Amongst the Tall Trees
Making music for “the grown and still growing,” Dan Elliott, aka the Pointed Man Band, is quite simply one of the most enjoyably inventive artists out there. And “out there” is the operative term for the quirky, freewheeling, image-laden, narrative style of Elliott’s work, as proven by previous Pointed Man Band albums, “Between the Waves and the Cardoons” and “Flight of the Blue Whale.” This remarkable new album is no exception. With a host of fellow top-flight musicians and singers, multi-instrumentalist Elliott applies the plaintive theatricality of his light baritone (sometimes ascending into falsetto) to airy and muscular melodies awash in complex vocal and instrumental textures. (Instruments include brass, percussion, guitar, harp, cello, grand piano, sax, synthesizers, and more). Every track is a discovery. A few examples: Tooth-brushing and bed-making are folded into the head- and wheel-spinning “Adventures of Wunderland.” The “Dark Divide” [inspired by the Washington State wilderness area and, apparently, the Bigfoot legend] explores the “nature of beings that can remain unseen.” “April Fools” is symphonic gold with driving strings and a beautiful, topsy-turvy choral rendition of the “do-re-mi” tonal scale. The first track, aptly named “Go!,” thrums with the excitement of a journey taken for the sheer pleasure of it. It is the perfect, wild-ride introduction to this exceptionally creative work.
Lynne Heffley ©2020 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.