"It’s strange to think that a band of three clarinets and a single voice can conjure up a world of infinite possibilities, but that’s what Pneuma delivers. Ayelet Rose Gottlieb’s caramel-rich voice and instrumentalists James Falzone, François Houle, and Michael Winograd work together as one as they uncork everything from klezmer lamentation to out-there sonic surgery. Music this beautiful, intricate, and heartfelt deserves to be celebrated—and treasured.”
— Alexander Varty of The Georgia Straight, Vancouver, BC
PNEUMA (πνεῦμα) is an ancient Greek word for “breath”, “spirit” or “soul”. This quartet features four improvisers / composers: vocalist Ayelet Rose Gottlieb and clarinetists James Falzone, Francois Houle and Michael Winograd. Pneuma’s sound is kaleidoscopic – many worlds entangled – blending contemporary electro-acoustic turbulent energies with gentle gestures inspired by Klezmer and jazz-infused improvisations. Presenting a poetry infused set, their music is “a globally-informed emotional panoply” (NYC Jazz Record) inspired by the wind. They create music "where notes seem to leap off the page and into the air, there to intertwine and dance in magical forms” (World Music Report.)
Pneuma made their premiere at the 2017 Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Their debut album, “Who Has Seen The Wind?” was recently released on the esteemed Canadian label, Songlines Recordings.
"The breathy, soulful voices of the clarinets do embrace the spirited vocals of Gottlieb, who often uses her own voice as another wind instrument. Pneuma’s cycle of poems and songs, composed and arranged by the four musicians, offers the wind as a metaphor for an empty space. It attempts to reflect the turbulent feelings of sensing loss, thinking about last and lost breaths and passing moments and images, but it is also life affirming cycle and enjoys the beauty that survives"
Eyal Hareuveni, Salt Peanuts
"...a dream-like reverie of vibrantly colorful melodic meanderings...The smokey yet luminously smooth and clear tone of Ayelet's voice accompanies a non-linear weave of percolating rhythmic and melodic fragments... Like Ayelet's voice, the tones of the clarinets are rounded and clear, with perfect intonation. Their finely tuned call and response forms the real meat of the record...There is tremendous musicianship here, though it is never put on full display...a masterpiece of a kind."
5 Star Review, musiquemachine.com
"Ayelet Rose Gottlieb and the (essentially) clarinet trio of James Falzone, François Houle and Michael Winograd combine to create music where notes seem to leap off the page and into the air, there to intertwine and dance in magical forms"
Raul Da Gama, World Music Report
"With one clarinetist usually playing chalumeau for continuum, Gottlieb confidently cycles through moods ranging from wistful to lighthearted, with her lyric soprano harmonized and used as much as an instrument as the woodwinds. […] There are suggestions of spiritual singing from Pneuma"
Ken Waxman, Jazzword.com
"Who Has Seen The Wind? is a globally-informed emotional panoply. Joining Gottlieb are clarinetists James Falzone, François Houle and Michael Winograd for an examination of the wind’s many guises. [...] a moving homage to a friend, a poignant recitation of Iranian poetry and an emotional blending of voices"