape littered with ideas, and plenty of pathways to be chosen on your next visit.
Open was my gateway into Kathryn Ladano’s musical world, and a great reason to stay. Stealth’s …Listen is simply incredible, and I send huge thanks and kudos to Kathryn and Richard for this tremendous effort.
This is, hands-down, the best damn thing I have heard in ages.