by Stephen Latessa
The notes on the back cover of Girl Talk, the new disc from the Mel Brown Quartet, proudly proclaim that the band has over 100 years of collective experience. Indeed, an easy, lived-in approach defines the ten tracks on the album. It is the work of veterans whose professionalism yields consistently solid results. The musicians--Mel Brown (drums), Dan Balmer (guitar), Ed Bennett (bass), and Tony Pacini (piano)--are all bandleaders in their own right. Based in Portland, Oregon, the band came ...read more
by David Rickert
When you get a couple of guitar players together you’re often going to get the kind of finger-busting interplay heard on Chicken Fat ; the question is whether it will be interesting enough to listen to or too self-indulgent. For the most part, Mel Brown succeeds in creating a pleasant piece of soul jazz that, on occasion, ventures into straightforward blues tunes.
There’s plenty of guitar solos on this 1967 record, and Brown takes an edgy, almost haphazard ...read more