Alabaster DePlume


International Anthem • 2022

All that can be said about Alabaster dePlume and his music is always only half the truth. It makes a point, but only halfway. And whatever is left untouched is invariably just as crucial. Is part of the whole. You sense that when you listen to it. I could say, for instance, that Alabaster DePlume translates esoteric advice into music. He loves advice. It starts with the song »Be Nice To People« (2018) and continues on his new album »Gold«. On »Don’t Forget You’re Precious« he speaks the words: »I remember my pin number, I remember my ecstasy… I remember the German word for calculator… but I forget that I’m precious«. And adds, »Don’t do that!«. Then the subtitle of »Gold«: »Go Forward in the Courage of Your Love«. Well, at this point I could write how ironic this advice is, and again that would only be half right. Everything is right on Alabaster dePlume somehow. Everything stands shoulder to shoulder. No emphasis and no hierarchy. That’s what makes this music zeitgeisty and so accessible. 19 pieces can be found on »GOLD«, between one and a half and seven minutes long, sandwiched somewhere between Tom Waits, Donovan, Bobby Conn and the extended Coltrane family, between folk, meditation, spoken word, pop and jazz. Although the word »between« doesn’t quite fit, because sometimes it’s not one thing and sometimes another. It’s everything at the same time. In homeopathic doses. Not haphazardly. The 41-year-old taught himself how to play the saxophone, by the way, and that is perhaps the reason why his jazz never comes across as cerebral, never sounds academic. Can I leave this statement as it is? I’ll do just that.