Thursday, November 6, 2014
The Light Orchestra Raised Spirits City Light Records 1983
This is actually pretty good. The cover is pretty lame. Then you flip to the back you see a collection of vocal jazz covers from some Kansas City locals, that doesn't help. Then you realize it's from the 80's and it should be the third strike.
If you're brave enough to listen, you'll find it's an enjoyable take on classic-era Swing. It does have a hokey, let's remember the KC Jazz greats thing about it, but hey, Laverne Barker plays bass for the band and he's got a legitimate resume. The production isn't awash in 80's studio effect, it sounds live and classic. The highlight of the album is the rough, raspy, vocals of drummer David Base. Who, upon first listen, I wouldn't have guessed he was a skinny, white dude. His expressive voice and it's texture when combined with the sometimes theatrical arrangements of the tracks can put the album in Tom Waits type territory with out all the cryptic poetry.
The players on this LP, especially David Basse, can be found on a handful of 80's era KC Jazz. Apparently there was a short lived scene for this type of thing. It'd be interesting to know how successful they were around town and how the albums fared concerning sales.
Goodbye Porkpie Hat