Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
165

Skip Heller: Out of Time

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count Views
Skip Heller: Out of Time Certain live recordings seem to maintain the feel of the performance and venue and lose nothing in the documentation of the event. This trio date recorded at a small Philadelphia club, with guitarist Skip Heller joined by drummer John F. Kennedy and organist Lucas Brown, is one of those special live recordings. You can almost smell the smoke and beer; you can definitely feel the warm, sympathetic, and swinging musicianship.

Heller's music makes him sound like an everyday guy who would be a great friend, someone who would be great fun to be with. He's more than a bit of a wise-ass; in fact, he can be funny as hell (as in his introduction to "Wives and Lovers, where he positively rips Hal David's lyrics for Burt Bacharach's tune before concluding: "Bobby Goldsboro also recorded it, so 'Watching Scotty Grow' is not the biggest piece of shit in that man's career. ) He's got great taste in pop music both obvious (Mathis, Hefti, Sinatra, Bacharach) and obscure ("Mambo Inn ). He plays the guitar tight and hot, with flair and humor. What's not to like, you know?

Brown and Heller take full advantage of the rhythmic and harmonic space available in the absence of a bassist. On the opening "Canadian Sunset, Brown lays down an organ solo as gooey and viscous as maple syrup on pancakes, and he does it again on the leisurely "Li'l Darlin', rocking her gently like a hammock swaying in a lazy Sunday afternoon breeze.

Heller nimbly drops in numerous quotes from other tunes (listen for the hook to "Surrey with the Fringe on Top, for example, which introduces his stroll through "Canadian Sunset, or "Embraceable You in "All the Way ), and stretches "Wives and Lovers and "It's Not for Me to Say well past their original melodies. His twisted up and tossed off Mathis cover is just so freaking cool, his inventive twists on melody and rhythm tasty and smart. "All the Way remains a bit more true to the familiar Sinatra version, but it sounds no less inventive or engaging.

The great Philadelphia jazz guitarist Pat Martino recorded several jazz-groove albums early in his career with contemporary keyboard players such as Jack McDuff, Trudy Pitts, and Richard "Groove Holmes. The dexterous, warm, and good-natured playing from Heller and Brown on Out of Time honors and advances that guitar/organ jazz-groove Philadelphia legacy.


Track Listing: Craig’s Intro/Canadian Sunset; Lost Weekend; Li’l Darlin’; Lucas really hated the words…; Wives and Lovers; …and if you really wanted to get over…; It’s Not For Me to Say; All the Way; Mambo Inn.

Personnel: Skip Heller, guitar; Lucas Brown, organ; John F. Kennedy, drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Dreambox Media | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop For Jazz

Extended Analysis
Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Take Five With...
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
Skip Heller: For EP Fans Only
Skip Heller: For EP...
Weatherbird
2016
buy
Singles Drinking Doubles
Singles Drinking...
Self Produced
2015
buy
Songs With Memories: Skip Heller and Friends Play Floyd Tillman
Songs With Memories:...
Weatherbird
2013
buy
Fakebook II - That’s Entertainment
Fakebook II -...
Weatherbird
2012
buy
Foolish Me
Foolish Me
Weatherbird
2012
buy
Live at the Flying Monkey, Huntsville, AL
Live at the Flying...
Skyeways
2006
buy
Charlie Byrd Charlie Byrd
guitar
Joe Beck Joe Beck
guitar
Joe Diorio Joe Diorio
guitar
Ben Monder Ben Monder
guitar
Didier Verna Didier Verna
guitar
Ximo Tebar Ximo Tebar
guitar
organissimo organissimo
organ, Hammond B3
Mimi Fox Mimi Fox
guitar

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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