Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Gadadu — The Weatherman Is Wrong
(Bandcamp no#, 2022, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-04-06
This is the third album by Gadadu, a six-piece from New York City with an interesting sound that straddles the worlds of jazz, chamber, symphonic, vocal pop, experimental songcraft, and more, following earlier efforts in 2018 and 2020. By any measure, the band fuses all these elements seamlessly into a compact and easily likeable whole that is at once expressive and beautiful. The band is led by vocalist and violist Hannah Selin and pianist / synthesist Nicki Adams, who together composed all of the album’s nine tracks. They are joined by drummer and percussionist Arthur Vint, bassist Dan Stein, trumpeter Patrick Adams and saxophonist Ayumi Ishito, with three-quarters of a string quartet guesting on “Prove to You,” adding some powerful orchestrations to that piece. For the opening track, “Cicadas,” the piece begins with the viola looping, offering a definite Middle Eastern elegance that swirls around mysteriously until some electronics and a drum cadence join the parade about one minute in, then followed up with the other instrumentalists; it’s a full two minutes in before Selin’s vocals are introduced, soft and gentle, but a very clear style that cuts through when it needs to, or can just as easily bury itself deep in the mix. As one hears the mix of instruments, compositional elements and arrangements, one might occasionally be reminded of the great Blood Sweat and Tears around the time of their second album — that is, if they had a female singer instead of David Clayton Thomas. But as Gadadu moves onward, they get increasingly more adventurous, employing odd meters, unusual breaks and orchestrations. “At Play” finds all of that adventure on full display. Sometimes I am reminded of a more tame and jazzy version of Thinking Plague, without the sharp angles and rock elements. One of the finest pieces along those lines is “Tides,” driven by a strong drum beat and a kaleidoscopic horn section that pulls back during the vocal passages, shifting effortlessly into a jazzy romp. At all points along the journey, The Weatherman Is Wrong offers the listener something unique and unusual. Recommended.
Related artist(s): Gadadu
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