Hannah's SumVoices, JL - 4-track promo

Year of Release: 2005
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: 837101122788
Format: CD
Total Time: 22:50:00

Spent an afternoon earlier this week trying to organize "the office" - a story longer than one would care to hear about and not very exciting. In the course of that organization, I came upon a CD in an ordinary plain white slipcase. The disk inside was all black, the front side made to look like an LP record (groves and label); the flip side is smooth and plain, more like a piece of plastic than an audio disc. In fact, even held up against the light, I could not tell if it was an actual CD or some promotional gimicky thing that had come (something more obvious with CDRs than commercial CDs). So today I put the disk into the CD player just to see if it would play...

I'm often worried about what might come of out my speakers when something unfamilar is about to be played, especially if there are no hints as what might lie within. We get sent things that are so far outside the admittedly broad scope we've had here that... well, I just didn't know. For all I knew, it could be hardcore punk. It was all black after all and relatively anonymous. The SumVoices logo on the inner part of the disk is a bit punky, kinda like it's written in blood (the V is a hawk (or the like)). But, you can't judge a book by its cover or a CD by its... lack of a cover.

... So, out of the the speakers came this very gentle and soothing piano and female vocal. I stopped what I was doing to listen... well, listen and apparently comment. To that intro, sweet guitar and shimmering percussion are added. There are some lyrics sung by JL Hannah, who sounds a bit like David Gilmour, while Sarah Wallace vocalizes throughout. And while there are very faint hints to Pink Floyd, do not expect something like Dark Side....

The overall mood of this 4 track promo is lanquid. There is nothing hurried about this music. It's not plodding either. It is gentle and measured. Not ambient, though there is a lot of atmosphere. That atmosphere is a late fall evening, sitting outdoors, perhaps by a campfire perhaps just on your porch, bathed in the orange glow of sunset. I first had that thought with the first track "Autumn Drums,"* but, as I said, that is really true of all four tracks. All suggested by the arrangement, pacing, the sparse instrumentation - guitar, drums and percussion, piano and voice, or in the case of one track, two voices. Guitar plays a prominent role in all four tracks, so if you are into guitar - and I am - this is for you. Nothing flashy or showy, but very well done.

"Dischorus," track two, is more folksy, where JL Hannah's vocals recall Stan Ridgeway -- remember Wall of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio"? This is not at all quirky, not at all -- other than the lyrics themselves and Hannah's phrasing. I don't have the lyrics info here, and there is scattered info about JL Hannah on the internet (didn't find any press materials in our files).

"Generations" is, like "Autumn Drums," a dreamy, hazy, relaxed and unhurried piece of music. There is more movement as the piece gently sways back and forth with twangy guitar and the snick of percussion, giving it a more country-music flair. The last of the four tracks is "Ole Friend," the sparsest of the group with a pair of guitars, one a gently strummed acoustic, the other a plucked electric - and Hannah's vocals.

These four tracks are taken from the 2005 release Of Autumn And Insight which contains a total of 14 tracks (as of this writing, CDBaby notes they have a few copies left). "JL Hannah's SumVoices is an ongoing collaborative adventure of JL & Friends. The singers & players are scattered thruout the U.S." says the blurb at the CDBaby website, and the participants line up (for the full album) shows how many different voices (literal and figurative) were involved.

This promo: Autumn Drum (7:02) / Dischorus (4:03) / Generations (6:15) / Ole Friend (5:24)

Full album: Autumn Drums Overture (7:02) / Passing Time (4:50) / Dischorus (4:03) / Summer Snow (4:55) / On It's Own (5:39) / SumVoices, Some... (4:17) / Generations (6:15) / My Own SunDay (4:01) / Sleep Right (4:42) / Ode To George (4:35) / One Lost Look (4:45) / Ole Friend (5:24) / Letting Go (4:54) / Shadows (6:31)

Full album:
JL Hannah - guitar, piano, drums, voice
Gary Georgett- keys, recording engineer
Dave Robinson - guitar
Peter Kaukonen - guitar
John Sheehan - guitar
Page Sessa - voice
Bobby Barton - guitar
Teri Avella - bass
Sara Wallace - voice
Linda Couturas - voice
Fred Wysong - guitar
Greg Yaeger - bass
Jerry hannah - drums
Rickey Spallone - keys
Jim Richards - bass

Of Autumn And Insight (2005)
Summer Sessions featuring Jessica Leigh Andersen (2011)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: June 5th 2017
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.sumvoices.com
Hits: 30783
Language: english


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