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J. Pavone String Ensemble: Lost and Found (Astral Spirits)

A review of the second album from the violist-led group

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J. Pavone String Ensemble: Lost and Found
The cover of Lost and Found by the J. Pavone String Ensemble

The prowess with which violist and composer Jessica Pavone creates sweeping, heartstring-tugging vistas is both cerebral and out of this world. Having blurred the lines of new music, avant-garde jazz, and experimental rock in collaborations with guitarist Mary Halvorson, her work under the stewardship of Anthony Braxton, and the quirky stylings of the rock-centric group JOBS, Pavone has proven to be a protean force in myriad scenes.

Lost and Found, the second effort by the J. Pavone Ensemble—also featuring new violist Abby Swidler and returning violinists Erica Dicker and Angela Morris—intoxicatingly meanders down paths that are rooted in subtlety. Whereas the ensemble’s debut album, 2019’s Brick and Mortar, was rough around the edges, Lost and Found is blissed-out. However, the experience remains arresting; these strange, droning transmittals seem to have come from some otherworld.

A patient sensibility is key on Lost and Found. Pavone, Swidler, Dicker, and Morris share a pristine rapport on the set’s four lengthy pieces. Their violas and violins melt into each other, creating a cosmic string army. An entrancing kind of quietude radiates from the twangy soundscapes of “Rise and Fall,” while “Nice and Easy” is anything but as it takes the sprawling form of a horror-noir soundtrack. Decidedly more minimalist than jazz, Jessica Pavone is a freethinker who can’t be pigeonholed.

Learn more about Lost and Found on Amazon!

Originally Published