Gale Blowin High
You Gotta B Fly
Mama's Meat Pies
To Bop or Not to Be
Picasso at Midnite
Wisdom of Oz
Listen Here Listen Up
Tony Adamo (vocal hipspokenword) ; Mike Clark (drums); Donald Harrison: (alto saxophone); Tim Ouimette (trumpet); Michael Wolff (piano); Richie Goods
(bass); Lenny White (drums (1)); Bill Summers (percussion (1,4,5)) ;Jean C. Santalis (guitar (4))
URBAN ZONE RECORDS NO NUMBER
To those unfamiliar with him Tony Adamo is an exponent of the art of vocal hipspokenword, a compound noun so Germanic it should be bottled and sold over
the counter. But what is it exactly? Simply what it says: hip or jive talk over a searing bop-drenched band with lyrics so achingly with-it that they will
either grab or repel. If Eric Gale is the focus on Gale Blowin High, Adamo also runs through other stars in the firmament, providing a parlando
introduction to the music, accompanied by a wailing alto solo from Donald Harrison. The Hard Bop ethos is convincingly deployed throughout by The New York
Crew, though Adamo comes close to sounding parodic – the image of a comedic jazz-hipster swivelling on a bar stool and blowing smoke rings into the foetid
air of a downtown club is one that all too often comes to mind, often accompanied by the tell-tale drawled Adamo ‘maaan’.
The slow Buddhist Blues (pronounced ‘Boodist’ by Adamo) is festooned by a series of ‘ha ha has’ and the digging of concepts – at least we get no
down-home digging of potatoes, as that would be an image too raw for comfort. Once again Harrison is the star turn on alto. Hip talk is often only as good
as it’s witty; Adamo is often so garralous and predictable – Picasso the Modernist (been there, done that 70 years ago) - that he seems stuck in a groove.
The several mini-précis of Bop history are clearly sincerely meant but they all too often get in the way of the instrumentalists. I’d have preferred to
have heard more of trumpeter Tim Quimette, for example, and guitarist Jean Santalis. Perhaps it’s best to play one track at a time.