Primary Instrument: Cello
Invitation is the fifth record by The Peggy Lee Band and the second release by the group for Drip Audio. The album showcases the high standard of ensemble playing the group has become known for, as well as outstanding individual performances by the members of the band. Peggy’s compositions and arrangements cover a wide range of musical terrain––haunting melodies and lush harmonies, driving rhythms, and complex sonic explorations; each piece is constructed with the specific talents of the band members in mind.
The ensemble consists of an all-star group of creative Canadian musicians whose collective experience covers jazz, new music, electronica, free improvisation, as well as classical music and pop. Consider the haunting melody and ambient textures of “End Waltz,” the brilliance of Brad Turner’s trumpet on “Path of a Smile,” the collective textural improvisation that opens “Not So Far,” the soulful Kwela inspired guitar of Tony Wilson on “Warming,” Jeremy Berkman’s Berio-influenced statement on “Why Are You Yelling,” the burning jazz tenor of John Bentley on “Punchy,” Ron Samworth’s twelve-string psychedelia on “Little Pieces, van der Schyff’s percussive overture to “Chorale,” as well as the unique take on Mary Margaret O’hara’s timeless “You Will Be Loved Again.” Indeed, this is an ensemble that can do pretty much anything asked of it; and yet it maintains a unique and coherent sound thanks to the long associations between members of the group and a deep collective commitment to Peggy’s music.
Cellist, composer and band leader Peggy Lee resides in Vancouver where she performs with a wide variety of ensembles including the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the string quartet, Microcosmos and the new music ensemble, Standing Wave. As an interpreter and improviser she works regularly with longtime associates Tony Wilson, Dylan van der Schyff, Ron Samworth, Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb, as well as in a new collaboration with vocalist Mary Margaret O’Hara called Beautiful Tool. In the past, Peggy has performed with the likes of trumpeter Dave Douglas, guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco), guitarist Bill Frisell and Eyvind Kang. With her own group, The Peggy Lee Band, she has been able to develop her compositional skills––the band has released five CDs including the most recent, Invitation.
…arguably the most prominent improvising musician in the rich musical community around Vancouver. - Pop Matters
Albums like Invitation are a rare breed. The fifth record by Vancouver cellist Peggy Lee and her band is an accessible, eclectic mix of tender harmonies and angular improvisation that touches on a number of stylistic influences yet remains a strong, cohesive experience. - The Vancouver Sun
...an album brim-filled with musical grandeur of the highest order. I think I'm just going to turn off the lights and listen to The Peggy Lee Band for the rest of my life... - Forest Gospel
This is beautiful music played by master musicians of a sort that is all too rare. - The Province
The eleven-track recording impressively showcases The Peggy Lee Band as a polished ensemble deftly capable of bringing Lee's compositions and arrangements to life. - Textura
...melodious, nuanced, creative, with occasionally themes surging in a Post Rock-like manner. - Monsieur Délire
Inventive and beautiful, and clearly unafraid to take risks. - emusic
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