101

James Hollihan: The Funky Misfit

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
James Hollihan: The Funky Misfit “I’ve always had a passion for jazz,” allows multi-instrumentalist and producer James Hollihan. “I’ve always loved the music of composers like Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, Johnny Mandel, and the one and only Juan Garcia Esquivel. It was only a matter of time before all those influences came bubbling up.”

Hollihan is no stranger to a recording studio, having performed with Russ Taff, Phil Keaggy and Amy Grant and produced sessions by Taff, Michelle Shocked and Marshall Chapman. Hollihan owns a Grammy for Taff’s album Under Their Influence album, which he recorded in his own basement. He composed, arranged, performed, recorded, mixed and produced every bubbly Funky Misfit note himself.

On the first two tracks, “The Funky Misfit” and “Groove DeVille,” Hollihan’s sounds and rhythms pop with colorful, charming futuristic-retro lounge kitsch. His guitar work so sounds like Grant Green’s on the opening title cut, a melodic serpentine that creeps through surprising twists and starts, and his tight mid-song solo opens with what sounds like bubbling guitar laughter. “Groove DeVille” is precisely that, a luxury sedan groove with more (Grant) Green reflections from Hollihan’s guitar.

The rest of this is smooth and soft, though several similar-sounding tracks near the middle sort of run into each other. Hollihan has a velvet touch not only as a guitarist but also as a pianist, as in “Solitude” and “The Waltz of the Leaves.” He returns to shades of guitarist Green in “The Hush of Love,” which sets such a romantic mood that it almost aches for Luther Vandross vocals.

The sound and feel of Brazil seem to dominate the remainder. “It Came From Brazil” not only sambas in the hypnotic rhythms of Jobim but also the keyboard sounds of Eumir Deodato, sparkling cool water splashed on the rocks in an interstellar spacejazz lounge. “Across the Desert Sky” and the soft waves of rhythm that lap upon “Cypress Shores” also whisper with the romantic, languid sounds and rhythms of Brazil, as Hollihan’s acoustic guitar sparkles through their tropical mix like brilliant starlight.


Track Listing: The Funky Misfit; Groove Deville; Across The Desert; The Hush Of Love; The Waltz Of The Leaves; Cypress Shores; It Come From Brazil; Solitude; Caf

Personnel: James Hollihan

Title: The Funky Misfit | Year Released: 2004


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Luck Child" CD/LP/Track Review Luck Child
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Sleight Of Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Sleight Of Hand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Carve" CD/LP/Track Review Carve
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "That's What She Said..." CD/LP/Track Review That's What She Said...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Obfusc/ation" CD/LP/Track Review Obfusc/ation
by Doug Collette
Published: April 18, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.