Benoît Burello (aka Bed) has, since 1995, been setting lyrics by writers like Walt Whitman and Henry Miller to music influenced by the likes of Mark Hollis and Robert Wyatt. He now follows his debut The Newton Plum with Spacebox, the music having evolved further into a tasteful jazz style with Burello's acoustic guitar and piano accompanied by drums, double bass, guitar, and brass. Still, the most distinctive instrument is, of course, Burello's voice. By turns stately, gentlemanly, laconic, gentle, and hushed, it vaguely recalls the vocals of John Cale, and in its upper register Sam Prekop (The Sea and Cake) and Robert Wyatt. Backed by Daniel Paboeuf's rich, robust brass and Vincent Ferrand's supple bass, Burello's overdubbed vocals interweave delicately on 'The Gap.' He indulges his upper register on 'Plainfield,' distinguished by Olivier Mellano's mantra-like guitar figure that builds aggressively towards track's end. The band's versatile, able to lay back on 'Nightsweeping' to offer a spacious, drifting support for the vocals, yet also able to sound uncannily like Do Make Say Think on 'Polder One.' Spacebox is the kind of recording whose appeal will never be broad, given its restrained jazz ambiance and unique vocal style but those with a taste for piano- and vocal-based chamber jazz will find it rewarding.
item # 12351