|From the Vault...
© Asylum Records
Year of Release: 197
Tom Traubert's Blues
Step Right In
I Wish I WasIn New Orleans
The Piano Has BeenDrinking (Not Me)
Invitation To The Blues
Pasties And A G-String
Bad Liver And ABroken Heart
The One That Got Away
I Can't Wait ToGet Off Work
Tom Waits related sites:
Tom Waits is a unique individual, and probably the best way to describe
him and his music is best defined in ROLLING STONE
Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll:
Singer/songwriter Tom Waits is a one-man Beatnik revival. He generally
appears with a cap pulled over his brow, a cigarette dangling from his stubbled
face, talksinging and/or mumbling jive in a cancerous growl to the accompanient
of cool saxophone jazz; he also writes romantic ballads, which have been covered
by the Eagles, Rickie Lee Jones, and others.
© Fireside, Simon & Schuster, 1995
"Cool Saxophone Jazz" as well as "Lounge Act Piano Jazz" best describes
Small Change, his 1976 release, that is quite impressive, and is
recommended for the standard jazz lover.
"Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets To The Wind In
Copenhagen)" is a heartfelt song to start out the album. Featuring
Waits on the piano, with his unique voice, this song has the lounge act sound,
where "that piano player" is pouring his heart out, both vocally and instrumentally.
"Step Right Up" has the New Orleans jazz style, with Waits' vocal style
as the great Louis Armstrong.
What makes this album stands out so well are the songs like the opening
track, "Tom Traubert's Blues." Imagine a smoke-filled saloon, where
the music is heard from a small corner of the bar. And there, is a hard working
piano player with a very unique voice, that you just can't help but listen
to his beautiful playing and his distinctive vocal style. Songs such as
"Jitterbug Boy (Sharing A Curbstone With Chuck E. Weiss,
Robert Marchese, Paul Body And The Mug And Artie)," "I Wish I Was In
New Orleans (In The Ninth Ward)," "The Piano Has Been
Drinking (Not Me) (An Evening With Pete King)" and
"Invitation To The Blues" displays the heart and soul of Tom Waits
lounge-style performances that can easily get the repeat button activated on
any of these tracks to enjoy again and again.
"Pasties And A G-String (At The Two O'Clock Club)"
is another upbeat Louis Armstrong-jazz tinged song. The return of the
lounge-act piano playing returns again with "Bad Liver And A Broken Heart
(In Lowell)". The jazz-inspired "The One That Got
Away" is a talk-driven common jazz song, focusing on two main instruments
in jazz: The stand-up bass, and saxophone. The saxophone-inspired talking
song, "Small Change (Got Rained On With His Own .38)"
is definitely jazz, with only the saxophone and Waits' vocals. The album closes
with "I Can't Wait To Get Off Work (And See My Baby On
Montgomery Avenue)", another lounge-act piano-driven composition.
Again, the songs that features just the soft-jazz piano and Waits' vocals
truly stands out on this album. It's contemporary jazz, that can easily be
compared to Humphrey Bogart's Casablanca, yet the piano player singer
has a distinctive voice, that of a Louis Armstrong. Waits' voice is rough, but
his vocal style surprisingly blends extremely well with the soft-jazz style.
For the diehard jazz fan, this album is a must. And, this album will have
you running to the record stores for more of Waits' albums. His early albums
features this kind of sound, although his later albums he experimented with
electric guitar and experimental rock work. But Tom Waits is best known for
the music presented here on Small Change. It's an album that will have
the repeat button on for the entire album, especially the soft, piano-and-vocals
lounge act compositions.
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