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All Music Guide - Fran├žois Couture
Pushing the play button after slipping Brian Woodbury's disc into the CD player is like stepping inside Pee-Wee's Playhouse. You never know what to expect or what the next bar will bring; everything is disguised in outrageous ways; even the most familiar objects adopt a warped shape. The first few seconds of "Take the J Train" might suggest an avant-garde jazz big band, like a postmodern version of Duke Ellington's band, but soon the accordion comes in, then the banjo and the pedal steel, and you suddenly realize that you're not in Jazzland anymore. Woodbury seems to draw inspiration from everything within his vicinity: The Duke, Spike Jones, Charles Ives, John Zorn, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Fran├žois Couture
Pushing the play button after slipping Brian Woodbury's disc into the CD player is like stepping inside Pee-Wee's Playhouse. You never know what to expect or what the next bar will bring; everything is disguised in outrageous ways; even the most familiar objects adopt a warped shape. The first few seconds of "Take the J Train" might suggest an avant-garde jazz big band, like a postmodern version of Duke Ellington's band, but soon the accordion comes in, then the banjo and the pedal steel, and you suddenly realize that you're not in Jazzland anymore. Woodbury seems to draw inspiration from everything within his vicinity: The Duke, Spike Jones, Charles Ives, John Zorn, Frank Zappa, traditional Mexican bands and Rock in Opposition. Every time a particular name comes to mind, a hitherto unheard element comes in, simply to contradict your impression. The music is often fast-paced, even frantic and exuberant. In the slower passages "Mom," "Venice, Italy," the finale of "Threnody for Kennedy and Connally,", the jazz leanings shine through, while the more complex sections immediately bring to mind Zappa's Grand Wazoo and Waka/Jawaka albums. Then again, try to compare Zappa to the mad Mexican polka of "Garbanzo Beans," or the flooring Caribbean-spiced rendition of "Shenandoah," a heartland American ballad. The cast of musicians is an impressive roll call of LA and NYC experimental sidemen including Mark Feldman, Guy Klucevsek, and Frank London, but musicianship aside, what shines throughout the album is Woodbury's witty sense of humor and indubitable talent for writing intricate, whimsical music. Highly recommended if you believe that humor belongs in music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/6/2004
  • Label: RER
  • UPC: 752725018524
  • Catalog Number: 1

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Brian Woodbury Primary Artist, Piano, Electric Bass, electronics
Marty Cutler Banjo
Oren Bloedow Bass, Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
Guy Klucevsek Accordion
Nick Ariondo Accordion
Steve Elson Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Wind
Mark Feldman Violin, Soloist
Aaron Heick Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Wind
Kurt Hoffman Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Wind
Dan Levine Trombone, Bass Trombone
Frank London Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Elma Mayer Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Marc Muller Banjo, Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar
Sue Williams Bass, Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
David Witham Piano, Keyboards, Piano (Upright)
Dana Friedli Violin
Dan Morris Drums
Bill Ruyle Percussion
Kory Grossman Percussion
Dudley Saunders Vocals
Peter Lurye Piano (Grand)
Jim O'Connor Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Sara Parkins Violin
Conrad Korsch Bass, Electric Bass, Acoustic Bass
Jonathan Feinberg Percussion, Drums
Stephanie Courtney Vocals
Kristina Kanders Percussion
Technical Credits
Elma Mayer Cover Photo
Brian Woodbury Arranger, Composer, Producer
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