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Concert Review: Tom Young CD Release Party 08/01/16
August 01, 2016  See More Photos

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  Danny Frankel/Drums and Percussion

 

 img_1274.jpgJon Ossman/Acoustic and Electric Bass

  

img_1276.jpgPeter Adams on Keyboards.

 

 

 

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Review By: Melissa Berry


Tom Young and the Questionaires CD Release Party

Venue: Blue Whale

 

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Los Angeles - When is a release party more than just a release party?  When it's for Tim Young and The Questionires' eponymous new album - "Tim Young and The Questionaires" (and yes, that is absolutely the correct spelling for Questionaires.)  Included in this release party at The Blue Whale jazz club in Downtown Los Angeles, a "chill spot that draws serious jazz fans," was a live performance of the entire album with Young and the three other band members:  Danny Frankel/Drums and Percussion; Jon Ossman/Acoustic and Electric Bass; and Peter Adams on Keyboards.  


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Luckily, there was just enough time before the performance to chat with Tim and a couple of the band members and ask just a couple of questions regarding some of the tracks.  


Yes, "Lento for Levon" is dedicated to Levon Helm the great rock 'n roller and always lead vocalist with "The Band."  In fact, Tim and his wife even named their son after Levon. "Lento for Levon" is a thoughtful and lovely tribute done through music, reminding us of how great Levon really was.


2) Yes, Peter Adams really is playing the kingly Hammond B3 organ on the album, which is wonderfully apparent on the very first track "Always on My Mind." Also, "Always on My Mind" has Jon Ossman creating a bass line for the tune that has never sounded so hypnotizingly melancholic. 

  

3) Yes, "Anouman" is the 1953 ultimate cool jazz ballad made famous by one of jazz's greatest guitarists - Django Reinhardt.  It was a real treat to hear this played live with this unique interpretation.

 

4) Lastly, yes, there was a music chart resting on the floor for some Maurice Ravel just in case Tim needed it for later.  Ravel?  Yes, Ravel. This album includes several very famous pieces of classical music reinterpreted for a contemporary sound, and done so very successfully.  There is the hauntingly beautiful "Adagio for Strings" by Samuel Barber, in this case, "Adagio for Six Strings" since it's being played on the guitar.  Young's manipulation of the melody line in his playing in this piece brings to mind that eccentric electronic instrument the Theremin. This is an early electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact, which senses the relative position of the player's hands and the vibrations.  All this creates a very otherworldly, ephemeral sound, which is exactly what Young is able to do with his playing in this piece.  It's absolutely mesmerizing. Finally, there is Ravel's "Concerto for the Gs".  Again with a very thoughtful and respectful arrangement that honors a beautiful melody.


The live performance was certainly enhanced by the camaraderie of the musicians, and the rapport with us in the audience.  Young even charmed the audience into singing along on "Canticle" by Paul Winter, but only after telling us the childhood tale of how he brought the piece to the album.


Young and The Questionaires filled the evening with an assortment of distinctive individual performances that firmed up my earlier take on the album, - "Tim Young and The Questionaires," produced by Tim Boyle, is an album of gentle intelligence which covers a variety of genres of music including strategically spaced original compositions, with the sum total resulting in an album that will always reveal something new every time it's listened to.

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