Paul Elwood: Nice Folks

“Folks” is the right word. Paul Elwood plays five-string banjo and sings along with Kelsyey Shiba here. What makes this interesting is that he then brings together left of center jazzers like Famoudou Don Moye/perc, Pierre Fenichel/b, Raphael Imbert/sax-bcl, Jean-Marc Montera-Thomas Weirich/g, Simon Sieger/key-tb and The BRIMM/Montevideo Choir to mix semi free form jazz with traditional music from the bluegrass states. “True Love” could come straight from the Cumberland Gap, and yet there is a bit of a wild swagger to Imbert’s tenor sax on “Blue Flame” that takes the sounds of Tennessee and spins it  like a top. Free guitar sounds mix with traditional jazz on the title track and on “Incident at Max’s” there’s a melding of African percussion with a Nashville Skyline. You could yell out a “Yee Haw” on “Steam Powered Aeroplane” and then feel avant garde on “The End of Seventeenth Street.” All the while, banjos feel comfy with eccentric guitars and reeds, and the homespun vocals make you feel like you’re looking at an old family portrait through a kaleidoscope.

Innova Records

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