Exposé Online banner

Todd Clouser's A Love Electric — Entre: Selections in Garage Jazz
(The Royal Potato Family 020286210573, 2012, CD)

Todd Clouser's A Love Electric — 20th Century Folk Selections
(The Royal Potato Family 020286167785, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-08-23

Entre: Selections in Garage Jazz Cover art20th Century Folk Selections Cover art

For 2012, guitarist Todd Clouser gives us two CDs, one of original music (Entre) and one of cover tunes (20th Century Folk Selections), some of them arranged nearly beyond recognition. Buddy Holly's "Everyday" is reimagined in 5/4, and you might not know that's what it was without reading the track list — then it's "Oh, yeah, I hear it now." Tunes from Neil Young, Nirvana, the Velvet Underground, Beastie Boys, and others are given similar treatments. Just the other night I was chatting with a jazz musician about how covers are treated too reverently these days, so it's good to have counter-examples, somebody who's doing it right. "The Needle and the Damage Done" sounds like something from Miles Davis in the mid-60s, with distorted electric piano and a cool groove; "All Apologies" is reworked as a mellow soul-jazz tune with some tasty piano from Mark Aanderud. Clouser also has the good sense not to extend every arrangement with multiple solos from every player — tracks range from three to nine minutes, so there's a good balance. You also get a slow psych-funk groove and a more conventional jazz ballad.

So that is A Love Electric taking on some "modern folk music" — how about the original tunes on Entre? No disappointments there. Right out of the gate we have "No Luck Woodpecker," a funk strut with real grit and catchy horn parts. Then "Mob Walk" with a different take on funk and some great grungy Rhodes from Bryan Nichols; its rhythmic hook should have you grooving on the inside if not the outside. "This Means Love" starts out like it's going to be a tender ballad, then gets in your face with a killer riff in 7/4. Other tracks mine other veins, with trumpet most often in the lead role on the melodies. Clouser's guitar is the most frequent soloing instrument, though everyone gets their turn at some point. The thing that really shines about this music it that it sounds very warm and human, not clinical and precise. For fusion fans, there are some similarities with early 70s Nucleus, as well as something like Gary Boyle's Isotope with a horn section, though with a heavier funk base. Lots to enjoy here, I'd start with Entre unless you crave the anchor of familiar melodies.


Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Todd Clouser, A Love Electric

More info
http://www.royalpotatofamily.com
http://www.alovelectric.com

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Yes - Songs from Tsongas – Yes' management has done a pretty good job documenting the various incarnations of the group since the botched Keys to Ascension reunion shows from 1996. Ensuring the classic line-up was intact was...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues