Wayne Alpern is reviewed by Goldmine Magazine with his new album “Standard Deviation”

Goldmine Magazine

by Mike Greenblatt


Wayne Alpern

the second album by composer/arranger Wayne Alpern, is a whirlwind of instrumental jazz-pop wizardry wrapped in a funky soundtrack-like box of pleasure that will only deepen your smile with every new listen. I knew it’d be cool when a Frank Zappa quote graced the inner cover: “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” From that point, the music within is certainly not radical or experimental, as Alpern writes in his own liner notes, “…its vitality lies in the familiarity of genres, recollection of themes, and the unpretentious interpolation of the dance floor…I’m a musical kleptomaniac like Stravinsky…”

To that end, get ready for funky versions of songs you know that are now in new brightly-lit rooms: Michael Jackson’s 1982 “Thriller,” Bobbie Gentry’s 1967 “Ode To Billie Joe,” Bob Dylan’s 1967 “Hey Landlord,” Journey’s 1981 “Don’t Stop Believin’,” The Zombies’ 1964 “She’s Not There” and The Temptations’ 1964 “My Girl” are instantly recognizable. The others, especially twin highlights “As I Went Out One Morning” (’67 Dylan) and “Who Loves You Pretty Baby” (The Four Seasons, 1975), take a little longer to insinuate themselves into your cranium but when they do, the rush is palpable.”

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