Melodies/Improvisations, guitarist Dan Lambert's third release, features solo acoustic guitar improvisations built around folksy, organic themes. Unlike his overdubbed material, this record reveals a more spontaneous feel. At times reminiscent of Ralph Towner (eg. the beginning of "Baysbrown"), at others suggestive of John Fahey (eg. "In the Shade by the River"), Lambert has developed a distinctive style fusing elements of folk and jazz idioms. Melodies offers relatively few pauses: the guitarist constantly progresses toward new developments, which take the form of arpeggiated chords, ringing single-note melodies, consonant strumming, or some combination of the aboveoften with repeated pedal points.
Despite the segmental advance of new ideas, many of which hint at being somewhat pre-arranged in nature, Lambert avoids harmonic complexity. A lot of the material on Melodies barely implies major or minor tonality; fifths and ninths are more the rule than sevenths. Octaves pop up everywhere, reinforcing the resonant sound the guitarist pursues to the exclusion of emotional tension. Melodies is a laid back record, with little pretense or suggestion. Not that Lambert's technical prowess is anything but superlative; it's just that he uses it to pursue consonance to the exclusion of dissonance. Listeners coming towards jazz from a folk perspective may find this record quite satisfying.
Track Listing: October Rhythm; Harbinger; Baysbrown; To Donny; A Life's Dream; Design; Secret of the Secret; In the Shade by the River; All Legs; Theme for an Imaginary Talk Show; Pirates in West Texas; Please Remember Me; Grasslands; McDonalds on Beale Street; Song Within a Song.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.