Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 61: George Duke "After Hours" & Mose Allison "The Mose Allison Chronicles - Live in London V.1"

Well, I'm all caught up on the 8tracks thing. Now I can do them as I go so it's not so time intensive. Back to our regularly scheduled program.

George Duke
After Hours

I have to admit, I was rooting for this homeless CD to not make it. The back is fairly scratched and in fact a few of the tracks didn't make it over in their entirety. But now I'm a little bummed about it because it's not the worst thing.

First, I thought that George Duke was a guitar player, apparently not. Keyboards. I associated him largely with smooth jazz, but while he is playing fusion it's not as...mellow. Well, this second track is. But the first one was kind of funky.

I just cringe when I get titles like "After Hours." I tend to expect Tim Meadows to introduce it on 'The Quiet Storm.' To be fair to Duke (who has an impressive resume looking at Wiki), the only thing that separates After Dinner Drinks from a 'straight ahead' jazz piece is the synthesizer sounds and drum machine feel.

I've added to my dissapointment because I couldn't get the CD to play directly, so I listened to it from the library. But I forgot to turn shuffle off, so for a minute when the first track was followed by a blues song I found myself going, "Well, there's a direction I didn't expect." But when that lead into the theme to Space Ghost I knew I had screwed up.

This is kind of soundtrack jazz. Not necessarily porn soundtrack jazz, maybe romantic montage soundtrack or something to that effect. Or parents jazz. It's hard to get excited about but seems unnecessary to trash it. I wish I had started this CD earlier, though.

Together as One is more or less a straight up piano trio piece, a ballad of course.

Once again I'm letting my bias towards smooth jazz color how I approach the CD since it's really not that bad.

I must have listened to it, it's been out of its case for a really long time. Though I probably gave in after the first few seconds of the first track to move onto something else.

Mose Allison
The Mose Allison Chronicles - Live in London

Ah, back to straight ahead land. I have no idea how 'straight ahead' became the distinctive phrase for non-fusion jazz. I don't even know how many people use that, it's just what I heard when I was a teenager and wanted to make that distinction.

I don't really know anything about Mose Allison. He's one of those that I think I should know, I just don't. There are a lot of those in my promos. I would get them and if the rep handed them to me directly I'd say something open ended and vague like, "Sweet, thanks man!" like I was a fan or something, but mostly it was "Great, now I can figure out what this artist is all about!" But then I never took this CD out of its case, so I never learned what Allison was all about.

Like, I wasn't expecting singing. Which is, apparently, what he is known for.

This is live, obviously, but the location is pretty awesome. It's at a pizza place in London where, according to the liner notes, Allison plays at quite a deal. He seems like a half way between a Bob Dorough/Randy Newman and Dr. John.

I got distracted during Middle Class White Boy and I think I missed something. But it's a long CD and I'm kind of tired. Now instead I'm getting a sorrowful rendition of You Are My Sunshine...

Much is made in the liner notes and other sources about Allison's dry wit. He may or may not be that prototype for singers with that folksy jazz songs with ironic lyrics.

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