Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Panthelion

Life After 339

2008-03-17

“I figured it out on my third listen. Well, I should have already known, as Andrew Currier already told me in a previous interview that he is trying to create “a new body of standards” with his solo debut, Life After 339. When he initially said this, I though to myself: good, another young musician in the Bay Area trying to make a difference. But after repeated listens to his record, the true significance of this “body of standards” idea came to light. Like great tunes of yesteryear, such as “Take the A Train,” or “So What,” or “Goodbye Pork-pie Hat,” Currier’s compositions are catchy and memorable. That’s it; that’s the basic formula for all great music, be it Bach or Chuck Berry. And Life After 339 has got this going on in a major way. With much thanks to the aforementioned infectiousness, this entirely original album is relevant and vibrant, rather than retro and vacuous. Once more, performance and production-wise, the level of Life After 339’s artistic execution is highly professional and pristine. This fundamental aspect perpetuates the music’s twenty-first century validity without compromising its earthy, head-bobbing, and succulent flavor. With learned, tasteful abandon, composer, conceptualizer, and producer Currier also serves as the album’s aural axis – specifically, as standup bassist and pianist. And although the album is tinged with bebop and tropical grooves, its instrumental line-up somewhat recalls that of jazz’s “cool” period, with drumkit, tenor sax, and muted trumpets flowing throughout, as well as vibraphones and strings. However, in the songs with strings, these classical sounds seem to inform each respective piece rather than sprinkle them.” - Dave Kostiuk (CD Baby)

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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