Monday, November 23, 2009

Voice Of Chunk - (1988)

After a few revisions to the band's lineup, John Lurie had a brilliant cast for his Lounge Lizards' Voice of Chunk, which came out on his private label in 1989. Now that Lurie's got his strong Strange & Beautiful label, Voice is in wide circulation. And that's a good thing. It's probably the best work this lineup of the Lizards had to offer. Keyboardist Evan Lurie and guitarist Marc Ribot show themselves clearly up to fulfilling the leader's noirish, additive aesthetic. Additive, you ask? Lurie's a builder. He takes small cells, little turns of phrase, and then layers instruments, approaching the nugget, making for muted thrills as listeners glean the simplicity of the melodies and the sophistication of the instrumental combination (Roy Nathanson on saxophones, Curtis Fowlkes on trombone, percussionist E.J. Rodriguez, drummer Dougie Bowne, and bassist Erik Sanko round out the octet). The solos appear more ascetic, or at least more downturned, in their key signatures and structures. If you're wondering where to find a window on Lurie, a fantastic guy with soundtrack and film credits galore, this is as fine a place to look as any.

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