Acute Inflections released their latest album in October 2019. “Electric Psychology” is an unexpected mix of originals and cover tunes that tell the duo’s story. Acute Inflections is comprised of singer Elasea Douglas and bassist Sadiki Pierre.
With a sparse soundscape, the duo tries their literal and figurative hands at songs from across genres, while introducing themselves to listeners via their originals.
Douglas and Pierre are known for creating atmosphere at a variety of sophisticated events. For those who have not heard the two perform, Acute Inflections is a surprising take on jazz soundscapes, especially when used to take on other genres.
Acute Inflections: a story of separate but similar paths
Both Douglas and Pierre showed early promise in their respective musical paths. Douglas began singing in church as a small child. An enthusiastic performer, she made her way to Hunter College, and after graduation performed in several off-Broadway shows and her own one-woman show. In addition, Douglas was a fixture in a variety of venues around New York City.
Pierre on the other hand, though gifted, stumbled upon the bass as a way to escape sixth grade schoolwork. The distraction worked. But, he stopped playing for 10 years after college when he couldn’t find a genre that suited him. Despite encouragement to attend Juilliard or some other reputable institution, Pierre finished aviation school and became a pilot.
Meeting Douglas re-ignited Pierre’s passion for music. The two soon teamed up and now, as Acute Inflections, Pierre is free to mix genres as he chooses, while crafting percussive, melodic or groovy bass lines.
“Lovesong” by Acute Inflections
“Lovesong,” the moody goth wave song by The Cure, gets an unexpected twist here. This is not the only non-jazz song to get covered by Acute Inflections. Songs like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones, “I’ll Be Around,” by The Spinners and “Redbone” by Childish Gambino, are just a few of the modern classics that the duo takes on.
Maybe bass-only accompaniment is common in live situations in larger cities. But from certain perspectives, it is unusual. However, that does not mean the soundscape does not work.
“Lovesong” here is still moody and atmospheric. The sound takes a turn from the original because there are no guitars or keyboards to accent the lower notes.
Douglas’ delivery is sultry and vulnerable. Her voice twists around the bass notes. The song sounds nothing like the original, which, hopefully no one expected. But instead of the low-level angst or anxiety that underscored the post-punk original, there is a cool assertion.
Pierre’s bass is melodic, groovy and deep. His work helps to make Acute Inflection’s version a classic of sorts.
“Electric Psychology” is available at all fine retailers.