'Polyhymnia' is Jaggery's first full-length recording, released December 2006.
Jaggery is an experimental art-rock collective who work the dark edge of a genre-defying musical style (darkwave jazz?). Fronted by Boston-based singer/songstress Mali Sastri ~ whose training in the expressive arts discipline of Voice Movement Therapy is evident in her global-sized voice ~ the band suggests a classical, organic, avant-jazz-oriented Cocteau Twins or a “white witch” counter to the haunting Diamanda Galas. Mali’s voice can be a leaf floating in the breeze, and then become an Earth-shaking, Everest-sized volcano. This bridging of the delicate and explosive is a signature of the Jaggery repertoire ~ from haunting lullabies to furious, mixed-meter rants; tightly-woven compositions in odd time signatures to catharsis-inducing, barn-burning mini-epics (oft-times within the same song). Mali is flanked by a rotating lineup of musicians, creating an “exotic musical mobile” and a kind of avant-acoustic electronica around her voice-and-piano-based songs. The ensemble includes Daniel Schubmehl’s cajón-based drumming style, combining African groove and breakbeat, Tony Leva’s funky upright bass, and Petaluma Vale’s Celtic harp and backing vocals. The sound is captivating, engrossing , emotional, both enchanting and disturbing, dark and triumphant. Jaggery (the word comes from the dark brown, Indian sugar) has toured across the northeast, and has released two recordings: the 2004 in lethe ep, and the 2006 full-length polyhymnia.