Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A "Bowery Bossa Nova"

Review of Steve Elson's "Mott and Broome"

This is music for these times. It’s the Bowery and everywhere. You recognize it, a memory, and you try to follow, but it has already gone on to the next moment. All this richness, all these textures and tones and nuance. Emphatic playing. Saxophone insinuates itself into your mind; angry, screaming,  joyful or sorrowful, or just plain beautiful. It resonates, it’s physical. The lyrics join forces with the music: fresh, forceful, tender. You have to listen. Heartache, joy, the details of lives fully lived. There is no hiding out here. The music is pure, full. It’s sexy out loud.

“I Haven’t Got Time to Dream”, romantic and truthful. No irony. Listen to that “Bowery Bossa Nova”- swoon. “Cartoon Love”, “A Day at the Beach”: quirky, happy, sweet, and honest. And the hushed plea of “Mott and Broome”. It’s about us, about trying as hard as you can, as openly, as fully as you can. With no apologies. Everything matters in these songs. They overpower you with what’s possible while keeping your feet planted (though tapping) on the rock solid earth.

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