Little Jack Melody and His Young Turks
Live: Noise and Smoke
Before lounge, there was cabaret. Smokier, sultrier, and not at all kitsch, Little Jack Melody’s no-guitar approach to music yields something spread across this century, as the band assimilates elements ranging from the aforementioned cabaret to Frank Sinatra to jazz and rock. The harmonium which characterized a large part of the band’s sound in previous albums is gone — my guess is that if there’s anything more difficult than finding working models of these wheezy pedal organs, it’s keeping them in running order. The band’s character, however, escapes mostly unscathed, thanks to deft piano work by Brad Williams.
In a live setting, Little Jack Melody’s eccentricities gain full charm, given the occasional between-song banter and audience reaction. The album closes with a handful of covers, “Is That All There Is?”, “Cum On Feel the Noize” (a great merry-go-round treatment), and LJM staple “Alabama Song.” A worthy addition to any eclecticist’s library.
Kilroy Records, P.O. Box 1065, Denton, TX 76202; http://www.littlejackmelody.com/