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Album review: The Space Between Disguises 

Simone Baron & Arco Belo

'The Space Between Disguises'


When I read in the liner notes for Simone Baron & Arco Belo's forthcoming album — out November 8 — that Baron's ensemble was "genre-queer," I thought this was a bold appropriation of a gender term. But after listening, I realized that "The Space Between Disguises" is a musical statement emblematic of an increasingly non-binary musical world. A superb pianist and accordionist, Baron leads an ensemble that might be conveniently placed in the category of chamber jazz.

But that label doesn't begin to describe the wonderful banjo solo by Mark Schatz on "Who Cares," or the popping bass of Michael Pope on "Passive Puppeteer." There are too many fine string musicians to mention, whose playing moves seamlessly from pizzicato to furious bowing. All of this is in the service of Baron's genre-bending arrangements, which are as intriguing as her compositions.

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