Monday, July 27, 2009

Review -- JAY CROCKER -- Below The Ocean Over

BELOW THE OCEAN OVER
Jay Crocker
Artunit Recording Kompany
8.5-out-of-10
Well welcome to something that is truly different in terms of music.
Jay Crocker comes at us with Below the Ocean Over, a CD that has the heart of rock, but so many elements of nouveau fusion jazz that it really ends up somewhere between the two.
As a pop / rock effort it is a bit too out on the edge to get much radio attention beyond the hippest college stations.
As a jazz album, there may be a bit too much pop for the purist.
The result is an album for the open-minded listener.
It is always good to go on musical excursions to places you have never heard before, and Crocker is a gifted tour guide in finding places like that.
An example is Keep Calm. It starts off with a big band feel, moves through some jazz horn work, yet is over laid with that poppish lyrical take on things.
July by contrast is more like a pop rock song from the get go, then Crocker goes off with some edge jazz explorative instrumentation and again you are left going 'Wow!'.
Now I will admit this is a CD that is an acquired taste. It's a bit like going to a Chinese restaurant. You have to be willing to try the song of the day, even if you're not sure what the ingredients are. The good news here is that it ends up being a rather tasty treat.
Crocker has knack for surprising not just from song to song, but within a particular piece, shifting gears as smoothly as a race car driver, picking up speed as he goes, and never missing a beat in the process.
This may not be a disk you will play every day, but when you are looking to listen to something creatively fresh and explorative, then this one comes highly recommended.
Check it out at www.jaycrocker.com/

-- CALVIN DANIELS

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper July 15, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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