Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Organ and tambourine make very interesting bedfellows

The Bent Moustache are a heavily Fall-influenced, rather hilarious Dutch band, and also one of the finest opening acts I've seen in forever, easily outshining the reunited Sebadoh with whom they toured in 2007. I go on about them here. Lots of organ, lots of tambourine, lots of shouting.

A number of channels pointed me to the WNYC Soundcheck Blog, particularly their 2008 jazz poll. I read all the polls that come to me - I will read anyone's list of 10 numbered items of anything - and usually shake my head incredulously at why people have such terrible taste in things, or start feeling guilty that I should go ahead and listen to whatever Aimee Mann album came out that year that everyone sorta loves and get it over with. I like to think I know from what when it comes to the rock/pop world, but polls like the Soundcheck Jazz poll are indispensable, because, well, I just don't know that world and so few people are really willing to lead you helpfully into jazz.

The album by Mostly Other People Do the Killing (lala) was good, if a bit of a curiosity. It felt like they were trying to cover every base from funk to Dixieland with Animal from the Muppet Show on drums, and I mean to imply they did this strange thing in a very good way. It was like a good time veering into danger then getting back on track, which is how a good time should go. No band, however, can be as good as the name Mostly Other People Do the Killing implies.

Nicholas Peyton's Into the Blue (lala) is precisely what I came to the list for. To the untrained eye and ear, this album looks and sounds like 1000 other jazz records, but thanks to the recommendation, I've let Payton's subtle dream-inducing knockout gas to sleep under my door. There is not a little "lite jazz" going on here, but it is twisted just enough to make things a little heavy, to keep things interesting. Organ and tambourine make very interesting bedfellows "Triptych." His name came up in a piece I wrote about the Blue Note 70th anniversary concert that is happening here in February, where Mr. Peyton and Ravi Coltrane among others will appear wondering how the hell they wound up in Baton Rouge.

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