Cambridge Day 4/27/2010

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So many surprises with art band Jaggery, but awe isn’t one


Jaggery will take the stage Saturday as it usually does: As a surprise.

This has nothing to do with being unreliable. Newcomers to the band should know Jaggery always shows up, always has Mali Sastri behind a keyboard and always provides a riveting, beautiful and haunting show. Casual fans can tell newcomers that the surprise of a Jaggery show lies in what shape it takes — which members play and which of roughly 40 songs get performed.

The real surprise will be known by the serious fans: Most of the band lives in New York and New Jersey. When the full band plays, some drive nine hours to take part. “When there’s a Jaggery show everyone lives at my house for a few days,” says Sastri, who lives in Cloud Club, the legendary communal artists’ home in the South End.

Sastri moved there from New York, which can be another surprise.

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Foundwaves: Concert Preview 3/25/2010

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Harp.  Acoustic bass.  Classical voice.  Jaggery, one of this week’s Foundwaves Weekly Picks, seamlessly join all three together with acoustic piano and drums into an unclassifiable sound.  With an amazing range and command of dynamics, singer Mali’s voice can shift from gorgeous and haunting at one moment to brash and sneering in the next, sometimes all within a single phrase.  The pure acoustic tones of the harp, piano, and acoustic bass construct a mysterious world with height, depth, and width for Mali’s expressive melodies to explore.  Adding colorful patterns and washes of rhythm, drummer Daniel Schubmehl plays with a rare precision and sensitivity that propels the music forward without every trampling the subtlety and delicacy of the songs.