Thursday, December 16, 2004

Quote & Music of the day -- 12/16/04

"Remember, it was amateurs who built the Ark, and professionals who built the Titanic." -- Steven LaTulippe

Scott Amendola Band - Cry

A refreshingly original bit of modern jazz that showcases a number of quality musicians, most notably drummer Scott Amendola. Alongside Amendola on this album is Nels Cline on guitar, Jenny Scheinmann on violin, Todd Sickafoose on bass and Eric Crystal on saxaphones.

There are a number of beautiful pieces on this album, and some of the titles reflect the spiritual feel that one will notice if they give this album a listen. Such emotions are most evident in some of my favorite compositions on this album, including "Cry for John Brown", "My Son the Wanderer" and "Rosa".

My favorite song on this album though is definitely their take on Bob Dylan's classic anti-war anthem "Masters of War". Their rendition is a slowly building bit of quiet darkness, with anger that eventually boils over in the form of a blistering sax solo by Eric Crystal. Carla Bozulich is the guest vocalist for this song, which seems appropriate for me since her singing style is often abrasive and just oh so right for this type of song. This is definitely the best Dylan cover I've ever heard, not to mention perhaps the best anti-war song I've ever heard. Most '60s anti-war songs sound so polite and non-threatening (likely because most were folk songs), and that just doesn't seem appropriate to me. Songs that condemn the ugliest of uglies pertaining to mankind should be more edgy and confrontational, placing the anger of those who are against war into a musical context. Lovey-dovey campire acousticism just ain't gonna cut it.


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