JAGGERY ~ “Private Violence”
Rating : 8
Due anni fa scoprivamo con voi lettori una misconosciuta ma grande realtà musicale d’oltreoceano, segnatamente da Boston: un quintetto di nome Jaggery dalla curiosa formazione (piano/voce, arpa, viola, contrabbasso e batteria), all’epoca già autore di un album e di un EP, guidato dalla figura carismatica della cantante e pianista Mali Sastri. (more…)
Jaggery Wows and Flutters
Jaggery’s most recent release, Private Violence (EP), takes us through 5 tracks of progressive but elegant chamber rock. Most tracks are filled ably by the five piece band such as the sneaky, trickling “Trouble” (highlighted by wonderful bow scraping and a nice payoff when the full band kicks in). But my favorite is the sterling “Hostage Heart,” which features the accompaniment of small orchestra. Listen to how Singer Mali’s simple piano figure becomes increasingly swept-up with a sequence of orchestral counterpoints and a melody that glides wickedly through a range that is as vastly as it is cleverly tight. The large ensemble breathes nicely through a piece of work worth shelling the extra studio time on. You don’t have to be classically inclined, but it sure doesn’t hurt. – Jonathan Donaldson
Premiering A New Song
Someone You Should Know
THE SPICE OF LIFE – While their range and musical leanings might put them at risk of being misunderstood in our contemporary rat race, JAGGERY are far from unaccessable. In many ways, the band of five players could be the region’s most talented band. Leader Mail Sastri is a brilliant vocalist and piano player. In this project she is surrounded by a number of very strong players — and this Lot have a new and rather stunning record of statement in, Private Violence.
Jaggery’s “Private Violence” and the Fine Art of Murder
Great music often comes from great literature. Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas, based on Virgil’s Aeneid, is one example. Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Welcome to the Pleasuredome, inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” is another. Jaggery’s latest release, Private Violence, carries on the tradition with a collection of songs singer Mali Sastri wrote after reading Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
Some things in this world are simply too beautiful and unique to invite comparison. You may be thinking of your first love, the passing of a comet, deep-fried Oreos or Britney Spears, but let me point you in the direction of Jaggery, a Boston-based musical ensemble that blurs the boundaries between genres and takes its audience on a happily delirious, and wholly unpredictable, jaunt through them all.
Years ago I heard the two debuts of chamber-folkpop band Jaggery. We are a few albums down the line now and the foundations are still recognizable.
These are dreamy music makers. Beyond dreamy; Requiem for a Dream dreamy. A mess of insanely well-modulated vocals, viola, upright bass, harp, piano and drums, Jaggery produces delicate tunes that leave you somewhere you weren’t quite expecting to be.
by Brian M. Owens
Combining elements of theater, performance art, jazz, pop and dance, the Boston based band, Jaggery, led by singer-songwriter Mali Sastri, is turning heads with their uniquely original sound. Sastri’s life has been one of adventure and it shows in her music and the band’s stage shows. We spoke one October day and Mali explained the origins of her music and how it continues to evolve.
Much has already been written about [Mali] Sastri’s uncanny vocal range, but her theatricality proved equally impressive. Her disposition switched from new-age songbird to woman scorned to woodland fairy to blood-thirsty werewolf to sultry lounge singer according to the mood of the music.
GENRE | COOL, COLLECTIVE CREEPINESS
VERDICT | AMBITIOUS AND EERIE
Upon a Penumbra isn’t your typical 10-track album, and Jaggery is not a typical band.
Sometimes it takes an unexpected glitch to realize how brilliant a band really is. No, not glitch; to lose power two songs into your set at the long-awaited CD release party for your new album is nothing short of a clusterfuck. This was after having duplication problems with their new release, Upon A Penumbra, with the (somewhat) fixed CDs arriving just the day before. It was, as Jaggery’s Mali Sastri pointed out the second time we were plunged into total darkness, “fitting.” But being the amazingly talented musicians they are, not only did they persevere; they wrapped their hands tightly around the neck of this debacle and shook it. Hard. What resulted was a powerful and poignant joining of spirits, and the most awe-inspiring set I’ve seen them perform.
“Although zillions of bands either experiment too much or just tell people they experiment too much, Jaggery exist as sonic liquid that fills numerous pigeonholes. Forged with restrained jazz drums, elevated strings, piano and harp rippling like rain on a windshield, and a smidgen of world-music accompaniment, Upon a Penumbra is more a series of unsettling mediæval lullabies than anything you could call art rock. As she bounds and soars from fragile murmurs to smirking indignation to full-on operatic wailing, Sastri keeps everything safely distant from easy-listening territory. I can’t envision Enya spitting the serrated despair Sastri conjures on ‘Paucity City.’”
So many surprises with art band Jaggery, but awe isn’t one
By MARC LEVY
Jaggery will take the stage Saturday as it usually does: As a surprise.
This has nothing to do with being unreliable. Newcomers to the band should know Jaggery always shows up, always has Mali Sastri behind a keyboard and always provides a riveting, beautiful and haunting show. Casual fans can tell newcomers that the surprise of a Jaggery show lies in what shape it takes — which members play and which of roughly 40 songs get performed.
The real surprise will be known by the serious fans: Most of the band lives in New York and New Jersey. When the full band plays, some drive nine hours to take part. “When there’s a Jaggery show everyone lives at my house for a few days,” says Sastri, who lives in Cloud Club, the legendary communal artists’ home in the South End.
Sastri moved there from New York, which can be another surprise.
Harp. Acoustic bass. Classical voice. Jaggery, one of this week’s Foundwaves Weekly Picks, seamlessly join all three together with acoustic piano and drums into an unclassifiable sound. With an amazing range and command of dynamics, singer Mali’s voice can shift from gorgeous and haunting at one moment to brash and sneering in the next, sometimes all within a single phrase. The pure acoustic tones of the harp, piano, and acoustic bass construct a mysterious world with height, depth, and width for Mali’s expressive melodies to explore. Adding colorful patterns and washes of rhythm, drummer Daniel Schubmehl plays with a rare precision and sensitivity that propels the music forward without every trampling the subtlety and delicacy of the songs.