The music that J.A. Granelli and Mr. Lucky make has nothing to do with jazz. That does not matter, for they serve up dollops of music that tantalizes and captivates even in the quietest moments.
Granelli balances the structure of the album very well as he brings in different moods to keep the snare secure. One of the most beautiful tunes is the title track on which he plays the piccolo bass and David Tronzo cuts a deep swath on the slide guitar to underline an emotional wallop. There are many hues to 'Merle.' Pop music is one, and so is country'given its due by Tronzo.
More than the parts, it is the sum of the instruments with the organ serving as the backdrop. This makes it the perfect lead-in to exciting times. The band kicks up the tempo as it rocks out to be 'Happy Again Pt. 1.' Tronzo leads the charge and then Jamie Saft gives the organ plenty of oomph through a whole load of funk. And when Tronzo whips in with some wah wah effects, this turns out to be one wonderful adventure!
The infectious rhythm of reggae comes up on '13.5,' with a punchier dub version coming up later. And never was a song more aptly named than 'Pipe Dreams.' One can take solace in many interpretations of the title, but this song flows like a soothing wash, so lay back, relax and indulge in its lure.
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Track Listing: Merle; Happy Pt. 1; Gigantic; Again; 13.5; Happy Pt. 2; Sock Monkey; If I Can?t Have You; Pipe Dreams; 13.5 (dub)
Personnel: J. A. Granelli?bass, piccolo bass; David Tronzo?slide guitar; Jamie Saft?organ, mellotron; Diego Voglino?drums; Vanessa Saft?vocals on track 8