Boomkat Product Review:
Developed from bandleader and poet Alabaster DePlume's collaborative sessions that led to last year's 'GOLD', 'Come With Fierce Grace' paints outside of the lines with additional vocal contributions from Momoko Gill (aka MettaShiba), Falle Nioke, and Donna Thompson.
When Alabaster DePlume recorded 'GOLD', he invited a sprawling ensemble of talented players to join him at London's Total Refreshment Centre hub, where he worked for weeks composing music and developing the unique sound that powered the album. And it turns out that power has spilled over into another completely new record - 'Come With Grace' began to take shape when DePlume revisited the material earlier this year, pruning a handful of stark instrumentals and a few particularly gripping vocal tracks, featuring guest vocalists this time. Musically, the album features the same rich orchestration as 'GOLD', but feels pared down somehow; the instrumentation is particular, with percussion, synths, woodwind, guitar, bass, piano, cello and various voices, helping create a very modern jazz momentum.
But it's the vocal tracks that provide the most focus here. Margate-based Guinean singer Falle Nioke wakes up DePlume's sleepy, cheeky 'Sibomandi' with throaty chants, and Momoko Gill gives a soulful, smoked-out energy to 'Did You Know'. Singer-songwriter Donna Thompson turns up on clear highlight 'Naked Like The Water', wailing wordlessly over Spaghetti Western guitars and obtuse drones. Elsewhere, Tom Skinner makes his mark on the funky 'Greek Honey Slick', augmenting DePlume's lyrical horn curls with a rugged, electronically-assisted thump. Good stuff.