3

Jim Pearce: You Are An Edgy Visionary Seer

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Pearce: You Are An Edgy Visionary Seer Jazz is serious music: so serious that sometimes it becomes a labor of such intensity that the composers and performers fail to have fun making the music. Vocalist/pianist/composer Jim Pearce specifically makes it a point to have fun, before getting serious (as serious as he ever gets). Gratefully in the mold of Bob Dorough, Dave Frishberg and Mose Allison, Pearce specializes in bright melodies and clever lyrics, a modern throwback to Tin Pan Alley reclaiming clever lyrics from the great unwashed of country music, the current keeper of cagey words with snappy music.

Pearce's talent attack is on two fronts. He is a superb pianist and composer who solos against his compositions with a startling clarity, revealing an embarrassment of creative riches. The opening "You Pick Me" sings and swings with a goofy swagger that endears immediately, a quality lacking in so much music. And then there are Pearce's lyrics. "Old As Dirt" shows Pearce's lyrics chops in the sunlight on the back porch, considering old age:

"I'm old as dirt / fried like bacon / what golden years my knees are achin' / senior citicide, paleozoic / I'm fossilized prehistoric.


Got liver spots and ortho shots / for—get—a lot—eat prunes—by the box / mean and grumpy / sad and frumpy / grey-beard elder my butt is lumpy..."


The title tune is a clever, tongue-in-cheek, left-handed compliment lamenting ample talent lacking ambition. The song bounces around an open 4/4 and mentions Schopenhauer, Mahler and 12-tone clusters in the same song. That is a nice touch. "Even Big Monsters Love Music pits King Kong against Broadway:

..."and King Kong loves ballads real slow / he sings the pretty parts way down low. / He's just a guy that digs fine art / so, give him the songs by Rodgers and Hart...


Even big monsters love music / it's soothing to the savage beast / even big monsters love music / gobbling up an audio feast..."


As good as Pearce's lyrics are, his musical composing is equal or better. Half of You Are An Edgy Visionary Seer is made up of instrumentals...smartly constructed and effectively performed. "Western Skies" and "Another Waltz for You" are notable for their invention and musicality. You Are An Edgy Visionary Seer is a fine follow up to I'm In The Twilight of a Mediocre Career (Big-O, 2010), and exists as the promise of more such music.

Track Listing: You Picked Me; My Last Parade in New Orleans; Western Skies; Old as Dirt; You Are an Edgy Visionary Seer; In The Evening; Even Big Monsters Love Music; Lost Love Found; Another Waltz for You; Open Plain.

Personnel: Jim Pearce: piano, vocals (1, 2, 4, 5, 7), keys (8); Herman Burney: bass (1, 4-7, 9); Paul Fallat: drums (1-7, 9); Ken Gregory: trumpet (2), bass (3), guitar (3, 7); Don Edman: clarinet (2); Bob Lewis: trombone (2) Bill Rutan: banjo (2); L.A Tuten: tuba (2); Eric South: flute and saxophone (9); Joe Gransden: trumpet (2).

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Oak Avenue Publishing


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Mist. Moss. Home." CD/LP/Track Review Mist. Moss. Home.
by Jim Olin
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "05:21" CD/LP/Track Review 05:21
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "All Things" CD/LP/Track Review All Things
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Sélébéyone" CD/LP/Track Review Sélébéyone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Zanshin" CD/LP/Track Review Zanshin
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.