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Breaking Jazz Norms: Darren Pickering Has Made a Record You'll Want to Play More Than Once

In an era where the boundaries between musical genres are blurred, Darren Pickering Small Words becomes the architect of his own, dare I say, genre. His latest album, "Volume Two," represents a reimagining of the traditional sound of classic jazz music.


A surge of imagination framed by electronic textures and cinematic aesthetics, "Volume Two" represents an entirely new stage in the evolution of contemporary jazz. Each composition becomes an experimental field where jazz motifs skillfully intertwine with electronic impulses. Darren Pickering goes beyond traditions, challenges familiar structures, and raises questions about how one can characterize modern musical art.


This album is more than just listening to music. It is a reflection on how art-house elements and ambient genre can interact with jazz motifs, creating a new harmony of musical directions. "Volume Two" serves as a unique point on the map, demonstrating how the exploration of new musical spaces can be a guide to uncharted forms of the genre. With this album, Darren Pickering provides us with an opportunity to ponder: what other perspectives unfold for those who choose to move forward, exploring new musical horizons? "Volume Two" is a musical experiment that not only inspires us to listen but also prompts us to contemplate the future of sound art.

13 sensual tracks crafted to envelop you in an atmosphere of elegance while immersing you in virtuoso sounds of modernity. The album opens with the track "Oneroa Bay," immediately introducing a unique sound - fresh, stylish, more refined, yet maintaining a classical and pleasing tone. Electronic textures, bolder and more daring, take center stage in the new album, as evident in tracks like "Reverse" and "Blue Mind." Darren Pickering boldly undertakes the complex task of forging a new wave in jazz music within an established world, skillfully weaving modular synthesizers to create a novel musical space.


One of the key elements of the album is the cinematic flavor that permeates the release, as evident in the track "Chasing Pavements." The fusion of this aesthetic with electronic textures, reminiscent of the contemporary lo-fi sound, creates an atmosphere where jazz unfolds in an unprecedented way, evoking beautiful imagery and stirring memories. The track "TA2," with its hypnotic, almost art-house textures, induces a sense of complete detachment from the world, immersing the listener into an unexplored realm, while in the track "Intimate," sensuality and lightness soothe and inspire.

In this regard, Darren Pickering not only demonstrates the ability to create a new sound that evokes an entirely new range of emotions during the listening of jazz music. The album "Volume Two" is a cinematic, modern, and aesthetic jazz experience, where each track serves as a chapter in a captivating story. You can close your eyes and feel the entire, almost mystical power of the release. The track "Interlude B" dives almost entirely into cosmic synth sounds, unexpectedly breaking into a light soul jazz vibe. The final track, "La Perla (for Benjamin)," like a concluding step, is filled with meditative ambient tones where jazz seamlessly dissolves into the sound.

No other artist creates music with the same level of tranquility and nurturing qualities as Pickering. The reason he hasn't become a global superstar remains one of the many mysteries in the music industry. However, with "Volume Two," he continues to solidify his position as a distinctive and significant voice in contemporary jazz music. Upon first encountering Pickering's album, I was completely unprepared for such an exciting experience. This can be described with the word revelation. Pickering turned out to be an innovator, creating something entirely unexpected and thrilling. He's like a sculptor carving musical forms out of space, leaving behind traces of intrigue and captivating mystery.


This innovative formula proposed by Pickering carries something greater, let's say, than just sound. It offers a new stage for jazz enthusiasts and those seeking complex, aesthetic, and unconventional music. I highly recommend it to all jazz lovers as well as enthusiasts of intricate, aesthetic, and unusual music. A masterpiece.

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*This review was made possible by Rattle Records

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