Concert Preview: Robin Holcomb and Talking Pictures

Originally published in Earshot Jazz November 2011

Robin Holcomb’s music is not new to Talking Pictures – guitarist Ron Samworth, trumpeter Bill Clark, drummer Dylan van der Schyff, and cellist Peggy Lee. The Vancouver, BC group first convened in 1993, took note of Holcomb’s 1990 recording Larks, They Crazy and soon incorporated some of the material into the ensemble’s repertoire.

Although audiences in Paris, Koln, and Amsterdam have attended their performances, this is the first chance to hear the ensemble live in Seattle.

This concert will feature music from the group’s recent recording The Point of It All with Holcomb and Wayne Horvitz. On the CD, Horvitz’s shimmering Hammond organ camouflages Clark’s muted trumpet. Samworth’s quiet electric guitar swells and feedback rub against Lee’s flickering cello, then both instruments pluck pizzicato arpeggios behind Holcomb’s voice singing Shel Siverstein’s lyrics that resemble a Civil War ballad. An arrangement of Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” plays with the dual imagery of America’s history seeking shiny minerals in a pan and burning herbs in a bowl. This is music that invites you in to a deep world of human history, emotion, and imagination.

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