Brazz Tree

Independent release, 2005


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Simplicity in music is all but irrelevant in this day and age, with music in its most humble form being nothing but a thing of the past, something passé for today’s generation that is blessed with technology at its behest. In such a day and age where technology in music has become as integral as the music instrument itself, a band like Brazz Tree, for the kind of music they are making, is an aberration.

If technology is believed to be a norm in modern music, then Brazz Tree would be music’s Amish equivalent; overly modest is what this debut is. ...my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Quest... is music in its most organic form. Not only the style of this band, but the music itself is nothing less than earthy to the greatest extent possible. Consisting of duo Mazz Swift (on vocals and violin) and Brad Hammonds (on acoustic guitar), Brazz Tree has a sound that is based (completely) on two of music’s most basic instruments, in their rawest forms.

For an album that has absolutely no rhythm section (no drums at all and minimal bass guitars), and no other extravagance whatsoever, ...Quest... is phenomenally exciting. The band has a very free-form style of composing, so the tracks seem very spontaneous. The whole sound of ...Quest... feels like an aggressive jam between Hammonds and Swift.

Beneath Brazz Tree’s rusticism is a band of great depth and serious talent. Swift is an elegant lyricist and an articulate singer; her singing styles change effortlessly as the duo’s eclectic music does, which is a farrago of diverse influences ranging from Traditional Scottish to Americana.

With the help of the same old tools -– an acoustic guitar and a violin -– Swift and Hammonds show the great range in their musical ability as they swiftly jump styles from the elegant Traditional Scottish arrangements on “Return To My Town” to some jazz on “My Blues” and “Kiss Me,” then adding a taste of Indian ethnicity on “We Get,” and then going roots music on “Four Elements” and “Ghost.”

Music has rarely been so crude and yet so vivaciously brilliant and refined, let alone in the last several years. ...Quest... is a breath of fresh air for anyone seeking some serious originality, and a style that’s more hip than it is down to earth. This is an album every bit worth checking out. 

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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