Exposé Online banner

Emily Bezar — Angels' Abacus
(DemiVox DVX899, 2004, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

Angels' Abacus Cover artBack in Exposé #20 I gushed about Emily Bezar’s first three albums, and honestly the only negative I can come up with for her new release is the fact that it took so long to arrive. The changes from 1999’s Four Walls Bending are incremental rather than fundamental, but why mess with such a good thing? The two basic ingredients of the music are her powerful voice and piano, and all the embellishments serve as seasonings to those. She has the good sense not to ignore her years of voice training, the good taste to make that impressive technique subservient to her musical vision, and the courage to use her crisp enunciation and warm vibrato regardless of contemporary trends. There is a bit less of her classical-meets-jazz piano here, due to the frequent denseness of the arrangements; there are still moments reserved for piano and voice alone, or nearly alone, as intriguing electronic sounds creep into the interstices of every track. On a few tracks, the electronics condense into rhythmic loops, but this is no knuckling-under to modern fashion — the music is above all uncompromising, relentlessly following an educated, capricious muse to such lengths that Bezar is a genre unto herself. In lesser hands, all this would come off as pretentious, but every note is filled with such honesty that you can’t question her motives. She is not showing off, she is manifesting the music in her head, and it’s a thing of beauty.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 31, 2004 releases

Related artist(s): Emily Bezar

Latest news

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more

2017-09-06
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more

2017-08-22
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Synergy - Semiconductor, Release 2 & Metropolitan Suite – In 1986, the first era of Synergy releases came to an end with Metropolitan Suite, which in some ways is the culmination of Larry Fast’s original musical vision. That does not make it...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues