Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

84

Todd Clouser's A Love Electric: 20th Century Folk Selections

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
More than rock musicians and more than blues artists, jazz musicians carry the greatest burden of musical legacy. There are not stories about a contemporary rock musician who dedicates his career to mastering The Beatles catalog, or of the one who's playing is paralyzed because she cannot deal with Jimi Hendrix's solos. Nope. Only in jazz does the legacy of the past pose obstacles so large as Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, and John Coltrane that many contemporary musicians can never scale the mountain and forge their own paths. Some say that happened when jazz stopped being our music and became art music.

Guitarist Todd Clouser hopes to reverse all of that thinking with A Love Electric, a band that is rediscovering rock, funk, and pop as jazz music, and most importantly, jazz as folk music. This disc follows A Love Electric (Rope-A-Dope, 2010) with a celebration of "The Peoples'" music. Where his previous disc only had one cover, Harry Nilsson's "One" (made famous by Three Dog Night), here all the tracks are covers. On this first disc of a three-part series of folkloric music, the music is exactly what jazz once was. Remember when songs from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway were mined to serve as a launch pad for jazz?

Their modern launch takes in Pearl Jam's "Release," Nirvana's "All Apologies," and the Beastie Boys' "Gratitude." The key to Clouser's success is the lack of campiness. Lou Reed's mini-masterpiece "Heroin," written for Velvet Underground, is delivered with the crazed crescendo of the original; Adam Meckler's trumpet gives voice to Clouser's guitar. As with most instrumental jazz, that voice is a soloist. Clouser invites fellow band leader and trumpeter Steven Bernstein to sit in on Buddy Holly's "Everyday." They lay out a relaxed cover that smooths the rockabilly into something closer to surfer music. Not so with Neil Young's "The Needle & The Damage Done." Clouser maintains the sorrow of addiction here, much like the early work of Bill Frisell.

Clouser's music reinvests jazz in the traditions of modern folk music, and it is about time.

Track Listing: Little Boxes; Everyday; The Needle & The Damage Done; Pay Me My Money Down; All Apologies; Heroin; Gratitude; Release.

Personnel: Todd Clouser: guitars, Rhodes piano; Mark Aanderud: piano; Aaron Crus: bass; Hernan Hecht: drums; Adam Mackler: trumpet; Bryan Nichols: Rhodes piano; Rick Parker: trombone; Cyro Baptista; percussion; Steven Bernstein: trumpet (2); Greg Schute: percussion (6).

Title: 20th Century Folk Selections | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Royal Potato Family


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Still Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Still Motion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Hope" CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Thick As Thieves" CD/LP/Track Review Thick As Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "The Eighth Hour Of Amduat" CD/LP/Track Review The Eighth Hour Of Amduat
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 11, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor