Sunday, February 2, 2020

Album Review: Guitar Elation- Double Live at Green Lady Lounge

Acquisition of the vinyl version of Double Live at Green Lady Lounge comes with a quandary.  Do listeners restrain themselves to avoid marring the two gorgeous alabaster platters, or do they accede to the mandate of Guitar Elation’s robust twist on organ jazz and let loose while enjoying the new release on their home stereos?

As I recently suggested in The Kansas City Star, "(t)he rousing recording documents the hard-grooving attack of the quartet on original compositions like “Funkshun Junkshun.”  Guitarists Brian Baggett and Danny Embrey trade astounding solos over Ken Lovern’s funky organ riffs and the impeccable grooves laid down by the internationally renowned straight-ahead jazz drummer Todd Strait."

The memorable melodies and aggressive solos are captured in an appropriately brawny sound field.  Full of vim and vigor, there’s nothing polite about the set recorded on August 10, 2017.  The delectable tension experienced by vinyl aficionados is mirrored by intriguing dynamics within the group.  Not only do the guitarists engage in friendly duals, Lovern and Bagget exhibit rock inclinations while Strait and Embrey are more closely rooted to the jazz tradition.  The divergence elevates Double Live at the Green Lady from run-of-the-mill organ jazz. 

The most appropriate response to the album is punching the volume knob to facilitate unhinged dance parties.  A raucous soundtrack to spilled drinks, bad decisions and day-after regrets, Double Live at the Green Lady is the next best thing to spending a carefree Thursday night at Kansas City’s most vital jazz club. 

The album release show for Double Live at Green Lady Lounge is Thursday, February 6.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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