Alabaster DePlume’s latest opus, Come With Fierce Grace, lives up to its evocative title, featuring an expansive cast of musicians united in a sincere and intrepid exploration of creative music. This document is the culmination of DePlume’s lengthy sessions at London’s Total Refreshment Centre, which attracts some of Britain’s most daring musicians.
DePlume’s tenor saxophone is the silver cord guiding us through a landscape that is as unpredictable as it is engaging. His saxophone work is characterised by a unique breathwork that imparts a haunting and resonant quality to his sound. At times, it almost seems to transcend its brass origins, resembling the mournful, singing tremolo of a cello. This distinctive sound becomes a signature element throughout the album, lending it a distinctive and memorable quality. The collaboration with an extensive list of collaborators further extends DePlume’s sonic patchwork and unveils the depths of his vision, with rich layers of percussion, earthy spiritual overtones, and orchestral colours.
The album’s pacing is well-thought, beginning with the more rhythmic compositions like “Sibomandi” and “Greek Honey Slick”, the album eases into a relaxed ambient state making for plenty of reverent Talk-Talk like moments on “Did You Know?” or “Not Even Sobbing”. While its avant-garde inclinations and genre-blurring tendencies are not for everyone, for those willing to embark on this musical journey with Mr. DePlume, the rewards are plentiful. It’s a journey filled with grace, creativity, and the unapologetic exploration of the limitless possibilities of music.