Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sgt. Pepper's Sound

These Beatles guys I discovered have really slipped over the outside of the envelope with their latest, titled Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Like their other CDs there are certainly a lot of catchy ditties here (With A Little Help From My Friends, When I'm Sixty-four, Lovely Rita) and some tending-to-sad ballads (She's Leaving Home and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, although the latter might be viewed more as abstract than melancholy).

But this session is about more than a(nother) collection of nifty songs. It is that, but the songs and the music, to my ear, hang together to create a unified work with a certain feeling and sound, intentionally I suspect. In my estimation, the coloring with "little" instruments, found sounds and vocal flourishes outside the boundaries of song lyrics makes this a relative of Roscoe Mitchell's Sound and the work of Mitchell and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, i.e. avant-garde jazz. I find that Sgt. Pepper's has the same visual, not just aural, impact on my brain as I listen. From a rock perspective, it makes me think of Bruce Springsteen's The Wild, The Innocent and The E-Street Shuffle, a favorite. Sgt. Pepper's has amusingly cool CD cover art, too. A magical musical tour.

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