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October 2003

Jane Mangini/Al Pitrelli
O'2L
Peak Records

It's become a cliche to call an album a musical collage, but in the case of O'2L (pronounced O'Toole) (Peak), the debut album from pianist/sound designer Jane Mangini and guitarist Al Pitrelli, the description is appropriate. Each track on this album is an amalgamation of sounds, both musical and otherwise, in kaleidoscopic, densely layered, intricately textured and often-freeform compositions.

The frenetic "NYC/Dublin/NYC" combines Mangini's high-speed piano work with energetic dance grooves, bagpipes and vocal samples from a flight attendant, then goes into a lush, cinematic break before returning to the original motif. On "Aunt Jane," Mangini's piano rides atop a funky groove, some edgy guitar work from Pitrelli and all kinds of samples, including an answering-machine message from Mangini's actual Aunt Jane. "Shopping for Camels" combines casbah accents, handclap rhythms, organ accents, acoustic guitar and jazzy piano, while the lovely "Cecily," which builds into an anthemic production, is more of a straightforward composition. O'2L is an intriguing, well-executed offering from a duo with a unique and quite innovative musical point of view.

Originally published in October 2003
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