Joseph Shabason Anne
Toronto-based saxophonist and composer Joseph Shabason delivers a heartfelt meditation on degenerative illness on his highly impressive second album, Anne. Named after his mother, the record offers a moving account of her struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Chopped up snippets of raw, intimate, interviews with Anne are delicately and beautifully woven into the gentle, lush soundscape that the Canadian producer creates. Throughout the layers of jazz-laced ambience, new age experimentalism and molten-synth electronica, Shabason manages to reflect the breadth of emotions involved with dealing with his mother’s disease. Warm pads wash over the top of oozing synths, glowing melodies as a haze of manipulated saxophone, haunting keys, muted brass and delicate tones mesh beneath. The result is a record that drifts and wanders like fading memories, taking unknown paths that feel at once familiar and uncharted. The calm atmosphere that holds through most of the album only hovers above the glimpses of mournful acceptance of the unfolding effects of the disease. Shabason’s ability to show us how these complex feelings interact is a true marker of his exceptional talent as a composer. Sincere, beautiful and deeply personal, Anne is a remarkable record.