Peggy Lee Band

Peggy Lee Band
Out of electronic noise generated by two electric guitars comes the banshee wail of a female voice. That high-pitched cry on the opening track of World’s Apart is an ear-fooler, generated during Ron Samworth’s lengthy counterpoint solo with other guitarist Tony Wilson. Three tracks later Peggy Lee surprisingly uses acoustic guitar to introduce the alluring melody of "Spells.” The contrast between these two compositions illustrates the seductive charm of Lee’s band. Her eclectic music appeals to both hardcore noise-radicals and those who require grace and warmth in their music. Lee writes distinctive melodies and the astute and perhaps unique instrumental combination of trombone and trumpet with electronics, strings, and drums franchises a broad palette of emotion and tonal colour. Each musician is adept on their instrument but the test of a band of this nature is how it improvises. During one sustained period on "A Door” the entire band is improvising, seven contiguous independent lines. The result is a coherent musical statement that enhances the dreamy mood of the composition.

How would you compare your current CD with the previous two? Lee: The music is still coming out of the same references, but this time I composed most of the music on guitar instead of piano. I wanted to write more guitaristic parts for Tony and Ron rather than single lines, creating parts that were well-suited to the instrument. The result is in some cases a more overtly pop sound.

How did you select the instrumentation for your band? I selected the band because of the musicians. At the time of the band’s formation, all of these musicians had not played together before. I could hear them blending well together. Having a brass section and superimposing electronics meant I could combine the wild element and the more composed parts.

"Worlds Apart” and "Soft Scrape” segue into each other. How did that come about? I always imagined that the compositions could launch improvisations. I think this works well coming out of "Worlds Apart.”

You just returned from Jazz em Agosto in Portugal. How was that festival? It was exciting to play in such a beautiful setting at the Gulbenkian Institute. Musically it solidified a goal of mine to play without a set list in the future. I’d like to slow down developing the written materials and concentrate on opening up the improvisations.