Jessica Lurie-Licorice & Smoke
Kismet has the
strangest and alluring ways of materializing in one’s life. Case in
point: One of my favorite pastimes is to make creative and thematic
compilation CDs for friends, and, just recently, I had a good friend
whose job transferred him from
It is not too often that one can make literal associations between a CD’s title and music, but this is definitely one. The licorice associations are just like the European leguminous plant with pinnate leaves and spikes of blue flowers with its medicinal and confectionery energy. This energy ebbs and flows throughout the haunting Eastern European melodies found blatantly or buried within the diverse ranges of free jazz—arrangements that are like the barbs on the rachis of a feather. Latin influences permeate vocally and musically with an unique off-color risqué, all of which create a strange brew with the dominant ranges of folk and groove—Licorice and Smoke, in more unornamented terms, is an alluring cross-section of musical genres and scenes that will leave you wanting more (like a kid in candy store). The smoke associations fume with a hard bop heat and emit melancholy moisture as each song burns and cools the discerning ear, heart, and mind until they vaporize small particles of carbon.
The sweetness found in both Lurie’s vocal prowess and skills on the saxophone and flute have had an immense and smoldering effect on her talents as bandleader and composer, all credits that shine brightly on this latest release. All twelve songs are a refreshing testament to the ultra dynamic repertoire she has fused together into one unlimited and intense phonographic personality. If you have even remotely enjoyed any of her past performances or recordings this one will be the icing on the cake and a wish come true from blowing out all the candles in one breath.