David Strother | Azul

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United States - California - LA

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Electronic: Ambient Moods: Type: Sonic
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by David Strother

Electric 5 string violin with loops
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Un Cafecito Con Mi Amor
3:13 $0.99
2. The End of Hope
2:27 $0.99
3. One Sad Bus Ride
3:38 $0.99
4. Elegy for Newtown
3:13 $0.99
5. 2296
1:39 $0.99
6. Luminoso
3:44 $0.99
7. The Blessing They Have Yet to Honor
3:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
I feel the blues everywhere these days. From listening to lots of people and by simply observing the world I know I'm not the only human perceiving this. Creating/channeling a blues album for these times seemed fitting, but the music itself didn't come out that way. As usual, it had a mind of its own.

I did keep the word "blue" in there, though, by naming the EP "azul." Even though I am not bilingual, as a Los Angeles native I think in Spanish at times without realizing it, and "Azul" is an evocative, poetic word that somehow matched the music.

Once again I have recorded informally, by plopping a Zoom recorder near my amp at home and just going for it. There is no overdubbing; all the loops and lead violins are on a single track. Ambient noises float in and out. It's spontaneous and real though I have promised my producer Michael Gayle that we will record in his studio from now on so he will have less of a sonic mess to clean up.

As we entered the editing and mixing phases of this project I learned of the death of the great Charlie Haden. While this music was recorded before his passage, his influence on my life was so profound that I feel his guidance in every note, every phrase I play (or don't play). I respectfully dedicate this work to this global citizen and fellow Los Angeles resident and salute the influence he had on my life and countless others around the world.

All music composed and performed by David Strother c2014 Mojave Bop Music
Mastering Michael Gayle, Glynn Sound, La Crescenta, CA
Production David Strother & Michael Gayle
Cover art & design Patricia Krebs
Thanks to Ned, Corey, Gary and all at NS Design; Craig at Callier-Scollard Violins; Sam Hwang at Grayson's Tune Town
This music is dedicated to the memory of Charlie Haden
David Strother is an NS Design artist.

All About Jazz review by Florence Wetzel

Azul is an aural meditation by electric violinist David Strother that covers a wide swathe of emotions and delves fearlessly into the human condition. The word azul means "blue" in Spanish, and indeed the songs explore many shades of this emotional color. The blues also refer to loss: during the editing and mixing phases of the EP, Strother learned about the death of bassist and composer Charlie Haden, a musician who influenced him deeply, so the EP also serves as an homage to Haden and his profound musical contributions.

Azul consists of seven songs, all electric violin solos with floating ambient sounds, each one an exquisite miniature that paints an elegant emotional portrait. "Un Cafecito con Mi Amor" ("A Cuban Espresso with My Love") resonates with a tender beauty, giving a sense of a bittersweet meeting, perhaps a discussion of a final parting. Strother plays with a refined delicacy that's genuinely piercing, his violin shimmering through sensitive byways. "The End of Hope" is another thoughtful soundscape, a quiet journey into the dark places. It's as if Strother is depicting the sound of emotion, the way it quivers as it travels through the synapses. "One Sad Bus Ride" indeed gives the sense of being on a bus, perhaps surrounded by people but feeling alone, or maybe having a hushed conversation that would have been better conducted in private. The titles in these evocative pieces offer clues, and yet at the same time the songs are wonderfully open and available to whatever is brought to them.

"Elegy for Newtown" is a heartfelt meditation on an unthinkable tragedy, as well as a depiction of how music can help us process both the large and small tragedies of life. "2296" is a gorgeous piece with stark notes and looming electronic backgrounds, full of atmospheric sizzling and subliminal undercurrents. Again the title is evocative, perhaps referring to a date in time that holds special meaning, or some personal mystery yet to be uncovered. "Luminoso" is a Spanish word for "bright," and indeed the violin is brighter here, sweeping majestically as it rises through a background of thrumming ambience. The EP's final track, "The Blessing They Have Yet to Honor," is a luminous piece, with the delicacy of the violin offset by otherworldly electricity.

Strother has carved out a very special field for himself, a depiction of nuanced sensations too often overlooked in our noisy world. Through the vehicle and vision of his violin, he creates sonic haiku that allow us to experience the finer emotional colorings that, although sometimes challenging, infuse life with richness.



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