Danielle Price is a tuba player whose work explores the range of creative possibilities of the instrument, both in her own compositions as well as her extensive list of collaborations ranging from artists as diverse as Ashley Paul, Bill Wells, Oxbow, Ntshuks Bonga and Mats Gustafsson. After the Allotments sees this expansive approach in full flow, blending improvised and structured forms in delightfully unexpected ways. Across the five tracks, Price crafts an enviable parallel universe where singer-songwriters have traded their ubiquitous acoustic guitars for tubas.
Opener, Seeking, sees Price’s breath gradually expanding into soft evocations under which a tentative tuba line deliberately draws out resonances both wistful and reflective, before Room In a Shared Apartment Looking For a Soul snaps back into focus, building a sparse, propulsive rhythm where utterances from both voice and tuba blend and unfurl in one fluid line that contorts and loops back on itself. Price’s brass melodies extend further on each new time around before splitting off from its rhythmic underpinnings and soaring upwards and outwards.
Square Peg takes a sudden about turn, dialling the smokey jazz atmosphere up to 11 as a playful tuba walks the bass and almost audibly clicks its fingers along to Price’s yearning, soulful vocal, evoking Sofia Jernberg’s stellar work with Fire! Orchestra. Track four, I’ll Tell You That, pushes this interplay further, as voice and tuba exhort each other into ever more untethered contortions in an increasingly raucous call and response.
After the minimalist palette of the first four tracks, the plaintive opening piano notes of the titular closing piece ring out like a bell. Price deftly glides across the keys, weaving a tremendous sense of calm like the freshness following a downpour, as her understated spoken vocal conjures up a deceptively everyday yet far-reaching scene that in a few short sentences seemingly captures a life.
Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC
1. Seeking - 3.33
2. Room in Shared Apartment Looking for a Soul - 5.37
3. Square Peg - 3.24
4. I'll Tell You That - 2.41
5. After The Allotments - 5.16
Mix by Sonny Johns
Master by Oli Barrett
Cover photograph by Giuliana Borrelli