Blues & Jazz Album II review by UG Community

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  • Released: Dec 16, 2009
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 6.8 (23 votes)
UG Community: Blues & Jazz Album II
4

Sound — 7
This is not quite a straight-up blues album. There are some jazz influences incorporated, not to mention a smidgen of rock n' roll guitar playing during one or two solos. Owen Pyrah's songAkrasiaeven includes some electronic influence, almost becoming the sound track to a game boy game: this is a compliment. Since it is I who reviewed the previous album, I should perhaps have some extra insight to offer. I can offer insight on two counts: On the first, there have been some personnel changes, and on the second, this time round none of the songs are covers. The production is, for me, is a high point. Those who seek sleeker sounding blues and jazz should look elsewhere, but in this case the balance between raw and polished is at its optimum, so Martin Haywood should be proud of his production work. For me this album has highlights within all of the songs, but I'll only go through just a few, before leaving it up to the individual to seek out further joys with which to fuel one's hedonistic indulgences. Amanda Moles' Geek Town initiates with a clever, gliding riff that sounds like what could be a refined low-tempo intro to Sex and the City in twenty years time, when the girls are wiser and more privy as to how to conduct relationships. Contributions as poised and elegant as Martin Haywood's Take My Hand warrant a listen, with its meandering guitar licks that should leave the listener satisfied; but although the licks are interesting enough, perhaps one could accuse the composition of lacking a little bit of groove. Then again, this minimalistic approach might be just what Haywood's intentions were in the first place. It's just difficult to tell at times. I think that this is what establishes Jamie Hunter's I-IV-V as the album's exemplary track, though with a bit of tweaking Take My Hand could have challenged it to a greater extent. Hunter's great advantage is his industrious utilization of dynamics in his endeavours to create a powerful atmosphere to his song. An honourable mention must go to Philippe Salmon, whose Un Ciel Sans Nuages epitomizes all that can go right when playing the Blues with a Hawaiian swing- my description certainly does this masterpiece NO justice.

Lyrics — 7
James Hayes and Steve Ireland both give their best in the singing department, but although there is nothing inherently wrong with either track, I just feel that the album would have flowed better had it been purely instrumental. Barring that, both Hayes and Ireland should perhaps have convinced the rest of the blues brothers (and sisters) to incorporate vocals in their compositions: this 7 is for the two who dared!

Overall Impression — 8
The Blues and Jazz forum is one of the most industrious on UG. It hasn't been long since the members' last effort took UG by storm, and, this time with all proceeds going to Tipitina's Foundation, look to do so yet again. It's available for download at just 7.99 or $9.99, and with the proceeds going to a music supporting Charity, this is all DIY, Principle, and skill. Don't be stingy!

23 comments sorted by best / new / date

    humperdunk
    sounds cool. don't think i'll bother to check it out though. Not at that price.
    EpiExplorer
    strawforest007 wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: Should also mention, not only is it unfair on buyers, but should probably be going to that Haiti thingy. The charity was decided in 2009. How were we to know then that Haiti was to have a disasterous earthquake? New Orleans still hasn't recovered from hurricane Katrina and is relevant to the the genre of the album, being one of the main roots. Check out the Tipitina's Foundation website.
    Eh, I dont watch the news much. But yeah, thats a good point to make.. just wish it werent iTunes.. I use MP3s for a reason: any device uses them. M4A files are murder..
    pangui
    salmon philippe wrote: pangui wrote: Damn, my song didn't get a mention in the review Yes and it is a pity because for me , it is one of the best of the album ... very cool saxophone piece on your song Pangui
    Thanks mate, I understand it not being mentioned though since this is a guitar site and my piece was pretty much a saxophone feature with a guitar in the rhythm section. Your piece was very worthy of its inclusion in the review though, it's a very nice little tune... and the recording quality is very clean as well!
    salmon philippe
    Btw , thanks a lot for the very nice compliments you made on my instrumental " Un ciel sans nuage" I am very pleased you liked it
    salmon philippe
    pangui wrote: Damn, my song didn't get a mention in the review
    Yes and it is a pity because for me , it is one of the best of the album ... very cool saxophone piece on your song Pangui
    chocolateTeddy
    the album sounds great, stop looking for vocals, and 10 bucks isnt bad for the amount of tracks and considering itunes rips people off anyway the cash goes to a foundation so i'm in for it
    Philly080
    Anywhere I can hear samples of this music? I'm kind of interested after reading this review but I'm skeptical to fork out $10 to listen to unknown music.
    Opethanized
    I had a friend download this for me last week (I don't like itunes). I havn't had a chance to listen to it though. I'm sure it's a fine piece of work from all involved.
    Entropy
    Is there any other way to get it besides iTunes? I don't mind paying, I just don't want to have to download iTunes on my computer.
    strawforest007
    3 tracks had vocals: Philippe sang (very well indeed) on track 14. Lovely review though Sam! Album promo video:
    ss311
    strawforest007 wrote: basilbrush wrote: You do realise that 10 dollars is only about 6 Pounds, right? Not 8. The prices were set by iTunes, not us: standardised pricing. ..and Sam - you mention Philippe's solo instrumental track (track 6), but the one with vocals is 'Bamboo Train' (a collaboration with me), that is the one with Phil's vocals (track 14).
    Ah, I see what you mean- I just re-listened to the track, but no vocals! On a side note, this album was made before the Haiti Earthquake, so Charity decisions were made without knowledge of the future. Cut the guys some slack; they're sticking to their genre's roots.
    strawforest007
    EpiExplorer wrote: Should also mention, not only is it unfair on buyers, but should probably be going to that Haiti thingy.
    The charity was decided in 2009. How were we to know then that Haiti was to have a disasterous earthquake? New Orleans still hasn't recovered from hurricane Katrina and is relevant to the the genre of the album, being one of the main roots. Check out the Tipitina's Foundation website.
    strawforest007
    basilbrush wrote: You do realise that 10 dollars is only about 6 Pounds, right? Not 8.
    The prices were set by iTunes, not us: standardised pricing. ..and Sam - you mention Philippe's solo instrumental track (track 6), but the one with vocals is 'Bamboo Train' (a collaboration with me), that is the one with Phil's vocals (track 14). I wish the UG band profile allowed people to see all the mp3's available on the first page. People rarely click the 'see all mp3s' link...
    EpiExplorer
    Should also mention, not only is it unfair on buyers, but should probably be going to that Haiti thingy.
    EpiExplorer
    basilbrush wrote: You do realise that 10 dollars is only about 6 Pounds, right? Not 8.
    in todays climate, its about 7 really.. but yeah, should really sort that out, or its a little unfair on the guys who want to get it. but yeah, when I eventually DO get it, I'm sure it'll be pretty damn good, UG has hidden talent everywhere.
    ss311
    Wait, I did listen to it! See, I mention Philippe's track! I just didn't discuss the vocals Phew. I thought that would have been too big a mistake to make haha
    ss311
    strawforest007 wrote: 3 tracks had vocals: Philippe sang (very well indeed) on track 14.
    All apologies to Philippe. I've just realised what stupid mistake I made. On the UG profiles there is a button to view all mp3s. I listened to what I thought was the album each time WITHOUT counting the tracks. So, I listened to more than 10 tracks, but must have missed a couple because I didn't view all mp3s. Really sorry about this, guys. Philippe, I'll make it up to you!
    captaincrunk
    EpiExplorer wrote: Should also mention, not only is it unfair on buyers, but should probably be going to that Haiti thingy.
    Why? Haiti is no worse off than anyone else. That kind of thinking would mean that no one but haitians would be helped until someone else had an earthquake.