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  • Writer's pictureMichael Bugeja


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I was expecting a jazz album from a band such as Noir. After all, they are primarily a jazz combo, aren't they, and didn't this band make its live debut at the 2006 Malta Jazz Festival? Yes and yes, but going back to my opening sentence, this collection of songs released under the name of Till You Switch Off The Lights is not just any jazz album; as the cliché goes, it is bigger than the sum of its parts, and there's more at play here than meets the ear.

In the space of its nine tracks, this album openly flaunts its jazz influences, but with an open-ended perspective. Here, the fluidity one expects to find in jazz is inherently present, but it is the seamless blending with a variety of imported elements that underline its energy and emphasize its dynamic.

There are some subtle rock inflections, classical touches and not-so-subtle excursions into Prog territory here, the latter pushing the music to swirling heights. The incorporated extracts of poetry enhance the mood in the right places and, pinning it all together, there's a delicate melodic undertow that ebbs and flows to allow each track its space, its voice, its impact on the listener. Last but not least, the tender reworking of Brodu's Iċ-Ċimiterju (as brittle as the original) that slips in gracefully two-thirds into the record is a wonderful surprise. Totally enjoyable and highly recommended!

Track listing

1. Prologue

2. Longing

3. Pangaea

4. None of Me

5. Till you switch off the lights

6. May

7. Iċ-Ċimiterju

8. Riflessjoni

9. Fewġa Latina

Noir will be launching their debut album Till You Switch Off The Lights on Friday, April 15 at Robert Samut Hall, Floriana. Doors open at 7.30pm and the performance starts at 8pm. Tickets cost €15 (including a copy of the album) and are available here.

Noir is a jazz trio featuring Kris Spiteri on piano, Edward Ellul on bass and Alex Debono on drums.

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