Alabaster Deplume – To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals, Vol. 1
The experience with this album and this artist were a Christmas present all in itself. When I reached out to get Alabaster’s feedback I shared that I am really a nobody when it comes to music reviews. He shot back, “what makes you say a thing like that”? I shared that I meant I had no music clout and was just writing to share my loves with the world to which he lovingly said, “The word love in your answer tells me all I need to know”. How do you not like this guy already?
The album ached with sadness and hope from track one. Is this a jazz album? Is this a psychedelic music trip? Did Pink Floyd sit in sometimes? How abstractly beautiful is “The Lucky Ones”?
A collection of instrumentals from his previous releases this is dramatic, achy, soundtrack-esque. It is beautiful. Old world folk infused with Alabaster singing through his sax. This isn’t straight ahead sax. It is most definitely not contemporary jazz sax. Is there such a thing as story sax?
In instrumental music, especially jazz, the lead instrument is the lyric deliverer. It has to be so well constructed that you don’t miss a voice. This is that. Alabaster is singing to us. To test that theory out, hear his saxophone breathe words on “Not My Ask”. Is he serenading us? Is he conveying a grand announcement? Is he telling us a sad story? You can write the words yourself. You can decide what tone you want to take the song for yourself.
Pop on “Not Now, Jesus” and pretend you are walking in a Lord of the Rings scene, or an underground cave that leads to a waterfall, or that you are dreaming about what lies ahead. Make up your own scene. I think Alabaster would love that.
These indie artists can you use your support in the non-streaming versions of music and merch. Please visit Alabaster’s site.
Seven Questions with Alabaster Deplume
- Describe your record for us
It is the first record I’ve made that people won’t have to switch off if they are having sex. It’s live, and made in situations of warmth, it has no words in it. It’s a gentle thing, but authentic. Bringing it to you has changed my life. It has involved in some way or another, some of the most magical souls I could ever hope to meet.
- Tell us about the album artwork.
I owe a great deal to Raimund Wong, who used his authentic humanity and personal spirit in responding to the music with this piece. His greatness has carried my vague inventions to many who seem to have needed them, and we can thank him in a deep and true way.
- Describe 2020 in a sentence.
They could tell by the shadows the depths and the heights and the distances between things, in the new dazzling clarity, and old enemies, once obscured, as the young prepared to organize themselves in a new courageous way, for survival.
- Besides music, what are you passionate about?
Leadership through vulnerability and empowerment
- Name three of your favorite musical artists.
Paul Robeson, Vladimir Vysotsky, Melt Banana
- What are you reading right now
Seder’ by Adam Kammerling, and Outros Jeitos De Usar a Sua Boca, by Rupi Kaur
- What’s next?
Gold – Go forward in the courage of your love. An LP I’ve been working on for 4 years. I want to talk about courage and love, and to do so using courage, love, and vulnerability. It is the finest thing I can create. I think about the people who will listen to it and love it, every day. I don’t know who they are, or where, but I love to think about what they need. A lot of effort goes into making us afraid. I believe the first ingredient in courage is fear – you can’t make courage unless you are afraid. so, the next time you experience fear you can say, oh good – now I have nearly everything I need to make courage. Go forward in the courage of your love.
This review captures some of the music elements of this record better than I can.