Billabong Island Sound: Spring Baby

C. Michael Bailey By

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There exists music that is perfect for ambient listening (read that: "while in an altered state"). My favorite for many years has been UB40's debut Signing Off (Graduate Records, 1980). The groove on this recording is so highly refined and organically performed that its vibe just sinks into you as a listener, almost by osmosis. I have been hoping that some new music would come along that was as seamlessly created that it would forgo any thought digestion and go directly to my pleasure centers, liberating all of the dopamine in its path.

Well, Houston Jazz Mafia Caporegime Alisha Pattillo, has jumped off the pier, heading for parts southeast in the Gulf of Mexico. In collaboration with bassist Roger Tausz, Pattillo leads her like-minded camp through eight island-inflected confections that Ernest Hemingway would have consumed were they liquid libations. Pattillo sticks to tenor saxophone throughout, with the exception of an EWI on "Softcore." Also featured prominently is Houston bassist/guitarist Erin Wright who brings a certain Eddie Hazel vibe to the proceedings, regardless of being featured or not.

Spring Baby is music to be listened to over and over again. It is a far cry from Pattillo's superb Along for the Ride (Self Produced, 2012). And that is as it should be with musicians this talented.

Track Listing: Gnarley; Hip Enough; Grandfather; Softcore; Open Door; Space Bar; Tranquility Bass; Train’s A Comin’.

Personnel: Alisha Pattillo: tenor saxophone, Akai EWI, keyboard synthesizers; Kenny Borak: Flugelhorn; Erin Wright: lead guitar; James Wilhite: rhythm guitar; Ben Ackley: Fender Rhodes; Roger Tausz: bass and loops; Daleton Lee: drums.

Title: Spring Baby | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

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