A modern day troubadour that does not sing protest songs; Skip Heller just soaks in the sounds and flavors of music from his travels and imparts it in his songs.
The Skip Heller Trio - Liberal Dose
The Skip Heller Trio - Liberal Does: Isn't This A Time?; Meydele (Dorem Khosene Megamix); Funeral March From The Mahler #5; Dave Alvin; (The Lonesome Death Of ) Emily Bemler; Glamour Profession; Letter Home To My Wife; McMansion On The Hill; President "Guitar" Watson
Personnel: Skip Heller: guitar; Chris Spies: organ; David White: drums
The Skip Heller Trio - Liberal Dose was released under Skip Heller's own label - Skyeways, and was recorded live in Huntsville, Alabama. Starting with the interesting title, Liberal Dose, this is a liberal dose of music about people, places, personal opinions, personal interests, memories of the past and most of all, a liberal dose of interesting and creative organ jazz. Skip Heller has been creating his brand of exciting and vibrant music since the early 90's. Skip has lent his unique style to the classics, but he is truly at his best when he is creating his own songs. A man who has many passions including fusing regional and cultural jazz forms, he continues to innovate and open new doors. A modern day troubadour much like Pete Seeger, who Skip has based his career on, he does not sing protest songs, he just soaks in the sounds and flavors of music from his travels and imparts it in his songs.
Each track on Liberal Dose contains a specific meaning that becomes clear when you read the liner notes. The lead track Isn't This A Time? comes from the folk group, The Weavers, that included Pete Seger, and their song "Wasn't That A Time?" where the end of their lyric asked, "Isn't this a time to free the soul of man?", you can hear the question, Isn't This A Time? in the tempo and pace and especially in Skip's exquisite guitar work and Chris Spies's organ. The songwriter/guitarist David Alvin, who influenced Skip as a teenager, inspired the track David Alvin, you feel that this is a song celebrating and honoring someone or something. (The Lonesome Death Of) Emily Remier, is a track dedicated to one of Skip's favorite jazz guitarists, Emily Remier, who suffered an untimely death; the passage starts with a slow tempo and a meshing of guitar, organ, and the subtle cymbals to set the tone as he honors the memory of Emily Remier; this is a tender and beautiful song and my favorite.
The other tracks continue the creative tie between the sound and the story behind the song such as, Glamour Profession, which is a statement on the transparent world of glamour; Letter Home To My Wife was written in several airports over a two week period during a series of road trips, and McMansion On The Hill, is about the impact of the housing development and the change to the beauty of the landscape along the lower section of Alabama. Skip closes the set and the release, with a rousing blues song written for guitarist great, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, which is entitled, President "Guitar" Watson,; though Johnny Watson is deceased, this is Skip's sly way of saying that a person who is deceased "would have done the world less harm" as the President.
Though organ jazz does not get its due in the music world, one listen to a Skip Heller release and you will definitely come away with a different view. I had a lot of fun listening to Liberal Dose, so if you like jazz with flare, creativity and an edge then give The Skip Heller Trio - Liberal Dose a spin; you can find The Skip Heller Trio - Liberal Dose on CD Baby.
Note - Music Scene is not sponsored by any third party. All music that is written about in Music Scene are the views and experiences of the writer, and reflects a compilation of music, sent to us by musicians, producers, acquired during travel to unique destinations, recommended by our country host or a local resident, just happening upon a music event, searching out a Jazz club, or other live music venue.
© June 2006. Luxury Experience. www.luxuryexperience.com. All rights reserved.