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The 17th Pygmy - “Ballade of Tristram’s Last Harping” (2007) review


The 17th Pygmy - Ballade of Tristram’s Last Harping (Trakwerx, 2007)

I think that over the years, for better or worse, I’ve become more selective in the music that resonates with me, and the music I keep. I find that even if I own a CD that I will create a CD-R with only the songs on it that flower for me. This attitude in no way diminishes the quality of an album, it simply means that for whatever reason, there are often one or more songs that I choose not to listen to, and with that in mind, allow me to say what a wondrous pleasure it’s been to lay wasted with The 17th Pygmy.

The band come at their music from two directions at once, though some might consider this to be an infusion of styles, and whether you appreciate one more than the other, or both, the line of demarcation is distinctly drawn, where I’ve kept but five of these hypnoticlly layered slow-dancing tracks that fit me like a pair of bleached out jeans, perhaps a bit frayed around the bottoms, but that’s just the way I like ‘em.

The five numbers I kept, the five numbers that are impossible for me to ignore are “New Generation,” “She Gets High,” “Let It Shine,” “Just Like Brian Jones” and “It’s Only Love,” all relentlessly touching sonic songs that float over me like a warm breeze, songs so good that even if one of them were to appear on an album I’d no doubt rate the release highly, and this is some of the best you’re going to find … meaning that if you haven’t found your way to Ballade Of Tristram’s Los Harping, then you certainly need to, where you can keep the entire kit and caboodle, or like me, keep what lays waste to your soul, and hope to the psychedelic gods that The 17th Pygmy will put out a new release soon.

*** The Fun Facts: ‘Tristram’ was one of the Knights of the Round Table, whose love for Iseult, the wife of King Mark, has been the subject of many romances, and to that end, Gertrude Barlett, in 1916 wrote the poem “Ballade Of Tristram’s Last Harping.”

- Jenell Kesler
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