Weird Turn Pro
Let Me Be Unwound
Recently I worked on a video shoot where the script required the characters to share a secret. Instinctually, the actors whispered these lines. Why am I sharing this mundane moment from my irrelevant day job? Because then the sound guy spoke up and gave some direction that could be the mission statement of New Hampshire ambient-jazz sextet Weird Turn Pro: “Whispering sounds harsh. Just speak softly.” The group’s second LP, Let Me Be Unwound, is richly, generously quiet – an incoming tide of exploratory instrumentals that soothes as much as it challenges. Pianist and songwriter Mike Effenberger anchors every song with simple, circular chord progressions, laying the groundwork for the gentle sighs of Chris Klaxton’s muted trumpet, Matt Langley’s sax, and Chris Gagne’s trombone. The opening “It’ll All Be Over Soon” slowly elevates a four-note figure to ethereal heights, shifting from major to minor scales so subtly that you almost don’t notice the cloud cover. It’s reminiscent of Eno, and Amnesiac-era Radiohead, and the opening credits to a slow-burn art-house horror movie that somebody needs to make. As Unwound unfurls, its jazz roots become apparent. There’s space for everyone to solo, even drummer Mike Walsh, whose cymbals propel “Finlandia” like waves crashing on distant fjords. These musicians have created something epic by discovering sonic phrases that get more powerful each time you play them. All while speaking in a silent way.
— Joe Sweeney
Weird Turn Pro plays Blue on Aug. 11.