All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1

Wild Card: Life Stories

Jerome Wilson By

Sign in to view read count
When British youth started picking up on the music coming out of America in the Fifties and Sixties their tastes were widespread. While some kids loved the early rock & roll of Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly or the blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, others grabbed onto the jazz played by the likes of Mose Allison and Jimmy Smith and saw nothing wrong with combining all three. That concept evolved over decades, scooping up other types of music and producing a unit like Wild Card that swallows blues, soul, funk and Caribbean music to produce its own lively and unique idea of jazz.

The basic group is the trio of Clement Regert, Sophie Alloway and Andrew Noble with a rotating cast of other musicians adding their sounds to various tracks. Between Regert's serpentine guitar strumming, Noble's simmering organ, and Alloway's choppy drum beats, the main trio put together infectious and undulating grooves, often enhanced by whirling unison horn sections. This shows in the bumpy up and down motion of "Better Remorse Than Regret" and on "Bravid" where Noble skids and slides along his organ like Brian Auger. Regert's guitar often colors the direction of the music. On "La parenthese enchantee" he brings in a lilting Spanish flavor and on "Maybe...Maybe Not" his iridescent strumming shows an African pop influence.

Aside from those percolating grooves, there is a lot of variety in the other tracks on this CD. "Beat The Beast" is slamming funk in the James Brown mold with Regert's trebly guitar trading phrases with Noble's cruising organ and Jim Knight taking a howling Maceo Parker-like alto solo. "Risky Business" is a sunny waltz with the atmosphere of a Parisian street fair. The horns soar together and harmonica player Adam Glasser and trumpeter Graeme Flowers take dancing solos alongside Regert's chiming notes and Alloway's slippery rhythm. "Mommy Is In The Sky" is a simple, solemn ballad sung movingly by Mary Pearce over gentle soul guitar licks and subdued horns and climaxed by a forceful gospel tenor sax solo by Denys Baptiste.

A couple of classic British rock songs become grist for the Wild Card mill as well. The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" gets a shiny reggae-funk makeover with Mary Pearce wailing the lyrics over a chugging organ-horn groove before Carl Hudson comes in with a woozy synthesizer solo. Meanwhile Pink Floyd's doomy "Another Brick In The Wall" becomes an itchy jazz-funk shuffle with Flowers and Hudson both contributing steamy, exuberant solos as Regert, Noble, Alloway and percussionist Will Fry push the groove forcefully.

Wild Card is a trio with tons of energy and a knack for combining many different sounds and stirring them all together into one funky pot. This is gritty and soulful music with a lot of different flavors to it. They must be amazing to see live.

Track Listing: Life Stories Intro; Better Remorse Than Regret; Paint It Black; La Parenthese Enchantée; Beat The Beast; Mommy Is In The Sky; Risky Business; Bravid; Another Brick In The Wall; Maybe…Maybe Not; Herman’s Hoedown.

Personnel: Clément Régert: guitars; Andrew Noble: Hammond organ; Graeme Flowers: trumpet; Will Fry: percussion; Sophie Alloway: drums; Mary Pearce: vocals (3, 6); Carl Hudson: synthesizers (3, 9); Jim Knight: alto saxophone (1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11); Denys Baptiste: tenor saxophone (2, 3, 6, 8) Alistair White: trombone (2, 3, 6, 8, 9); Adam Glasser: harmonica (7).

Title: Life Stories | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Top End Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Life Stories

Life Stories

Top End Records
2018

buy
Organic Riot

Organic Riot

Top End Records
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review Horizons
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Ilona" CD/LP/Track Review Ilona
by Anthony Shaw
Published: May 10, 2018
Read "Blue Maqams" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Maqams
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Mutt Slang" CD/LP/Track Review Mutt Slang
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "Lineage" CD/LP/Track Review Lineage
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 19, 2018
Read "Presence" CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Dustin Mallory
Published: September 9, 2018