318

Jazzhole: Poet's Walk

Jeff Winbush By

Sign in to view read count
Jazzhole: Poet's Walk If you lock two people in a room and play a musical selection for both, one person may tap his or her toes, strum an imaginary air guitar or sing along. He might even get up and dance. The other person may nod off in total boredom, squirm uncomfortably in his chair, look at his watch, drum his fingers impatiently or clasp his hands over his ears to block out the offending sound. Depending on what you think of Jazzhole lead vocalist Marlon Saunders, you will may find yourself in one of the preceding categories. Or you may be bored into total indifference.

One person's favorite singer may drive another person to distraction. The music on Poet's Walk is a generic cross between Sade at her best and Maxwell at his most tedious. The mood is supposed to set a cool groove that you can chill to. However, Saunders has a limited range—which he apparently is unaware of, because he repeatedely stretches for notes he can't reach.

Whether or not someone can sing or not is a purely subjective argument. Barbra Streisand's voice is one of the greatest ever captured in recorded music. That's a widely held opinion, but other people may think her voice grates like nails on a blackboard. The same principle holds true for Marlon Saunders. The nadir of this recording is a numbingly atonal attempt at the Boz Scaggs classic "Lowdown." It's so dully interpreted, you have to check the track listing before you're sure its the same song. Saunders's voice saws away like a dull blade at the lyrics while the sleepy arrangement drones on until the merciful end.

Instrumentally, Jazzhole makes competent, if not especially distinguished lounge music. After knocking back a few martinis in a dark club, it might even be raised a notch to "okay." But Saunders' feeble vocalizing totally sinks the whole affair. If you're already a fan of Jazzhole, you already know what to expect. Everyone else will probably walk right by Poet's Walk.


Track Listing: Poet's Walk; All the Ways; Jonesing; Lowdown; One More Time; It Would Have Been Enough; The Slipping of Time; Do It Right; Timeless; All the Ways (dub).

Personnel: Mark Robohm: drums; David Inniss: bass; John Pondel: guitar; David Sancious: keyboards; Daniel Sadownick: percussion; Peter Mark: percussion; Marlon Saunders: vocals; Ahmed Best: drums, bass & fender rhodes (2); Dave Binney: saxophone (1,3); Michal Cohen: vocals; Warren Rosenstein: clavinet (5), programming and synthesizer (4), David Whitworth: backing vocals (5); Billy Baker: backing vocals (5).

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Beave Music | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "To The Universe" CD/LP/Track Review To The Universe
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Diachronic Paths" CD/LP/Track Review Diachronic Paths
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: September 22, 2016
Read "Potsdamer Platz" CD/LP/Track Review Potsdamer Platz
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "The Music Of Jackie McLean" CD/LP/Track Review The Music Of Jackie McLean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "The Sparrow" CD/LP/Track Review The Sparrow
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!