CAROLINA HOLZAPFEL TRIO
Contentate Con Poquito
(2018 - Mauco Records - Chile)
Another absolute masterpiece from Chilean extraordinary vocalist, keyboardist, and composer, Carolina Holzapfel, this time under the 'Trio' moniker, although her first was a solo ('Selfie' 2016) using these same fantastic musicians. The music is even broader and more magnificent (if you can believe that) than 'Selfie', with the same elements of dramatic, fusion, classical, jazz galore, odd touches, all under a unique avant-garde that she has a stamp on.
These compositions sail out so far above the world of even the more abstract and unconventional jazz infused artists. To even describe the music here to a general audience is difficult. For the most adventurous and progressive minded music lover, try and imagine a combination of Kate Westbrook, Diamanda Galas, Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson, Mylene Farmer, Toyah, Ingrid Karklins, and Anja Garbarek, on a carousel of vocal parts (sometimes all in one song), with a classical and theater piano backed by a random boost of exotic to anything goes musicians. I described her 'Selfie' album with some similar artists like Dagmar Krause (Slapp Happy), a mature Lene Lovich, Kate Bush, Toyah, and Flora Purim gone even more avant, and a female version of Peter Hammill. And so she can move from place to place with ease. And her operatic, whimsical, daring, sensuous ballad, to classical and jazz excursions, still remains stronger than ever. I should point out this is a 3 piece band, so there is an amazing concoction of instrumentation from Carolina (piano and vocals), Pablo L'ontreras (bass) and Raul Diaz (drums, percussion). The trio is deceptive in that the bass player uses effects to create heavy guitar and even keyboard sounds, and with Carolina's keyboards and voice, along with multi-skilled drums and percussion, the band sounds twice as big.
From the storming waves of heavy matter, bringing in some grind, quickly switching to intimate ballad, bouncing right to theatrical stage performance, the listener is never left in a lull (that is actually an understatement). Being able to see this band live would be a life changing event. There could be no fools in the audience looking at their cell phones, nothing but gazed over looks at the stage, being in awe of what they are witnessing. Indeed! In case you can't imagine all the many colors of Holzapfel's music, just allow faith to take over your decision to buy her recordings. In my five decades of loving and listening to thousands of records, I have been stunned by the greatness of Carolina's compositions and execution of them. The over used word 'amazing' is properly attached on this stuff.
She took a break from performance after 'Selfie' to have a baby, but with this return on 'Contentate Con Poquito' in the recording sessions of 2017, she has only gotten more superior, MOTHER SUPERIOR! Check out a song from You Tube that I have given the link to at top. Then go buy the release at the Bandcamp link I also give. The physical Cd gatefold package is great.. The cover art is subtle but perfect. It portrays a soft pastel artwork of a woman hanging her head from a back shot, with a mystery as to what might arise from her. Exactly what the style of Carolina Holzapfel displays. A surprise every moment. RECORDING OF OF THE YEAR for 2018. It left me speechless the first listen. THE HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION I CAN GIVE!
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 12 - 19 - 2018