George Lesiw Band – Anuta Was Here (CD)

George Lesiw Band – Anuta Was Here / 2003 Self / 9 Tracks / / Reviewed 13 February 2006

This is music that is made specifically for elevators. Now, I’m not saying that to be flippant or in any way untoward with George Lesiw, but the music is near the same style that one would hear in elevators all around the United States. Chalk that up to the fact that what the George Lesiw Band plays is a very smooth style of jazz, and one can understand why the claim was made.

Where one may be able to say that the sound of the compositions are soft, there is no room for individuals to say that the quality of the arrangements themselves are soft. There a so many things occurring at the same time during each track on the disc, and in eight-minute epics like “Lunar Isis”, one will have a hard time trying to figure out exactly where each of the constituent parts of the band is at at any one point of the track. What is a strength of the George Lesiw band is that they do not feel constrained to work in a traditional pop type of track length; the shortest track on “Anuta Was Here” is a robust four and a half minutes, with most of the other tracks being well over five and a half minutes.

What is another easily-heard strength of the band has to be the quality of the interplay between the constituent members of the band. What results during tracks like “Last Minute” is not bass, guitars, drums, and all the other accouterments of the band doing their own thing but rather these pieces strategically coming up with a solid, unified sound. The band settles into a sedate style with “Laser Boy”, relly dancing all around listeners with a very nuanced and deliberate sound on the track. Note here that there are not vocals on these tracks; whatever narrative that the George Lesiw Band wishes to imbue upon us as listeners has to be and is done solely by the instruments on the disc. Where each of the tracks are linked together through the strong instrumentation of each member of the band, what really issues forth on each track of “Anuta Was Here” is a completely different beast from what precedes and follows it. This diversity, coupled with the density of the arrangements, makes for an album that is both accessible and difficult, fun and challenging all at the same time.

Top Tracks: Laser Boy, Blue Skelton

Rating: 5.7/10


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