Largely dark but tinged with playfulness, Go Call the Captain tastily combines wistful folk, mellow rock, and pinches of gypsy jazz and bluegrass into a compelling compilation of tightly written tunes. Anchored by Elie Brangbour’s lithe bass, Eleanor Kleiner’s voice floats above largely acoustic textures, bringing to mind Sarah McLachlan or a melancholic Amy Lee; tracks like “Something Might Happen” and “Las Vegas” buoy up her voice further on rolling beds of acoustic piano. The title track, another piano-driven tune, is a highlight, simultaneously bringing to mind Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and the eclectic work of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Though it dwells in the shadows, Go Call the Captain is ultimately uplifting — not an easy task to pull off by even the most skilled of ensembles. Well worth a listen.
Career Counselor Go Team Go
It had been a long time since I’d gotten a call to be a sideman. Seven-plus years of solid work as a leader left me pegged as “not interested” by a large chunk of the sidemanseeking population. But nothing could have been farther from the truth. When you’re a leader, you’re often forced to focus on everything but the music — bookings, travel arrangements, publicity — all necessary components to successful music work, but many times removed from the melodies that got us here in the first place. But as a sideman, your job is simply to make the music shine, by any means necessary. A legendary jazz pianist’s fabled contract sums it up perfectly: “Performance fee: Free. Travel Fee: $50,000.” Most of us would play the gig for nothing. It’s the rest of the work that we need to get paid for!