Having just dropped his latest release Raise Your Vibration, Pais brings true meaning to the word organic with a passionate and heartfelt approach to his compositions, a zen like approach of less is more when art is channeled from a place deeper than the heart. Go to the soul and hang a left...Pais has the uncanny ability to take original music that is the cultural byproduct of his life experiences by blending elements of rock and world music with pop hooks and amazing jazz sensibilities with the end result a sub genre in search of a name. Truly meaningful music stands alone without the need of a label and this is where Pais excels.
Highlights? While Pais is a stellar guitarist and a compositional beast, he now assumes the role of vocalist so the logical question would be, "Sounds like?" Francisco Pais...Every artist brings something to the table ( hopefully something new ) and musical frames of reference can be inherently unfair but imagine a vocal hybrid of Peter Gabriel and Michael Stipe transformed with the phrasing of Michael Franks. Easy right? In the spirit of Gabriel, Stipe, and Franks this particular release is a somewhat conceptualized release of short stories that examine the loss of a parent, birth of a child, and stories of love lost. The compositions are for the most part a far cry from the more melancholy but instead are hopeful and are written in direct contrast to the more stereotypical jazz tunes which are playing the melody, solo and then play the head out. Life is far from that predictable and so are these offerings from Pais.
Textured raw elegance could be the prevailing thematic development throughout Raise Your Vibration. The original "Raise Your Vibration" run from a more somber even-eights that adorn an Emily Dickinson poem "Never Wearing Out" to the more blues infused sonic fury of "Humble Over The Fact." Perhaps the most inventive tune both harmonically and texturally would be "Chakra Song" which is a musical exploratory of a chart and diagram showing the name, color, sound and location of the energy vortexes Pais has been studying as a yogi for years now. While the influences of Francisco Pais are more than blatantly obvious, his music is diametrically oppossed and is as far from derivative as one can get. On alto sax and bass clarinet we have the incredibly unappreciated Myron Walden, Leo Genovese handles piano, rhodes & six track with equal proficiency, Bill Vint plays flute on "Never Wearing Out" and Julie Vangyzen gives that eclectic edge to the same number on bassoon & clarinet. Daniele Camarda and Justin Brown round out the rhythm section on bass and drums respectively.
One does not have to practise yoga or any other meditative practise to gain insight or to have special appreciation for this delightful release. It is rare that an album contains such honesty and passion that both a visceral and cerebral connection can be made by all that should take the time to simply listen. While my practise of Taoism is in the early stage, the striking if not pervasive mood of Raise Your Vibration is one of warmth and an openness to work just outside the norm of more traditional harmonic progression to create a work of lasting depth and of great artistic integrity. Life would be easier for most of us if we practised living in the same fashion.
Incredibly inventive and highly entertaining. A stunning recording on more levels then I have space to print.
Tracks: Broken Open; Chakra Song; Lightness Of Being; Never Wearing Out; Humble Over The Fact; Space For Your Soul; Magnifying; The Dream; The Other Side.