Justin Time CD “the Jazz Passengers (reunited)” reviewed by Stanley Fefferman

I read in the liner notes: ” You are an anomaly, an anachronism, an anthead, even. You read liner notes. No one reads these any more.”  Hey, I just said I read them.

These people are crazy. Look at the photo of them. They don’t give a damn. I like that. They sound like they don’t give a damn, like they are having fun, and they are dead-on good at making music. I listened to this album in the car three times already, once in city traffic and twice on a road trip. I still like them.

They break themselves up like Zappa and the Mothers of Invention do in We’re Only In It For the Money. They move in a funky groove like Kevin Breit in Folk Alarm 4. The music is convincing: so is the talking, the acting, the goofing around.

The album is well put together, tongue-in-groove, tongue-in-cheek. I can’t get their “Spanish Harlem” out of my head. Their “Reunited” sneaks up on me everytime and takes me captive. The originals, “Wind Walked By,” “Seven,” “Button Up,” and “Tell Me,” are by Roy Nathanson who supplies Sax and some vocals. Elvis Costello and Deborah Harry supply vocals, and Marc Ribot resupplies the guitar riffs as he did twelve years ago on the last (pre-re-united) Jazz Passenger album after a great run of albums that started in 1987.

I wasn’t a fan then, but I am now.

For the antheads who still read liner notes, the personnel on this album are:

Curtis Fowlkes: trombone, vocals; Roy Nathanson: alto and soprano saxophone, vocals; Bill Ware: vibes; Bradley Jones: bass, vocals; E.J. Rodriguez: drums (1-6, 8, 9); Sam Bardfeld: violin (1-7); Marc Ribot: guitar (1-6); Elvis Costello: lead vocal (1); Deborah Harry: vocals (8, 9); Susi Hyldgaard: lead vocal (7); Rob Thomas: violin (8, 9); Russ Johnson: trumpet (7); Tanya Kalmanovitch: viola (7); Ruben & Patricia Munne: intro dialogue (7).

Links:www.justin-time, www.jazzpassengers.com

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