BANANA Live Challenges the Boundaries of Improvisation

Bandcamp Daily


Veteran producer Josiah Steinbrick has worked with Devendra Banhart, Danger Mouse, and Charlotte Gainsbourg, among others; he’s obviously comfortable behind the scenes, able to leave a stylistic imprint without a heavy hand. Though his latest project BANANA—an improvisational live band with Cate Le Bon, Stephen Black, Huw Evans, Josh Klinghoffer, and Stella Mozgawa—doesn’t bear his name, it certainly has his signature.

Steinbrick is hesitant to make BANANA Live—a recording of his band’s Dublab performance, out now via LEAVING Records—about his work as a composer. This music is wholly reliant on the interplay and pace between instruments. The album—four rich, inventive tracks that trade space between minimalism and gorgeous melody—is unassuming yet uniquely powerful, utilizing repetition to highlight boisterous moments of interlocking instrumentation. Moments linger long after they pass, like the wild piano solo on “BANANA A” or the downtempo jazz on “BANANA D.” Steinbrick, along with…

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