March 1999

Jango - Dreamtown
Samson Music GCO160
 
Released: 1999 

by Bruce Bassett
bruce@soundstage.com

Musical Performance ***1/2
Recording Quality ***1/2
Overall Enjoyment ***

[Reviewed on CD]Ahhh, there’s nothing like the feel of the open road -- top down, wind in my hair, and the cool sounds of Jango eddying in the breeze. Doing 85 and not a car in sight. Very odd for the I-5 heading into Tinseltown.  I’m not complaining.

Man, these guys run as smooth and tight as my BMW roadster. Here’s some sax, la the suave sounds of Kenny G. Overall? More of a, uh, Steely Dan feel. Yeah, that’s the kind of groove they have. More focus on the individual instruments and updated with some rhythm programming, but that mellow vibe is unmistakable. Steve Nieves’ voice has that same sort of subtly soulful, smooth sound. Wow, that phrase would test the mettle of any good pop-and-hiss mic screen.

Closing on a car. Red. Ferrari? Yeah, I’d say so. I wonder if some young Hollywood starlet is driving?

Now there’s a familiar song. 1980? ’81? Tell me "How Long" since I’ve heard this song? Paul Carrack tune, I do believe. Carrack's another subtly soulful, smooth singer. I like the hollow-body electric with the funky wah-wah happening in the rhythm.

Hmmm, red Ferrari’s taking the off-ramp. I could take that exit. Ah, why not? I’m a curious kind of guy.

What’s this tune? "King’s Road." Swinging. A synthesized horn states a simple theme -- un-huh -- bows to the sax after 16 bars, then reclaims its ground and renews the cycle. Jazzy guitar and piano snippets appear, then vanish as stealthily as they arrived. Talented musicians. I wonder how they refrain from the urge to run obbligato around the melody? I’ve been listening to too much Coltrane lately.

Oh good, the light’s red. I’ll pull up alongside. Oooh, she is KEE-YOOT! Uh-oh. She’s leaning out her window. Is she saying my name? "Bruce...."

"Bruce. Bruce? BRUCE? Wake up."

"Wha’? Huh? Oh, Honey...."

"You must have fallen asleep in your chair."

"Umm, yeah. I must have been in Dreamtown."


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