Wednesday, May 28, 2008

can't write about everything

Jimmy McGriff, great jazz organist from Philly. died. Jimmy went big into funk in the late 60s & 70s, some LPs that got bad raps generally compared to his earlier records, but which I liked for their stretched out dance grooves, organ bouncing on top. Jazz organ always tapped popular taste, & organists often have a taste for corny (I can play organ). Jimmy was also part of the B3 organ scene that once flourished in Newark NJ.

I resist writing about a lot of stuff. The other day I listened closely to Interstate by Pell Mell, a forgotten1995 album by an obscure instrumental group, had a few mostly positive things to say about it, & instrumental albums of the era, went to Amazon, & found four short reviews already there, all slightly overrating it five stars. I was gonna give it four stars, an honest assessment from an experienced pair of ears, but my critique wouldn't have been front page, so I figured it would never get read & skipped it.


If not you, then who? Absolutely, the world should benefit from your experineced ears.
Oh, the world does. But not as much as it could.

Nobody appreciates a joke about an album they think is gonna save the world. I've heard hundreds of those albums, & few of them are perfect.
I first heard of Pell Mell in 1991 when I picked up a copy of Flow. Their music always reminded me of something that would eventually end up in commercials, and I recall hearing Pell Mell in a few of them.

The liner notes for Flow describe how the record was assembled in the pre-Internet age:
"These songs were written and arranged by mailing tapes between Seattle, Ellensburg, San Francisco, New Haven, and Philadelphia from Winter 1989 to Fall 1990."
Same way Interstate was done. Pell Mell began as a "real" band but the members had became successful alt rock producers. My "review" was essentially that the closer the music stays to The Ventures & Booker T & the MGs, the better it holds up.
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