I don’t know a lot about jazz music. Sure I know about some of the jazz greats but probably not enough to remark on the music’s unique time changes or the sound reflecting a certain era in the development of jazz music. But the great thing about this record from the collective Olivier Clements & Dissonant Histoires, featuring some Aidan Knight Friendly Friends and most prominently flugelhorn extraordinaire Olivier Clements, is that you don’t have to.
In their debut record, Clements and his make blend jazz music with a dreamy contemporary “indie-folk” style which has a similar tone to that of Knight, for an incredibly accessible fusion. The tired beliefs on the inaccessibility of jazz music are certainly no more.
With four out of the six tracks, clocking in at around six minutes and over, there is a lot of room on the record to really dive in. “Dear Anna,” an appropriately titled beginning song, weaves between numerous sounds, rhythms, and emotions. The first minute is centred around simple piano chords before an array of horns and bass clarinets enter and then finally the drums kick in. This collective sound rises and falls throughout, coming to a impressive climax and finally ending with a hushed piano, bass, and drum combination.
The third song, “Colin’s Always Better than Me” (which I can’t help but think is a nod to producer and bandmate Colin Nealis) feels the jazziest of the bunch. With its upbeat, and frankly moveable tempo, each instrument has a place to shine throughout the song while as a whole, the soundscape is one that has an unmatched flair to it.
“You’re Not Thinking of Me (part 1)” is Olivier Clements & Dissonant Histories at its most gorgeous. A dreamy haze suddenly covers you as a soft tonal palette casts not a gloomy mood over the record but rather one that lets you drift off into your deepest daydreams. Its counterpart, “Your Not Thinking of Me (part 2),” is much more energized thanks to some weighty beats, quickly snapping you out of your dream state.
Finally, in a dramatic rush the record ends. In a percussion heavy number and a song which provides the most prominent example of how Olivier Clements & Dissonant Histoires are able to bridge a gap between jazz and contemporary “indie-folk,” “Interlude (I hope they burn me in heaven)” brings a final emotional filled element to the album to cap off an already impressive outing.
The stories from Olivier Clements & Dissonant Histoires might just be the perfect introduction to discover a new style of music.
Top Tracks: “Colin’s Always Better than Me,” “You’re Not Thinking of Me (part 1)”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) + *swoop*