Dyspeptic in my late 50s, in a fit of self-pity, I have said, "Youth is wasted on the young." That is so much sour grapes on my part given to a questionably-misspent youth. What I wish for the young, sadly tilting at Mother Nature's windmills, is to remain young forever. I certainly wish this for vocalist/guitarist/composer Alicyn Yaffee, who made her recording debut in 2016, with the self-produced Someone Else. She composes music with rounded corners and informed melodies. Her lyrics are topical cutting to the bone on personal, social, and cultural levels.
On Someone Else, Yaffee leads a nominal quintet of shifting responsibilities. She shares "front instrument" status with trombonist Jeff Cressman, husband of singer Sandy Cressman and father to the multi-talented Natalie Cressman. The trombone provides a beautifully rounded foil to Yaffee's own bell-clear guitar playing, a combination very pleasing (and soothing) to the ear. Her guitar approach is at once angular and cranky and melodic and progressive. She emulates no one save herself that presents that most effectively. The centerpiece of the recording is the instrumental "Lonely Lemon Pie Girl" an infectious piece of organ-guitar jazz that would make Grant Green smile. Here is to many more years with you, Ms. Yaffee!
Alicyn Yaffee: guitar, voice; Benny Rietveld: bass, keyboards; Pepe Jimenez: drums (2,7-9); Cindy Blackman Santana: drums (3,4,6); Jeff Cressman: trombone, French horn; Ronnie Foster: Hammond B3, piano (3,4,6).
Benji's Tune; Lost; Lonely Lemon Pie Girl; White Lies; Older; Codes; Someone Else; Water; Get Away; They Say.
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