My review of Linda Perhacs’ Parallelograms is up today at Dusted.
It’s got some typos….sorry about that.
Here’s a bit.
Recorded in 1970, mastered badly, almost entirely unpromoted and forgotten for decades, Parallelograms was, up till recently, one of the great lost albums of the early 1970s. Its author, a dental technician by profession, was completely untrained, yet had an unusually sophisticated ear for harmonies and counterpoints. Her voice was, and remains, crystal-clear yet flexible, capable of the most otherworldly trills (“Parallelograms”) as well as earthy jazz slides (“Paper Mountain Man”). She sounds a good bit like Joni Mitchell, who was recording in the same Southern California scene at about the same time. Like Mitchell, she sings songs that flirt with folk, blues in jazz, yet unlike Mitchell she sounds fundamentally untethered to any of these conventions. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is this: Perhacs had no formal training, in writing, singing or arranging music. But there is nothing naïve about Parallelograms. It is intricate as well as hauntingly beautiful, carefully, complexly composed as well as utterly natural.