CD Whale City (CD 4449962),
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Whale City


  • 1. Hammerhead
    2. Heads in the Cloud
    3. Neener Nawner, Pt. 1
    4. Neener Nawner, Pt. 2
    5. Wimpy Thing
    6. Butch and Bruce Go Under the Sea
    7. Whale City
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1075

  • Credits
    Producer
    Engineer

    The second recording for the Kansas City-based band Dry Jack is somehow inspired by the wet ocean mammals that reside far from the group's home. Although whale watching on the West Coast of the U.S. may have inspired this music -- which was recorded in N.Y.C. -- the album is mostly grounded on terra firma while reaching skyward. During the late '70s when this studio session was recorded, jazz fusion was fading (with Chick Corea and George Duke's music enduring), but indelibly stamped on keyboardist Chuck Lamb's musical identity. Playing a flurry of notes, Lamb, his brother and electric bass guitarist Rich Lamb, and electric guitarist Rod Fleeman attempt to put their personal vision on this style of music, which is clearly derived from their influences. The titles are odd: in some instances cryptically removed from the music, and at other times bafflingly accurate. For example, "Wimpy Thing" is a curious country-styled prelude to what Bla Fleck would do later on in a rock-funk mode. "Hammerhead" is better, a fast road song in George Duke's style with some stiff drumming from Jon Margolis and noodling solos. The two-part "Neener Nawner" frankly starts off as a lazy afternoon yawner, then jumps into fifth gear, slowing and speeding up into funk for no apparent reason. "Heads in the Cloud" is loaded with the Fender Rhodes sound Chuck Lamb seems to prefer in a bright Latin tinge, more simplistic than the band normally is. The nearly 13-minute title cut evokes an oceanic image with repeated lines and a spatial and calmed miniMoog backdrop, rocked out for jamming and then returning to the sea. The most jazz-oriented track, "Butch and Bruce Go Under the Sea," is a midtempo bop-oriented piece, with deft acoustic piano from Chuck Lamb and a unison line well played by the keyboardist and Fleeman, striking a somewhat original accord. A short-lived band on the national and international scene, Dry Jack were good enough in the minds of Inner City Records to release two albums, both of which were reissued on CD in 2008. ~ Michael G. Nastos

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