Written by Paul Cooke
I first came across Lisa Young — singer, composer and educator — listening to her self-released 1984 record, Fire and the Spark, and being transfixed by the beauty and power of her voice. Since then, she has released four albums of jazz interwoven with world music with her Quartet, and seven albums with Coco’s Lunch, who have been described as ‘Melbourne’s magical purveyors of the a cappella art’. On this album, Young is joined by Jacqueline Gawler, Nicola Eveleigh, Gabrielle MacGregor and Emma Gilmartin, together with musicians playing a variety of ethnic percussion instruments.
The title, Misra Chappu, refers to a South Indian rhythmic cycle of three and a half beats and reflects Young’s study of konnakol (South Indian vocal percussion), the subject of her PhD thesis. Rhythmic risk-taking, soaring melodies, and the harmonic interplay of voices of different timbres, all play their part in producing exciting, improvised music. Created during Melbourne’s COVID-19 lockdown last year, the album succeeds in ‘bringing healing, light and beauty to the world’.