185

Adam Levy: Buttermilk Channel

Joel Roberts By

Sign in to view read count
Adam Levy: Buttermilk Channel I don't know if guitarist Adam Levy made Buttermilk Channel with the searing heat of New York in July in mind, but his impressive debut effort as a leader makes perfect listening for lazy, languorous midsummer city days.

On this groove-based trio album (featuring New York stalwarts Larry Goldings on organ and Kenny Wollesen on drums), Levy creates a mood of laid-back cool, as he blends classic jazz guitar ("Sphere of Influence'), down-home blues ("I Guess"), tropical rhythms ("Orange You Glad") and sophisticated Steely Dan pop ("Dear John") into a rich, coherent musical stew. Like fellow guitar heavy Bill Frisell, Levy's genre-hopping is natural and unforced. He's equally comfortable bending blues notes a la B.B. King or playing straight-ahead jazz solos in the manner of, say, Kenny Burrell. And like Frisell, Levy is one of the few electric guitar players who favors subtlety over showmanship, who allows the music to unfold slowly rather than feeling the need to show off his chops constantly - though, make no doubt about it, Levy has chops to spare.

While the range of influences here is diverse (not surprising for an artist who has worked with everyone from John Zorn to Tracy Chapman), Buttermilk Channel feels of one piece, like there's actually a central unifying vision at work - a rare thing today when most jazz CDs sound like a slapdash assortment of unrelated songs. That sense of unity is due mostly to Levy's compositions, which are adventurous, yet accessible, well-crafted yet not over-written. And the presence of talented, likeminded cohorts like Goldings and Wollesen doesn't hurt either.

All in all, a very rewarding effort that warrants repeated listening, especially as the steamy days of August approach.

Visit Adam Levy on the web.


Track Listing: Buttermilk Channel, That's All She Wrote, I Guess, Out of Harm's Way, Dear John, Orange You Glad, Sphere of Influence.

Personnel: Adam Levy, guitar; Larry Goldings, organ; Kenny Wollesen, drums.

Title: Buttermilk Channel | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Lost Wax Music


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Dare To Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare To Be
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Live at 5e" CD/LP/Track Review Live at 5e
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Still Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Still Happy
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.