Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tori Amos Gold Dust Deutsche Grammophone 2012

When the cover art outshines the packaged material then you know you are on to something. The last Amos recording was the critically acclaimed Night of the Hunters, now Gold Dust settles into more of an eclectic vibe where the mezzo soprano voice of Amos takes flight and carries the listener on a wonderful sonic road less traveled. Tori Amos unplugged? Possibly. The genesis of Gold Dust originated from the desire to work with the Metrppole Orkest after a one shot 2010 show, and a celebration of her twenty year anniversary of her first solo release Little Earthquakes. A retrospective may be a far more suitable description as only To Venus And Back and The Beekeeper go unrecognized here.

One of the hotter tickets in jazz today is chamber jazz. A unique if not often misunderstood hybrid of acoustic jazz and the baroque influence of early music. "Precious Things." "Winter" and "Silent All These Years" occupy the predominant spatial context that is the somewhat ambient feel of Gold Dust. While Amos and her prolific talents on piano take center stage, there is an eclectic if not enthralling organic vibe including a rare B side "Flying Dutchman" that proves to be a most intriguing highlight of this set. Gold Dust hits sonic pay dirt as it carefully walks the musical tightrope between dressed up rock tunes while avoiding the self indulgent pretentiousness that so many other artists find themselves trapped in.

Tori Amos has taken the more open ended term artist to a new level. Ground breaking videos, semi-biographical short stories and reworked harmonic exploratory of songs that continue to touch the human spirit today. While paying  tribute to the past, Almost keeps one foot in the present forging ahead while continuing to pick up new fans along the way. One crowning achievement for Amos is a co-founder of Rainn, (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network). RAINN happens to be the United States' largest anti sexual assault organization.

Far more than the stereotypical greatest hit collection, mos went back to the studio to reharm a stellar career that has touched so many lives in such a positive way. Other remarkable tunes included here are such lesser known gems as "Flavor" and "Precious Things." A considerable amount of time and energy went into the remixing of some of Amos most infamous catalog with the results far achieving the generic greatest hits release.

While Night of the Hunters carries a more decidedly classical flavor, Gold Dust is an organic masterpiece of textured flavor and layers of harmonic bliss yet to have been achieved by one of the most dramatic artists of our time.

Tracks: Flor, Yes, Anastasia, Jackie's Strength; Cloud On My Tongue; Precious Things; Gold Dust;Star of Wonder; Winter; Flying Dutchman; Programmable Soda; Snow Cherries From France; Marianne; Silent All These Years; Girl Disappeared.

Metropole Orkest : JAMES BUCKLEY Conducting.