Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Fire at Keaton's Bar & Grill (Jewel CD Case)
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Saxophonist Roy Nathanson's tenure with John Lurie and his Lounge Lizards and then the Jazz Passengers gave ample foreshadowing for this all-over-the-map concept album. Nathanson pulls in a roster of luminaries, starting w... more »
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Saxophonist Roy Nathanson's tenure with John Lurie and his Lounge Lizards and then the Jazz Passengers gave ample foreshadowing for this all-over-the-map concept album. Nathanson pulls in a roster of luminaries, starting with Elvis Costello to open the set (and make a pair of additional appearances) and continuing with Deborah Harry, organist Charles Earland, and several of the leader's colleagues from the Jazz Passengers. The album has a story: Keaton's is an archetypal hangout, a seedy nightclub central to the cast's lives, that burns down. The vocals vary from Costello's croon to a scrappy Nancy King spot, a hilarious turn by Richard Butler, and Harry's sultry swagger on "Cups." Nathanson and the band play across styles, swinging then strutting then playing a straight soul-jazz tune with Earland driving on the Hammond organ. Of course, the horn charts are very conversational, with riffs flying back and forth and solos popping up as inadvertent reminders that Nathanson's aesthetic is at heart soul-bop-funk. Here, he manages to not only build a storied nightspot with the music, he gets to burn the place down and have the music tell the story. --Andrew Bartlett
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George Grella | Brooklyn | 05/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A quietly adventurous and unusual record from Roy Nathanson, and a pretty good one at that. This CD has more in common with the smaller Kurt Weill pieces like "The Seven Deadly Sins" than anything else, in both form and style.Musically, what that means is that everything flows together, and it has to to make the narrative and scene painting work, and that though they may be a pleasing individual song, listening to it out of context doesn't make much sense and weakens the song itself. Taken as a whole, though, the songs support the story and themselves, and make sense. The writing is good, and Elvis Costello especially shines, sounding in great voice.Where it falls slightly short is in terms of style. Not all the performers convey the material as well as others [see Richard Butler], and the rhythm section can be a bit stiff, although that may be the point, conveying a slightly less than professional house band. But a charming and unique recording that sounds great and is satisfying to listen to as a whole."
Unusual and intriguing
Tom Klein | International Falls, MN USA | 06/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album - a showcase for the composing and arranging skills of Roy Nathanson - features a variety of artists and a variety of styles. Over the course of the album, the songs tell the story of the fire at Keaton's Bar & Grill. Elvis Costello's vocal on the opening track sets the mood perfectly for this unusual and intriguing set. Well worth a listen."