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Recorded live at Cory Weed's Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver, The Worst Pop Band Ever's Sometime Things Go Wrong (and other songs we shouldn't play) is music for people, whether they dig jazz or not. The group delivers a set that cares less about genres, as heard in its breezy cover of Sly and the Family Stone's 1973 hit single, "If You Want Me to Stay." There's no crossover message here; just a tight band playing with substance and feeling for an appreciative audience.
The song's lyrics were written and sung by the Family Stone's iconic leadera message from Sly Stone to his lover that includes the well-known verse of self-expression:
If you want me to stay
I'll be around today
To be available for you to see
I'm about to go
And then you'll know
For me to stay here, I've got to be me.
The WPBE maintains that sentiment, with a rendition that shows appreciation for both pop and jazz. From the onset of Drew Birston's ethereal improvised intro leading to the song's famous bass riff, the melody dances with jazzed improvisation via expressive solos by saxophonist Chris Gale, pianist Adrean Farrugia, and colorful embellishments via scratches and mixes from turntablist LEO37 as drummer Tim Shia holds down the funky rhythm. LEO37 ends the piece with some turntable magic that gels perfectly. The lesson here: when old and new schools combine, it can be a very cool thing.
Personnel: Chris Gale: saxophone; Adrean Farrugia: piano; Drew Birston: bass; LEO37: turtables; Tim Shia: drums.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...