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Chase Elodia - Portrait Imperfect (Biophilia)

10 May 2022

Drummer and composer Chase Elodia spent the pandemic reading books on media theory, which lead to his debut album Portrait Imperfect. Soaking himself in the works of folks like Neil Postman and Byung Chul-Han gives his work a depth most records doesn’t necessarily have, but ultimately it’s the music itself that makes the biggest impression. Elodia studied literature as well as music in school and has written well-regarded essays, so he writes lyrics as well as tunes. Working with bassist Tyrone Allen, keyboardist Theo Walentiny and, most significantly, vocalist Claire Dickson, he gives each track a song-oriented style that doesn’t precisely fit inside a genre envelope – while the performances sound jazz-trained, not many of the results sound specifically like jazz. That’s a good thing, as the amalgamation of elements – low-key jazz fusion, ethereal indie pop, atmospheric rocktronica, brooding post bop – give “Better Work,” “readreceipt” and “The Archivist” a sound like few others. Saxophonist Donny McCaslin’s eclectic alternative rock/jazz fusion LP blow. comes to mind, but Portrait Imperfect has an enigmatic, distinctive aesthetic all its own.