Empty Hand

Empty Hand

Empty Hand


Generally records of this type — Holiday Inn lounge jazz — pass quickly in and out of my radar. The first Kenny G-ish flourish, and I’m hitting the eject button. However, upon reading the credits on this thing, I notice among the seven names listed for drums the impossible — Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson) and Ron Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs, Winger). Could it be?

One would never know, listening to the music, if these gentlemen actually played on it. The drummer’s role is that of a bored drum machine with a pulse, and even knowing that Bruford is focusing mainly on jazz these days, this can’t be him. I went to the band’s Web site to investigate further, but of course the site doesn’t work. Neither Bruford nor Morgenstein’s Web sites list this record in their discography (not that I would, either…) so the mystery continues. As a record, this is pretty banal stuff built around the songs of Jimmy Layton, except for a horrid version of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band’s “Tiger Rag.” Lili Layton vocalizes, in a fashion, but doesn’t really seem up to the task. Normally, I would relegate this to the “trade it in at the CD store” pile, but if it really turns out to be Bruford on here, I know somebody on eBay will pay top dollar for it. Ah, capitalism.


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