All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

1

Sasha Masakowski & the Sidewalk Strutters: Old Green River

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
There is a rare musical triple point where talent, vision, and a wicked sense-of-humor meet. Damn few artists ever make it there. I believe that it must be the address of one Sasha Hildegard Masakowski. NOLA's own has recently relocated to the cultural hub of the universe, New York City, but not before navigating the choppy and often decadent waters of this past Carnival and Mardi Gras season to record a throwback to not the '30s and '40s but the '10s and '20s and earlier called Old Green River. That alone would be more than enough to make this recording something special. Listening to it, side-by-side with Masakowski's last project, Hildegard (Self Produced, 2015) is downright mind bending.

Somewhere between these two recordings lay Masakowski's debut project: Sasha Masakowski and Musical Playground Wishes (Hypersoul, 2011). The present Old Green River is a brilliantly lo-fi, quickly recorded, thoroughly inspired performance of "old timey" music by a tightly focused ensemble, well, as tightly focused as could be coming off a Mardi Gras bender.

Pronounced in the mix are guitarist Russell Welch and trombonist Colin Meyers. Together, they comprise the rhythm and solo soul of the recording. Welch plays an infectious brand of Hot Club guitar crossed with a slightly sharp miniature guitar. Meyers' trombone is beautifully fragrant and boozy. Drummer Paul Thibodeaux appropriately lays down the necessary NOLA shuffle beat which is de rigueur for this reagions music. Masakowski's father, Martin round things out playing bass and nailing down all four corners of the music.

That said, front and center is Sasha Masakowski, who embraces these old songs with a cheerful fervor and dedication. She nearly purrs her way through "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" and the definitive "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You." She reprises "St. James Infirmary" from Wishes in a more stripped down basic version as close to gutbucket as we get on this disc. Masakowski and her surrounding musicians are a bottomless loam of joy, surprise, and inspiration.

Track Listing: Old Green River; Wait Till the Sun shines Nelly; Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho; Until the Real Thing Comes Along; Lucky Little Devil; Russian Lullaby; I’m Getting Sentimental Over You; Too Bad; Les Oignons; Daddy Won’t You Please Come Home; St. James Infirmary.

Personnel: Sasha Masakowski: vocals; Colin Meyers: trombone, vocals, slide whistle; Russell Welch: guitar; Paul Thibodeaux: drums; Martin Masakowski: bass, slide whistle.

Title: Old Green River | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
N.O. Escape

N.O. Escape

Self Produced
2017

buy
Hildegard

Hildegard

Self Produced
2015

buy
Old Green River

Old Green River

Self Produced
2015

buy
Wishes

Wishes

Hypersoul
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Pendulum CD/LP/Track Review
Pendulum
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 21, 2018
Read Flow Vertical CD/LP/Track Review
Flow Vertical
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 21, 2018
Read Bonafide CD/LP/Track Review
Bonafide
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 21, 2018
Read Christian McBride's New Jawn CD/LP/Track Review
Christian McBride's New Jawn
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 21, 2018
Read Bonafide CD/LP/Track Review
Bonafide
by David A. Orthmann
Published: November 21, 2018
Read The Sky Above Her CD/LP/Track Review
The Sky Above Her
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 20, 2018
Read "Duke Ellington In Coventry" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington In Coventry
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 8, 2018
Read "Secret Passages" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Outsidethebox" CD/LP/Track Review Outsidethebox
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 26, 2018
Read "Parting Is" CD/LP/Track Review Parting Is
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Higher" CD/LP/Track Review Higher
by Jim Trageser
Published: August 16, 2018
Read "Disappeared Behind the Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018