Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Jason Rosenblatt

Wiseman's Rag

First things first: Whatever the sales force  might try to convince you, this CD is not blues, it’s jazz. 

That said, it’s a fine album that will add joy and depth to any collection that embraces variety. 

Jason Rosenblatt, a Canadian, plays harmonica and keyboards, the primary instruments heard here. Other players contribute guitar, drums and bass – including jazz bass solos, one of which, if I may say so, sounds much like the next. But the album is driven largely by harp and piano. 

It’s a happy album. The harmonica dances lightly above the keyboards, which sometimes anchors the proceedings with an enjoyable ragtime beat. Even songs about break-up and loss bounce right along. No slow weepers here. Nor is this the kind of esoteric, free-form jazz that eschews melody, rhythm and sense. It’s good fun. 

Seven of the 13 tracks here are instrumentals. The other six feature Rosenblatt’s pleasant, androgynous vocals. 

True, two of the songs do feature the word ‘blues’ in their titles – Modern Life Blues and C Harp Blues. But calling a song the blues doesn’t make it so. 

In fairness, it must be said that the next-to-last track, You’ll Take The Highway, could be considered blues, but that’s the only one. 

Bottom line: People who listen to nothing other than pure blues should give this CD a pass. Audiophiles with diverse tastes will find this to be a pleasing addition to their collections.

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