Journeying through Friselliana to the frontier of prog St. Barbe gear up to launch 'Tellicherry' at Grow

We've been listening to the original 'Tellicherry' by St. Barbe - guitarist James Maltby with bass guitarist Edwin Ireland and drummer Floyer Sydenham the band already with an EP called Shapeless and another single 'Noumena' under their belts. It's …

Published: 17 Nov 2022. Updated: 2 months.

We've been listening to the original 'Tellicherry' by St. Barbe - guitarist James Maltby with bass guitarist Edwin Ireland and drummer Floyer Sydenham the band already with an EP called Shapeless and another single 'Noumena' under their belts. It's a fresh sound - initially we were thinking Bill Frisell a little as the sound lands in the same kind of idiom as the US master although Maltby's guitar sound timbre is pretty different and yet a stripped back warped Americana feel is part of the pervasive flavour.

As the volume and rockist blare transform the piece 'Tellicherry' shows a chameleon-like evolution. Stabby chords change the mood and feel interestingly in a more prog direction reached via a maze-like circuit of motific phrases stacking up. Ultimately the guitar forcefield moves the whole trajectory of the piece to a more anarchic world of distortion.

We can't share 'Tellicherry' at the moment - but check out the already released, very different, stimulating Gnawa influenced 'Noumena' for a flavour of another aspect of what St. Barbe can do

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Leland Whitty, Glass Moon, Innovative Leisure ****1/2

A symphony in miniature as saviour, savour the varnish and what a magisterial sax line to boot from Leland Whitty after the detailed hard digging of the impressionist wash is set up. The drum line (the work of Lowell Whitty, Leland's older brother) …

Published: 16 Nov 2022. Updated: 2 months.

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A symphony in miniature as saviour, savour the varnish and what a magisterial sax line to boot from Leland Whitty after the detailed hard digging of the impressionist wash is set up. The drum line (the work of Lowell Whitty, Leland's older brother) is appealingly hyper as it turns out - and there's a grandeur too. So you enter further beyond the virtuosity of the whole production into the storytelling domain which is part of the point of music making surely beyond all abstraction.

Leland Whitty by Raven Shields

The sonic texture is soft and velvety without being too flash in the engineering from the BadBadNotGood ace as he embraces the panorama of composition sounding far jazzier (not a word used lightly) than normal. Drawn from Anyhow out on 9 December of which the dream-like idyll 'Awake' is also streaming and just as convincing. Whitty also dubs in guitar, synthesiser, woodwinds and strings on the album while BadBad muchachos Matthew Tavares, Alex Sowinski and Chester Hansen also figure. Fantasy DJ time for the set(t) down the Badger and Scratcher cueing David Axelrod's 'London' next and probably eventually lots of Deodato and Gil Evans - would that be so very wrong? Answers on a napkin please - ideally not signed in green ink, without any need for a parcel of accompanying emu dung or old signed photos of Mantovani - to the usual address.

Leland Whitty, photo: Raven Shields