Wayne Alpern is reviewed by Jazzweekly – JAZZ IS A VERB…Wayne Alpern: Standard Deviation


JAZZ IS A VERB…Wayne Alpern: Standard Deviation

Wayne Alpern reminds us that “jazz” was originally a verb in the musical vernacular, as he takes his flexible team and has them puree songs from the 60s to 80s (and even today’s charts) with clever directions and arrangements. The team of Owen Broder/as-cl, Adam Larson/ts, Jon Challoner/tp, Nick Grinder/tb, Benjamin Sutin/vi, Matt Podd/p, Dave Baron/b and Nathan Ellman-Bell team with vocalists Jeff Burnige, D’Layna and Nick 8 for prismatic renditions of pieces, such as a bopping read of Kay Perry’s “Teenage Dream” that has Baron delivering a nasty little bass line, while the team goes into the Bob Dylan songbook with a gospel’d “Dear Landlord” and a VFW flavored “As I Went Out One Morning” complete with homespun fiddling. On the other side of the tracks, a version of the rural “Ode To Billie Joe” features Grinder and Broder in a bouncy mood, while the team gets funky on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and puffs out an impressionistic temptation of “My Girl”. All throughout, the songs never sound tongue in cheek, contrived or ironic; they are simply re-examined and revamped, with emphasis on the vamp!


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