AurallaurA, Exetastes Review


AurallaurA, Exetastes Review

by J. Pepper

AurallaruA-CDAurallaurA’s album, Exetastes, is a collection of her diverse background and influences and how these elements are reflected in her music. AurallaurA’s rich cultural experiences and proficiency in various musical styles, from jazz to folk, provide a unique foundation for her compositions. The album, being self-released, also speaks to the independent spirit of the artist. Collaborating with seasoned musicians like Greg Lutz and John Dahlman further enriches the album’s texture.

Exetastes is a striking embodiment of AurallaurA’s multicultural experiences and jazz expertise. The album is a melting pot of musical genres, blending blues, Latin, funk, jazz waltz, and traditional folk music from various regions. This fusion is a showcase of versatility and a testament to Wiens’s deep understanding and respect for these genres. The narrative lyric-writing ties these diverse musical styles together, creating a cohesive and compelling story throughout the album.

“Shelter; Storm” starts with a Celtic-inspired intro, showcasing AurallaurA’s impressive vocal clarity and expressiveness. The band’s dynamic motion and strings add depth to the six-eight-time rhythm, making it a vibrant and emotionally charged piece.

“City Sister, Homestead Heart” stands out for its eclectic mix of funk, rock, jazz, and world music. AurallaurA’s versatile vocal abilities harmonize seamlessly with Lutz’s piano and saxophone, creating a rich auditory experience. The songwriting’s diversity is particularly noteworthy here.

“Zapjevala Sojka Ptica” is a wonderful example of AurallaurA’s rendition of this traditional Balkan song, which is remarkable for its authentic vocal delivery and clear diction. The violin infuses the track with a gypsy essence, while Lutz’s clarinet playing adds an exotic and soulful touch.

“Yuan Fen” is an AurallaurA original, and the closing track showcases Zielinski’s dynamic violin and the rhythm section’s energy, supporting AurallaurA’s vocals beautifully. The half-time feel change in the bridge and the rich vocal harmonies highlight AurallaurA’s command over her vocal range and intonation.

The collaborations on Exetastes are another pillar of strength for the project. AurallaurA’s songwriting and Lutz’s multi-instrumental talents bring a distinctive flavor to each track, while Dahlman’s bass playing provides a solid foundation with Nick Costa’s drums. The contribution of other musicians like Zielinski on violin adds layers of complexity and emotion to the album.

Exetastes is a world music album that takes us on a journey across continents and musical traditions. It reflects AurallaurA’s (Laura Chu Wiens) deep connection with her heritage and her explorations into various musical landscapes. The album shows her ability to transcend cultural and musical boundaries, creating a unique and immersive listening experience. It’s a must-listen for those who appreciate global influences in jazz and the art of storytelling through music.


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