In all of my years as a music critic, I don’t think I ever heard a jazz album that I could actually dance to. Maybe it has something to do with my overall ignorance of the genre, but my view of jazz is that it always moves at a snail’s pace, usually propelled by a sultry saxophone. It can be depressing to listen to, at least from my perspective; those of us grew up on rock & roll can find listening to jazz to be an alienating experience.
So here comes Gary Gibson, a resident of Seattle, delivering a set of summer-vacation vibes, arriving in my mailbox in the dead of winter. Gibson plays a number of instruments on the CD, the most notable being steel pans, which does not create the discordant noise you might imagine. Far from it. This is a seriously melodic record, filled with nifty percussive sounds and bouncy Caribbean beats.
The songs on this album are so catchy that you wonder if they’d be more successful if they actually had vocals on them. Otherwise, it makes for a pleasant sunny afternoon. But larger crowds could be captured with lyrics and a singer. The jazz experts will probably find technical aspects to appreciate. For the rest of us, it’s time to unwind and feel good.
Two Trees: www.twotreesmusic.com