‘As creative as it is sophisticated, it’s a beautiful showcase of sub-genre influences.’
Intro to Bryony Jarman-Pinto
Bringing us her sound earlier this year in the form of ‘As I’ve Heard,’ jazz artist Bryony Jarman-Pinto delivers effortless sophistication, accomplished musicality and stylistic prowess beyond her experience. Setting up what was to be a series of four releases, the debut contained three versions of the same track. These aren’t remixes though. They are much more than that as with each full track joined by instrumental and a capella versions, we get to hear just how much understanding Bryony has about the sub-genres within her style. Therefore it should be little surprise that choosing which track from her debut album ‘Cage and Aviary’ to feature proved incredibly difficult.
With the rhythmical ticking of a high-hat, an endless, hectically panning electronic beeping and soft vocals, the opening moments of ‘Sweet Sweet’ really capture the complexity of Bryony’s musicality. It’s unusual. It can’t be pigeon-holed. And it grabs us instantly. Sitting at track four on the album – and sandwiched between her previous releases – it’s the first time we get to hear where her sound is right now. And it’s somewhere incredible.
Providing the perfect juxtaposition of rhythmical and melodic influences, as we move through the first verse, Bryony tells a story which focuses on the changing environment. Delivering the lyricism in a way that speaks to us, but is also very much directed at the future generation, it’s wonderfully clever. But, matching the cleverness of this – and almost depicting the rate that those changes are happening – the gentle swells and energetic percussive cross-rhythms create an accompaniment that’s infectious as well as meaningful.
Taking the energy level up a stage within the developing sound, the second verse sees the addition of melodic guitar fragments emerge. Syncopated against everything else, you may think it would clash. But you would be wrong. Each part of this evolving sound is indeed playing a key role. However, even with the impressiveness of these elements, lines such as ‘How long will we stay standing to watch?’ and ‘With every hour the world unravels away’ ensure we are never taken too far from the lyrical intentions.
Bringing a change to the sound, but seamlessly blending the influences, as the preceding phrase finishes, a new injection of sound breaks through. Completely transforming the atmosphere of the track, powerful saxophone lines add depth and playing sequence-based staggered melodies, the most luscious harmonies emerge. As a result, growth occurs and we are guided to the line of ‘catch hold and hold tight.’ However, like before, just as we are about to be carried away from the story, we are pulled back to it. It really is a showcase in word-setting.
Ensuring that the energetic nature of the track continues to be maintained, as the lyricism returns, the original instrumental elements do likewise. Providing a similar setting to before, but with the noticeable change in strumming adding even more rhythmical content, the momentum really pushes along. This said, change is on the way and with the repetition of earlier lines being set in a much sparser way, we get an idea of what is to come.
Set much more distant in the mix than to this point, Bryony’s vocal now moves to within the surroundings rather than above them. Could this be a nod to the fact that our ability to change things is indeed becoming more distant? Who knows. Either way, revealing a free-form, heavily panning and highly processed vocal, our attention is still there. However, just as we are wondering if those teasing instrumental elements will truly break through, we get an answer.
Following wordless vocals, the most magically musical moment of the whole track occurs. Casting aside the more modern jazz sound that has just been, a wonderous atmosphere appears. Taking centre stage, sub-tone tenor saxophone provides improvisatory melodic content while evolving drums, jazz guitar and double bass provide increasingly chaotic accompaniment. As creative as it is sophisticated, it’s a beautiful showcase of influences. And, with the sound seamlessly returning to it’s origins soon after, the same can be said for the whole track. Providing sweet and sophisticated musicality throughout, it’s the perfect introduction to Bryony Jarman-Pinto.