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Fair Wind Pleases - The Wind of the Season CD (album) cover


Fair Wind Pleases



3.89 | 25 ratings

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The Anders
3 stars Fair Wind Pleases is a quintet from Saint Petersburg who play what they describe as "non-trivial instrumental music at the junction of neoclassical, avant-garde, ambient, progressive, post-jazz, chamber music, modern creative and other genres". The instruments are bass, drums, guitar, clarinet, bass clarinet and a digital piano. The latter provokes the purist in me, but fortunately one doesn't think so much about that when the instruments are playing together. It becomes more striking with the solo piano intros like those to the second and fourth tracks. In any case, I can forgive it, and after all the musical ideas have more weight. The primary solo instrument is however the clarinet which is often counterpointed by the bass clarinet.

Jazz strikes me as the most crucial ingredient in this music, due for instance to the clarinet solos or the more wild parts of "organized chaos", with moments of atonality. But there is also a clear impressionist element to the music. Listen for instance to the beginning of the first track "The Unpredictable Autumn (Part 1)" where the music is mostly pentatone. Or what about the functionless unorthodox chord changes during the main theme in track four.

Track 3 deserves special praise because of its build-up, from a harmonic calm beginning to a more stormy and dissonant second half. An interesting element here is the guitar ostinate that sort of "goes against" the other instruments. This for me is the peak of the album

But generally this is a very pleasant listening experience. It's not a type of music I would consider myself an expert in, so it is not so easy for me to go in details with it (it is easier with more song oriented music), but I am still intrigued by what I hear. A more general characteristic of the music would be dualty - between calm and storm, or harmonic and disharmonic. If there is a minus, it is perhaps the fact that the tracks sound rather alike; for instance with the clarinet being the main solo instrument in all of them. A contrasting track, for instance with fewer instruments, or just with more emphasis on other instruments, might add some balance. And then again there is the digital piano. Apart from that I really enjoy what I hear. Good album that I wish I could give 3,5 stars.

The Anders | 3/5 |


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