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February 21, 2024

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Buddy Blue
Sordid Lives (Bizarre/Planet Records)

By: Mark A. Lawrence the IV

This album induces Kerouac dreams of hip jazz joints thick with smoke and beatniks, where Coltrane blows his sax with such attention to quality of sound that to do so any other way must surly mean death. I have filled my head with whiskey reading the Jazz poems of Lawson Inada, and awaken the next morn with vague memories and the same warm-wash feeling Buddy Blue's album Sordid Lives gives me. This album is a jazzy mix of Count Basie and Kim Wilson's ballsy blues. The songs are filled with seedy lyrics that paint a picture of a 40's Underworld fueled by bottles and the rawest of emotions. Luckily this jazz has a fair amount of structure and won't lose listeners who aren't as fond of the improvisation normally equated with this musical style. The Mellow vibe of this album is intoxicating, with the high tin of the horns on "Pray for Rain," near hypnotic and the guitar of "Slim Jim," is heavily weighted in jump blues. This is a fine CD that reminds me of The Big Bad Voodoo Daddies independent stuff and a more robust Squirrel Nut Zippers. Rating B
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