The Low Anthem: Music Box

Track

Music Box

Group

The Low Anthem

CD

Oh My God, Charlie Darwin (Nonesuch 519598)

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Musicians:

Jocie Adams (clarinet), Ben Knox Miller (music box resonating against the body of an open tuned acoustic guitar), Jeffrey Prystowsky (rubbing cymbals and other percussion).

Composed by Ben Knox Miller, Jocie Adams

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Recorded: Block Island, Rhode Island

Lowanthem

Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

This track comes from my favorite album of 2009 (Yes, we're only halfway through, but I swear that I'll sit through a week of smooth jazz if I change my mind). The Low Anthem are not a jazz group by any stretch of a wishful imagination but this short instrumental should open a few ears. Many of the group's songs contain elements of folk and gospel, turned out in an old-timey way that's infused with warmth.

“Music Box” begins with a simple and prayerful clarinet melody that is ghosted by ringing music box notes and distant otherworldly chords. Phrases are accented by bits of percussion that sound so far off, they might be coming from a different century. After a couple of slow turns through this theme, the music box is rewound.

The sonics here are so intimate and glowing that I almost felt compelled to write a short story about a working music box being discovered at bottom of a trunk full of civil war items. Timeless is the proper word.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski

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