WILLIE MCBLIND, LIVE LONG DAY

CD REVIEW

 

DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE

Frank-John Hadley

"Sugar, Soul and Microtones"

September 2013

***1/2 (3 and a half ) stars

"Manhattan's microtonal band - highlighted by singer-guitarist Jon Catler's fealty to Harmonic Series tuning (he's a master at fusing pitch and rhythm) and Babe Borden's acrobatic, venturous singing - offers a repertory of nine originals that reflect on the freedom of train travel. They also reinvent "Love In Vain," from the canon of freight car rider Robert Johnson. Powerful rock and blues, plus Jefferson Airplane-like psychedelia, meld with an intelligent, complex musical sensibility. Sidestepping expectations, McBlind travels its own way. The last nine minutes of the album are a guitar drone (aka Harmonic Ghost Train Cloud) that avant-gardist La Monte Young would give his blessing.

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