Review (Jazz): "A New Life" SOA and Chrystelle Maechler

In a word: “refreshing.”  This piece by SOA and Chrystelle Maechler entitled “A New Life” is not only a new life but a new sound.  It’s wonderful to hear musicians experimenting with different textures and harmonies without going too far overboard.  Ms. Maechler keeps it simple in this composition with just piano, percussion and voice yet it is not only a perfect blend, you don’t miss any bass, drums, strings or anything else that she could have put on top of this track.  The harmony is also refreshing because she plays with the resolution of the melody line by not resolving to its tonic key too often.  This especially works nicely at the end during the coda or turnaround.  I love it when a deceptive cadence is used well.  The pianist has a nice touch and his solo ideas are inventive and not predictable.  Aside from the musical presentation the video that was created for the track is also inventive and well done.  I enjoyed watching the visual concept of the piece and felt that the idea of simplicity tied in well with the videographer’s presentation.

According to Ms. Maechler’s bio her concept for the group is in perfect sync with their music.  She wanted to form a group that “resonated with her own uniqueness” She wanted a group that would emanate “simple seductiveness.”  The name of the group is SOA which is an acronym for “simple, organic and airy.” It is also representative of Ms. Maechler’s Malagasy roots and means “beautiful or well.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this “beautiful” recording and consider it a job “well” done for the group SOA.  You can check out their website here:


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