Small Change

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The fourth release in Tom Waits' series of skid row travelogues, Small Change proves to be the archetypal album of his '70s work. A jazz trio comprising tenor sax player Lew Tabackin, bassist Jim Hughart, and drummer Shelly Manne, plus an occasional string section, back Waits and his piano on songs steeped in whiskey and atmosphere in which he alternately sings in his broken-beaned drunk's voice now deeper and overtly influenced by Louis Armstrong and recites jazzy poetry. It's as if Waits were determined to combine the Humphrey Bogart and Dooley Wilson characters from Casablanca with a dash of On the Road's Dean Moriarty to illuminate a dark world of bars and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The fourth release in Tom Waits' series of skid row travelogues, Small Change proves to be the archetypal album of his '70s work. A jazz trio comprising tenor sax player Lew Tabackin, bassist Jim Hughart, and drummer Shelly Manne, plus an occasional string section, back Waits and his piano on songs steeped in whiskey and atmosphere in which he alternately sings in his broken-beaned drunk's voice now deeper and overtly influenced by Louis Armstrong and recites jazzy poetry. It's as if Waits were determined to combine the Humphrey Bogart and Dooley Wilson characters from Casablanca with a dash of On the Road's Dean Moriarty to illuminate a dark world of bars and all-night diners. Of course, he'd been in that world before, but in songs like "The Piano Has Been Drinking" and "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart," Waits gives it its clearest expression. Small Change isn't his best album. Like most of the albums Waits made in the '70s, it's uneven, probably because he was putting out one a year and didn't have time to come up with enough first-rate material. But it is the most obvious and characteristic of his albums for Asylum Records. If you like it, you also will like the ones before and after; otherwise, you're not Tom Waits' kind of listener.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/25/1990
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 075596061223
  • Catalog Number: 1078
  • Sales rank: 8,396

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tom Waits Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Ray Kelley Cello
Shelly Manne Drums
Lew Tabackin Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Murray Adler Violin
Israel Baker Violin
Harry Bluestone Violin, Concert Master
Samuel Boghossian Viola
Jesse Ehrlich Cello
Allan Harshman Viola
Jim Hughart Bass
Nathan Kaproff Violin
George Kast Violin
Marvin Limonick Violin
Alfred Lustgarten Violin
Edgar Lustgarten Cello
Kathleen Lustgarter Cello
Nathan Ross Violin
Sheldon Sanov Violin
David Schwartz Viola
Jerry Yester Conductor
Sam Bohossian Viola
Technical Credits
Terry Dunavan Mastering
Bones Howe Producer, Engineer
Geoff Howe Engineer
Jerry Yester String Arrangements
Stephen Innocenzi Mastering
Bill Broms Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 3, 2014

    Small Change got wasted with his own 38. By Nighthawks at the Di

    Small Change got wasted with his own 38. By Nighthawks at the Dinner, around Closing Time in The Heart of Saturday-night. Leaving a Blue Valentine, and me wishing for a Foreign Affair. Just more of the best from a young Tom Waits. Well maybe not young ,but definitely much younger.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A sozzled, stained masterpiece

    Small Change was the first Waits album I stumbled across and, some fifteen years later, I still return to it regularly. I love its beautiful melancholy, its frazzled character portraits of a world weary underclass and its inherent, skid-row humour.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Honestly Humor

    It is why people listen to music. It has it all. Pain, humor, sarcasm, love, whiskey and all sung in a voice that sounds like a coffee grinder.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews