Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jef Lee Johnson, The Sigularity, (Dreambox Media, 2000)

This one pushes it in many directions; electric grooves, blues, funk, noise, psychedelia, and soul. It's reminiscent at times of Jean-Paul Bourelly and Hendrix, but it's consistently rewarding and original. Features Charles Baldwin (bass) and Ted Thomas Jr. (drums). Gotta love the super funky, cerebral and angular cover of Al Green's "Love and Happiness." Jef Lee Johnson is the consummate guitarist. Just a great record.

This is Stewart Mason's review at allmusic.com:

"The Singularity is as good a description as any of guitarist Jef Lee Johnson's multi-hyphenated stew of rock, blues, jazz, soul, and noise. Recorded live (mostly during a two-night stand at New York's Knitting Factory, but also with some in-studio workouts), the 17 songs range from minute-long snatches of atmosphere to extended tracks like the ten-minute wiggly funk groove "Ain't Seen Irene" and the almost Hendrix-like space rock of "Communion." A point of similarity would be Material, the early-'80s kings of New York art-funk, but nothing on The Singularity is as precious as Material's over-studied music could often be. Even on those songs where Johnson risks overplaying, his gritty and direct vocals, along with his seldom-hidden knowledge of solid rock and soul riffs, are enough to make The Singularity an immediately accessible but far from simple collection."