Jazz, country and western music converge in unexpected ways in the 2nd release from the quintet of saxophonists Bryan Murray & Jon Irabagon, guitarist Jon Lundbom, bassist Moppa Elliott, and drummer Danny Fischer.
Bryan and the Haggards
Still Alive and Kickin' Down the Walls
Label: Hot Cup Records
Released in: USA
"Instrumental jazz/country/western swing bands are pretty rare, and this second album Bryan and the Haggards the further the niche they are trying to carve. Considering the band has some of the same musicians from the wonderful and irreverent label, Hot Cup you can be assured that the music will be interesting. Consisting of Bryan Murray on tenor saxophone, Jon lrabagon on alto saxophone, Jon Lundbom on guitar, Moppa Elliott on bass and Danny Flscher on drums, the band develops a playful and exciting mashup of divergent genres.
Byran and the Haggards make a valiant attempt at fusing country music, western swing and jazz in a busman's holiday for the Hot Cup Label crew. What results is a fun if not necessarily ground breaking mix of fun twangy rave ups recalling he days of sawdust floor saloons juxtaposed by cry-in-your-beer ballads. "Ramblin' Fever" opens with some shit-kickin' electric guitar and melodic upbeat saxophones bringing the honky-tonk fun with a dash of R&B, and a solid backbeat throughout. A chugging rhythm keeps "Seeing Eye Dog" moving with a western swing feel as a honking tenor saxophone probes and swirls. The saxes take turn honkin', bleatin' and walking the bar, before shards of guitar take over.
"Twinkle Twinkle Luck Star" has strong guitar and saxophone with a midtempo yearning feel. Lundbom launches to a guitar solo with a slight but of raunchiness added in, before one of the saxophonists barrels in like a loud patron swinging into a western saloon. "Sing a Sad Song" slows things back down to a ballad tempo with melodic spare guitar adding a short solo. "Turnin' Off a Memory" has spoken introduction and a definite down on his luck feel exploratory saxophone squeaks over a mournful backbeat with guitar strums. The standard "San Antonio Rose" is the real odd-ball of the group, with some-honk-tonk western swing and the guitar swinging happily then a bowed bass solo with some vocalizing.
Some of novelty has started to wear off from the group, but the album still provides quite a bit of enjoyment, and the musicians sound like they're having a ball."-Tim Niland, Music and More
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Rock and Related
NY Downtown & Jazz/Improv
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Hot Cup Records
Catalog ID: Hot Cup 111
Squidco Product Code: 15798
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded by John White at Midtown Sound, New York, NY.
Bryan Murray-tenor saxophone, balto! saxophone, vocals, tin whistle
Jon Irabagon-c melody saxophone, alto saxophone, sorpano saxophone, clarinet, piccolo, penny whistle
Jon Lundbom-guitar, banjo
Matthew "Moppa" Elliott-bass
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1. Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star 4:43
2. Turnin' Off A Memory 4:13
3. Sing A Sad Song 4:53
4. Seeing Eye Dog 4:55
5. San Antonio Rose 4:20
6. Ramblin' Fever 4:44
7. Mixed Up Mess Of A Heart 4:00
8. If We Make It Through December 10:06