Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
John Greaves — On the Street Where You Live
(Blueprint BP346CD, 2001, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2002-04-01
With this collection of seventeen tracks, John Greaves forgoes his skill for obtuse arrangements and bawdy bass playing for a strictly vocal pass through latenight torch singer terrain. Assisted by pianist Marcel Ballot and fine guitarist Patrice Meyer (ex-Hugh Hopper band), Greaves tours a select set of well-known American songbook standards and comes up with a work which will both befuddle and amuse longtime supporters. Ballot carries the instrumental load and whimsy on the album by displaying a keen sense of the material. Meyer’s prowess is used sparingly on “She’s Funny that Way,” where he interjects a short lead intro and acoustic rhythm on “On a Slow Boat to China.” The album is close in concept to recent projects attempted by Slapp Happy alumni and Daevid Allen’s recent overlooked disc of jazz standards. Tracks such as “Cry Me a River” and “Paper Moon” are rendered with a careful sense of smoky backroom time and place. Although this seems a bit of the curve for the noted composer, and ex-Henry Cow member, returning to jazz roots is not an uncommon activity for artists to gather inspiration for new material (e.g. Bryan Ferry). Whether viewed as an amusing twist or in-joke for friends, On the Street Where You Live allows for another outlook on a unique talent who continues to find inspiration in uncommon places.
Filed under: New releases, Issue 24, 2001 releases
Related artist(s): John Greaves, Patrice Meyer
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