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Atmosphere can always enhance the perception of music. This particular record came off after a microwave dinner – my palate tantalized and stomach pleasured, sitting by a warm fireside as the snow fell gently outdoors.
Before continuing, it must be said that jazz has come to encompass a wide panorama of sound... and if some have their way, noise as well. This one snuggles under a warm blanket of pop as the band brings on music and words that harken back to the days when songs actually had a melody that one could hum, and lyrics that were easy enough to remember. The image came up in an instant with no need to try and interpret what the artist was trying to say.
As the name implies, Hulabilly intends to get the hula swaying with Hawaiian musicality and country twang moving the groove. At first you're envelooped in the swing, with the Hawaiian guitar sliding in on the booming bass, which makes “I Can See Forever” a happy, loping tune. The next one out, “Little Lady” comes in on the ukulele, a sorta campfire singalong with nice enough harmonies. A woozy trombone from J. Walter Hawkes distinguishes “I’ll Keep My Old Guitar,” otherwise another serving of pop candy. There are dollops more of the same stuff. Mind you there is nothing heavy and sweaty, it ain’t gonna wrack your brain or stimulate all those cells swirling in the grey matter, but you could find your stomach getting all icky from the treacle. Burp!
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.