Review: Dave Chisholm – Calligraphy

His name is Dave Chisholm and his album cover features nice pastel shades. These are the least interesting facts about this trumpet player/composer and Doctoral student based in New York, whose modest first impression shouldn’t disguise the fact that he’s created a rather special post-rock/jazz album.

‘A Fitting Combination’ is a superb way to start. The noirish guitar is enhanced by a mournful burst of trumpets and fleshy percussion. After that initial flurry, ‘And Now, We Wait’ is a more chilled out affair but its languid outward appearance becomes more moving and exuberant as it progresses. The emotional peaks and key changes of ‘Plant A Seed’ and the title track recall Laughing Stock-era Talk Talk whereas ‘Whisper’ forms an attractively elegiac centrepiece. By the end, there are signs that Chisholm is beginning to run out of ideas, but the album is never less than classy.

The name may not sound quite as exciting as Godspeed You! Black Emperor but Dave Chisholm successfully balances old and new jazz to form his own musical identity. Delivered with a flourish, this is definitely an album worth writing about.

Web Sites:
Calligraphy Bandcamp
Dave Chisholm Official Site

Further Listening:
Jaga Jazzist, Talk Talk

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