Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
David Winogrond - Pictures At An Existentialismdotdotdot
artworkAs a long time fan of David Winogrond's drumming with Davie Allan, I hoped for grode powerful stuff, but I really didn't know what to expect. It's important to note that this review is relative to the focus of Reverb Central, i.e. surf and its lesser cousin instro rock. From that perspective, only the last track hold sway, but Imhotep alone is worth the price of admission. Davie Allan guests, and if you can imagine the Arrows in a time warp nightmare where MJQ's Space album is augmented with cycledelic guitar. Amazing!

no there's no surf here, but what a killer track!
Picks: Exploding Watermelon Dream State, Swans Reflecting Elephants, Dusk In Amber, New World Symphony, Snakeskin Pillbox Hat (dance mix), Hard Night In Reseda: I Misterioso, Hard Night In Reseda: II Alegro, Sing Sing Sing, Sunset Blvd. Blues, Imhotep

Track by Track Review

Exploding Watermelon Dream State
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

"Exploding Watermelon Dream State" serves as a kind of herald - a sort of trumpet ushering in the album. It's a noisy track - noisy from amp ground hum and ambient or tape noise. It sounds like it's lifted from somewhere else, with an audible and uncomfortable end of audio sound at its end.

Swans Reflecting Elephants dot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

This is a fairly pompous piece, difficult to listen to, almost like the sort of thing that music appreciation teacher pawned off as art. Well, maybe that's an overstatement, but it's way more intellectual than emotional or musical.

Dusk In Amber dotdot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Soft flute, a piano that's too personal, and a hint of the Blues Project filtered through seventies jazz prog. Much more mathematical than musical or an aural painting.

New World Symphony dotdotdot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Honking and squirting and busy drums. "New World Symphony" has a Charles Lloyd feel about it.

Snakeskin Pillbox Hat (dance mix) dotdotdot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

From its fade up, "Snakeskin Pillbox Hat (dance mix)" is clearly more musical. Sax, piano, etc. play nicely together for all of twenty-nine seconds.

Hard Night In Reseda: I Misterioso dotdotdot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

"Hard Night In Reseda: I Misterioso" is one stiff number, like a jazz soundtrack to one of those arty and dreadful cult drug movies from the sixties. It's a long way from musical.

Hard Night In Reseda: II Alegro dotdot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Stereo honking horns, well recorded drums, and the cacophony of difficult jazz.

Sing Sing Sing dotdotdotdot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Luis Prima's classy "Sing Sing Sing" gets a sort of Charles Lloyd treatment. It's much cooler than that... jumping, bouncing, exuberant, and nicely arranged. This is very cool!

Sunset Blvd. Blues dotdotdot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

"Sunset Blvd. Blues" is definitely a sullen number in the great smoky jazz club tradition. The horn again reminds me of Charles Lloyd, probably due to the delay applied.

Imhotep dotdotdotdotdot
Progressive Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

OK now! Davie Allan joins in on guitar, bringing a grand life and sharp edge to this track. The bass is gutty, the guitar howlingly Davie Allan, the drums superb, and the horns just right. This is the track I got this disc for. David Winogrond's drums are really strong here. Maybe it's just my long appreciation for his surf and rock work with Davie, but this is what I was hoping for. Oh, the dissonant entropy "Imhotep" devolves into! Wow!