CD Small Change [Tom Waits] (CD 392254),
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Small Change [Tom Waits]

  • 1. Tom Traubert's Blues
    2. Step Right Up
    3. Jitterbug Boy
    4. I Wish I Was in New Orleans
    5. Piano Has Been Drinking,, The (Not Me)
    6. Invitation to the Blues
    7. Pasties and a G-String
    8. Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
    9. One That Got Away, The
    10. Small Change
    11. I Can't Wait to Get Off Work
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1078

  • Credits
    ProducerBones Howe
    EngineerBones Howe

    Personnel includes: Tom Waits (vocals, piano); Harry Bluestone, Israel Baker, Nathan Kaproff, Nathan Ross, Murray Adler (violin); Sam Boghossian, David Schwartz (viola); Ed Lustgarden, Kathleen Lustgarden (cello); Lew Tabackin (tenor saxophone); Jim Hughart (bass); Shelly Manne (drums).
    Recorded at Wally Heider Recording, Hollywood, California in July 1976.
    Unquestionably the definitive recording of Waits' early period, SMALL CHANGE brings his beatnik/grifter/gruff, poetic piano man persona into sharp, defining focus. Waits' blues/jazz/'40s pop amalgam is at its most cohesive here, as he's backed by three West Coast jazz vets and an occasional (never overweening) string section. "Tom Traubert's Blues," later covered by Rod Stewart, is a milestone, and one of the greatest cry-in-your-beer tunes of all time. Waits plays the down-and-out, alcohol-ravaged troubadour to perfection here as well as on "Invitation to the Blues" and the devastating "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart," where one can almost smell the cheap whiskey on his breath.
    It's not all misery, though. There's plenty of humor on the huckster/auctioneer rap of "Step Right Up" and the bad-gig nightmare of "The Piano Has Been Drinking [Not Me])." "The One That Got Away" and the title cut continue the aural dimestore novel approach Waits began early in his career. Things end with a quiet, romantic gesture; the poignant, understated 4 AM wistfulness of "I Can't Wait to Get Off Work." If you buy only one Waits '70s album, it should be this one.

  • Critic Reviews
    Q (10/92, p.101) - 3 Stars - Good - "...encapsulates his worldview..."
    Mojo (Publisher) (p.76) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "Here we see the skid row poet and the spot-lit entertainer take flight while a band of seedy outcasts look on. Tom Waits had arrived."
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