Album Review – Jo Quail – Exsolve Vinyl

Jo Quail has released a vinyl edition of Exsolve, which was released on CD in 2018. Exsolve on vinyl has been remastered and with an extra track, Reya Pavan, plus sheet music for ‘Maquette’ for solo cello. A review for the original CD release was posted on the website and can be viewed at:

Jo Quail is an internationally acclaimed composer and virtuoso cellist from London. Equally at home on stage solo, with bands, or in collaboration with choir and orchestra, she combines an eloquent mastery of her instrument with innovative looping techniques, to realise her complex, evocative music for audiences worldwide. She has a growing reputation in the progressive rock world, and indeed was nominated for the Limelight Award by Prog magazine in 2019.

This double vinyl has a luxury embossed and debossed gatefold sleeve, including inserts with photography, and sheet music for ‘Maquette’. It includes unlimited streaming of Exsolve Vinyl – remastered and with extra track, plus sheet music for ‘Maquette’ for solo cello via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

Quails music is quite difficult to categorised. It includes elements of many styles. On this release the first three tracks are as on the CD release, though remastered. The final track, Reya Pavan, was available as a separate download in October 2019. It is quite an electronic piece, with a pulse as a rhythm with a mournful sounding cello above it. The overall effect is somewhat like a lament. It is a little bleak and stark. I am reminded when listening to Quail’s music of Robert Fripp’s ambient releases. She does not sound like him directly, but her style does have very strong similarities of his approach. Ed Alleyne-Johnson is another musician of a similar ilk.

This is a splendid album, and although it may seem ambient is guaranteed to keep your attention and be an excellent listen.


1. Forge – Of Two Forms

2. Mandrel Cantus

3. Causleen’s Wheel

4. Reya Pavan

Released October 4, 2019

Composed and performed by Jo Quail
Guitars on ‘Forge – Of Two Forms’ by Dan Capp
Guitars on ‘Mandrel Cantus’ by Nik Sampson
Vocals on ‘Causleen’s Wheel’ by Lucie Dehli

Engineered and produced by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio
Mastered by James Griffiths at Riff Studios
Original artwork by Christian Fletcher
Design by Al Richardson
Sleeve photography by Simon Kallas

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