A wonderfully eclectic and enlightening musical journey is what we embark on in velvet-voiced Jeannette Lambert’s newest release. Recorded during her travels with brother and guitarist Reg Schwager along with husband and drummer Michel Lambert, the album documents how local cultures affected Lambert’s music and fuelled her creativity which blossoms within each track. Perhaps the most unique part of the album, besides lyrical poems penned by Lambert, is that the entirety of the record is improvisational; the vocalist herself mentioning that she’d bring in the poem she had written only moments before recording. The result is a musical harmony between musicians, an inspirational freshness that can only be brought about by living in the moment.
The influence of time the group spent in Java and Kyoto is evident within each song; it’s as if we are able to catch a glimpse into what Lambert experienced day to day; a travel journal that’s brought to life through her highly evocative text, Schwager’s flowing and meandering guitar melodies in combination with percussionist Lambert’s constantly driving and originative rhythmic grooves. Use of the thumb piano (kalimba) as well as the vocalist’s integration of local vocal techniques such as Japanese kobushi, a specific type of warble or vibrato, are applied within several pieces to add that authentic, cultural flavour. In times where we can’t physically travel, this record is a brilliant and melodious escape that any jazz fan would thoroughly enjoy.