County Road X: County Road X (2002)
County Road X is the first recorded example of what keyboardist/composer Erik Deutsch lovingly dubs "trailer park jazz." While his term may fit the essence of the music on this disc, I would offer a different tag to describe it...cinematic Americana. Imagine a highly spirited, fleshed-out redux of Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden's Beyond the Missouri Sky, replete with various stripes of keyboard colors, reedy accordian flourishes, pedal-steel guitar, cello, and glockenspiel. Bill Frisell's This Land or Brian Blade's Perceptual albums could also serve as reference points for the music of County Road X. It seems this band has left the trailer park, and is more likely on an embryonic journey through the arid lands of Nevada or the Mojave. This album could be the aural equivalent to a Walker Evans photo display.
Every musician on this recording has developed or is developing a strong individual voice, but the main strength of this recording lies in its collective spirit. There's a strong rapport between the players here, and it's apparent this music is made by a group that plays together as a band, as opposed to a cluster of folks coming together, reading over the charts, and heading into the studio to make an album.
It's also apparent there's a vast array of influences brought to this project. I'm reminded of George Winston or Vince Guaraldi in the piano playing of Erik Deutsch, but I'm equally reminded of the landscapes, knives and glue of the group Radiohead in other keyboard forays. This young man should get more attention from the jazz community. He has the chops, the ears, and the heart to create music...well evidenced on this recording... that embraces the nexus of seemingly disparate cultural realms. Glenn Taylor is a pedal-steel guitarist who is equally comfortable playing in a country, Afropop, or modern jazz syntax, and he can easily morph these elements into something singularly striking. James Hoskins embraces classical and Middle Eastern references on the cello...you get the idea... every player in this group has big ears.
The cinematic quality of this music is palpable. It is a road song from some unmade David Lynch film, or would sit nicely in the sifting icefloes of an Atom Egoyan Canadian landscape.
County Road X represents the initial statement by a group that will certainly grow in depth and vision as they continue down the backroads and trailer parks of the world...wish them luck!
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Track Listing: 1.Kith and Kin 2.One Race 3.Boy Meets World 4. Nkisi 5.Taddlib 6.Faute de Mieux 7.Parlor Song 8.First Language
Personnel: Erik Deutsch-piano Doug Anderson-bass/accordian Glenn Taylor-pedal-steel guitar, percussion James Hoskins-cello Tadd Vancil-drums Kevin Kendrick-glockenspiel/crotales