Friday, January 30, 2015

Jeff Jensen - Morose Elephant - New release review

I just received the newest release (Feb 3, 2015), Morose Elephant, from Jeff Jensen exhibiting a broad spectrum of cool music. Opening with Make It Through, a happy springy bluesy track, Jensen leads the way on vocals and lays out some pretty nice guitar riffs. With a taste of R&B, Victor Wainwright adds a Whirlitzer layer and Reba Russell adds to it's spiritual feel. Get Along is a pretty straight up rocker with Bill Ruffino on bass, Robinson Bridgeforth on drums and Kirk Smothers and Marc Franklin bringing up the horn section. Jensen shows he's no beginner with some really hot guitar riffs as well. Ballad Fall Apart with its soulful lead guitar work coupled with Jensen's vocals, Chris Stephenson on keys and Smothers and Franklin on horns make this one of the strongest tracks on the release.  Going Home is given a little funk with great backing vocals by Russell and nice horns by Smothers and Franklin but Jensen really shines at the lead on both guitar and vocal on this track. Excellent! Paper Walls is a clever blues like chant (think Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning) with simple instrumentation. Stephenson on piano, Ruffino on bass, Cunningham on drums and Jensen whipping on the guitar as he tells the story, this track has some oomph! On Boogie track, What's The Matter With The Mill Wainwright does a great job on vocals and hammers the keyboard for a super conclusion to a solid blues track. Easy paced ballad, Ash and Bones is primarily Jensen accompanying himself on acoustic guitar complimented by Russell on vocal and Anne Harris on fiddle. Very nice! Cool jazz instrumental track, Elephant Blue, really pops. Jensen gives the fretboard a hard workout and and Bridgeforth, Stephenson and Ruffino push him the whole way. Hot! Bad Bad Whiskey has an easy saunter pace with Eric Hughes complimenting the vocals on harp. I'll Always Be In Love With You cranks the levelup to more of an open horn band with perky vocals. A nice cool walking bass line by Ruffino and light guitar soloing. Wrapping the release is Empty Bottles, Jensen accompanining himself on guitar and complimented by Gary Allegretto on harp. A quick bluesy ditty, a slick little track to close a cool and curious release.

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