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Friday, December 11, 2015

Long-Ass Car Ride Review - Rob Reddy & Lisa Parrott!

Long-Ass Car Ride Reviews: I take long-ass car rides, I listen to albums, I let you know if they are worthwhile.

Nice artwork for a great album!
Rob Reddy - Bechet: Our Contemporary (2014) - 9/10

Rob Reddy - soprano sax, John Carlson - trumpet, Curtis Fowlkes - trombone, Charles Burnham - violin, Marika Hughes - cello, Marvin Sewell - guitars, Dom Richards - double bass, Pheeroan Aklaff - drums, (guests: Lisa Parrott - bari sax, Oscar Noriega, clarinet)

In a word: great

Mingus meets Frissell meets Ellington meets Reddy.... meets Bechet. This is a very satisfying collection of brilliant, fun & adventurous arrangements of songs by Sidney Bechet and strong, Americana-infused originals by Reddy. "Up-South" utilizes an extreme cumulative idea and succeeds, with a delightful humorous ending. Reddy seems more interested in
from robreddy.com
the architecture and presentation of the long-form pieces, often taking a back seat for the sake of the arrangement. A wonderful example is the beautiful Bechet classic "Petite Fleur", where Reddy doesn't appear until the end, joining the ensemble & then giving a touching solo over the vamp. The album then launches in to 3 very long tracks - all very worthwhile. Reddy's bluesy and appealing "Erasing Statuses" moves along at a crawl and remarkably grooves, there is neat use of pizzicato cello, pedal guitar and a particularly fine chorus from violinist Charles Burnham. "Song of the Medina" is an absorbing & compelling 15 minutes long - sheer enjoyment. Lisa Parrott adds her distinctive baritone sax to "Chant in the Night", and "Broken Windmills" is a thrilling romp, executed with aplomb by the whole group. If you think my first sentence sounds like a great idea, or even if you don't - don't miss this album. It's great, and a bit of a mind-opener... rare these days.

good 'un!

Lisa Parrott - Round Tripper (2014) - 8.5/10
Lisa Parrott - Baritone & Alto saxes, Carl Dewhurst - guitar, Chris Lightcap - bass, Matt Wilson - drums, Nadje Noordhuis - trumpet/flugelhorn

In a word: delightful 

For what Lisa describes as a nearly impromptu session - this is an astoundingly surefooted, organized and stylistically solidified album. To coin an old phrase: "You can drop the needle down anywhere on this album" and have a good time. The conversation & interplay between Parrott and guitarist Carl Dewhurst is amazing, delightful and rare. The songs themselves are nearly all uplifting, Parrott's own attractive lament "Do You
The band on "Round Tripper"
source: lisaparrott.com
Think That I Do Not Know" is the main exception.
Having the ever creative Matt Wilson in the mix is a real plus, supplying energy and drive as well as tremendous support; locking in big time with fine bassist Chris Lightcap. Lisa's musicality and liberty is her 'voice' on either baritone or alto, both are distinguished and beautiful. Finally, the selection of songs is a treat. Bright and catchy material by fairly underground musicians (here in the States, at least) like Carlos Ward and Cameron Undy, or the
Ornette Coleman penned title track. A re-harmonized "Waltzing Matilda" (from Parrott's homeland) startles in how well it works in the minor key. Picking a best track is extraordinarily difficult on this release; my go-to cut is "Dancing Laughing". More difficult - finding a track you're not fond of!

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