Rachel Grimes, ‘The Clearing’

21st-Century Chamber Music

Pianist and composer Rachel Grimes pioneered the contemporary mode of blending chamber music and indie rock in Rachel’s, the band she formed in the early 1990s with legendary Louisville musician Jason Noble (also of Rodan and Shipping News). After Noble’s tragic death from cancer in 2012, Rachel’s disbanded, but, fortunately, Rachel Grimes continued. Her 2015 album, The Clearing, combines techniques from minimalism, rock, ambient, and pop into an instrumental mix that’s thoroughly persuasive and eminently re-listenable. You can lean in for the subtle shades in Grimes’s piano playing and the quiet sophistication of musicians such as drummer Kyle Crabtree, violinist Scott Moore, and sax player Jacob Duncan, or you can lie back and let the beautiful sounds Grimes creates with electronic musician Locsil wash over you. The Clearing works either way.

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