Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Switchfoot Switches Feet: Fading West, album review

Artist/Band: Switchfoot (w. Jon Foreman frontman)
Album: Fading West
Genre: techno, singing pirate, effervescent power-pop , indie rock – or something like that.
Release: Jan 14, 2014

Authors Note:  There is small part of me that does not want to be associated with Switchfoot anything.  As a man of advancing age, who has yet to surf and who thinks Jon Denver represents the pinnacle of pop music,  I am afraid I may loose curmudgeonly credibility if I sometimes listen to music that might be played on the radio.  This is not my music.  Except.   Well, Saturdays when I need music to overpower the vacuum or shake the cobwebs from the corners.  (Nothin like being found with  air guitar in one hand, dust rag in the other!)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Charlie Peacock: Lemonade

Album: Lemonade.  (Digital Only)  Itunes and Amazon.
release: Jan 2.2014

Genre:  Solo Piano, improvisational jazz

Quick Spin: Charlie Peacock, sans Charlie Peacock.

Beautiful, surprising, and somewhat plaintive piano dallies (though not always)  --  from ever the ever-altering  singer-songwriter, producer, and performer --  Charlie Peacock.

In my house, Charlie Peacock is a household word.

For those already familiar with Charlie Peacock’s jazz hands, this stripped down piano offering is no surprise.  We have heard Charlie go voiceless in his 2005 release Love Ex-Curio  featuring a small riotous ensemble, followed by Arc of the Circle (2009) an improvisational “dialogue” with Jazz sax-man Jeff Coffin.

And now here’s Charlie, stripped of  sax, budget, interplay,  and  electric gizmos. While I did hear one hummy-thing that might not have been a broken piano string, this is about as immediate as it gets.

I count among my instrumental piano library, music by these key-bangers: Duke Ellington,  Liz Story, George Winston, Douglas Trowbridge (aka:   Richard Souther ) Phillip Aabegg, Tom Howard, Jeff Johnson,  David Arkenstone, Ken Medema,  and others.  This is probably the Jazziest of the lot  (excluding Duke -- but  that is jazz of a different timbre) and  shares in common traits with at least two of my faves, Liz Story and Ken Medema   In short, I hear the complex melancholy tones of Liz, delivered with the improvisational flourish of Ken Medema.

(Charlie points to some of his own influences here.)

Forgive me as a non-musician for trying to describe something in layman’s terms, but the thing that makes this recording stand out:  Timing.

Intricate,  tripping and balanced….cascading feather-flourish to slow, turning on a dime….poly rhythmic…  or single finger  --- I am looking for words.  In short,  I have the sense that time-signatures are flying all over the place, but Charlie never falls down.

I cannot hope to explain what you can readily hear for yourself (ie, the short clips provided by I-tunes or Amazon – except to say, Please listen.

This is authentic, creative, skilled and emotive music, most worthy of a larger audience.   And how do we grow that audience.  One ear at a time.