Dans ce premier volume d'une nouvelle série, Les Aventuriers de la mer, Robin Hobb se penche sur l'histoire d'une famille de grands propriétaires terriens, désormais ruinés, dont la seule richesse ne réside plus que dans un magnifique navire construit en bois-sorcier, La Vivacia. Mais son capitaine va mourir, ne laissant que deux filles. L'une est mariée et mère de famille, l'autre, Althéa, véritable garçon manqué, a grandi sur le bateau et a toujours vécu parmi les matelots, le visage fouette par les embruns de ses longues courses en mer et de ses innombrables voyages. …
This recording marks a venture into composed and improvised creative music for Holcomb. Her musical ideas are for the most part solemnly focused, but there is a big difference in the approach, which is much more expansive and developmental. While her acoustic piano playing is center stage, she is surrounded by some brilliant improvisers, including multi-reedists Marty Ehrlich and Doug Wieselman, electric keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, tubist/bassist David Hofstra, and drummer Bobby Previte.
Rockabye, Robin Holcomb's second album, uses more familiar song structures (i.e., verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge) than her debut, which bore little resemblance to any other musical genre. This time, Holcomb draws on just about every American genre invented before, say, 1974 – traditional folk music, country, classic rock, jazz, carnival music, Dixie brass, soul – but the album is unified by her distinctive, earthy vocals and her staccato piano playing (her keyboard and vocal style seem to be inseparable from her personality).
With a tremulous voice, poetic lyrics, and a fine band, Robin Holcomb put together an impressive debut album. A lot of credit for the distinctive sound of this record must be laid at the feet of organist (and Holcomb's husband) Wayne Horvitz and guitarist Bill Frisell, both alumni of John Zorn's Naked City. The playing of Horvitz and Frisell fits in beautifully with Holcomb's otherworldly voice, one that at times evokes Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins.
Robin Holcomb's third album is all gray sunlight and hardwood floors. It's like spending an hour in the dusty heat of an old-fashioned radiator, beneath thin windows pressed by brisk cold and rusting leaves, listening to a gifted musician as she explores the chordal possibilities of an upright piano. One can hear Holcomb relishing the warmth and resonance of the fresh, dissonant chords she creates.