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The music on this record was written by Thom Gossage after the band’s tour in 2002 and reflects the experiences during that period as well as the individual and collective strengths of the group. Also included is music outside the pale of those times.
Gossage keeps his music at a slow simmer when it is not sombre. This gives it a sameness of approach when a change of moods and discernible tempo would have resulted in a balanced outing. The opening track, “Ring Around The Rainer,” begins brightly, but then the duelling horns of Rémi Bolduc and Frank Lozano take that away and stay locked in combat a tad too long. When they give way to the ensemble there isn’t a cognitive feature that would have raised the song to an appealing level.
One could understand if there was a gradual heating when it came to “Slow Poke,” which is how it should be. In actuality Gary Schwartz lilts with the acoustic guitar, leading Miles Perkin to sing in gentle exultation and with an undercurrent of joy that envelops the band before the pulse rises to kick in the climax. Schwartz rocks on “The Message,” bending notes on the electric guitar, pushed by Gossage on the drums opening the avenue for the horns to play in and shift the timbre to a more sedate stance. Watching musicians at their craft is not the same as listening to them, that's for sure.
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 ...