Friday, November 10, 2006

Wizz Jones-Right Now (1972)

Though it was issued as late as 1972, Right Now reveals why, long before he ever recorded, Wizz Jones was one of the most revered guitarists and songwriters on the British folk scene, along with Michael Chapman, Bert Jansch, and John Renbourn; Jansch and Renbourn both produced and played on this album (sitar and harmonica). While Jones can claim none of the gorgeous electric guitar parts here — Peter Berryman handled the electric Telecaster chores — it's in the unreal, almost otherworldly acoustic guitar stylings where Jones' particular genius can be found. Like John Fahey, his North American counterpart, Jones' style is an amalgam of many very traditional musics: from Delta blues and early Anglo and Celtic minstrel cultures to classical Indian music and country music. On Right Now, he uses the guitar as a means to deliver 75 percent of the song's ability. There aren't any endlessly strummed tunes on this album; here nothing is ever static. From the down-home, minor-key, sitar- blues arrangement of Pete Seeger's "One Grain of Sand"; to the greasy, folk/funk of Alan Turnbridge's dark rant against L.A., "City of the Angels"; Jones' own songs, and those he collaborated on with Turnbridge, such as "The Raven," are full of tonal variations and quirky strangeness. "The Raven" is based on a 17th century melodic and lyrical framework, where the singer plays "call and response" with himself. The tonal variations bring the track — and another, "No More Time to Try," — into modal territory, and are made more possible by the use of a 12-string with a dodgy capo tuned to an open D. Also notable is Jones' jazzed-out reading of Seeger's arrangement of "American Land." The disc ends with another collaboration between Jones and Turnbridge: "Deep Water," a Gary Davis-styled ragtime blues song. The turnarounds at the bottom end are just astonishing. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Jones was gifted with a beautiful tenor singing voice, which gave him the legs to play in front of an audience and not apologize for anything. "Deep Water," besides being a great twin-guitar vehicle for Jones and Berryman, showcases the range and expressive qualities of Jones' singing voice. It closes the album on a high note, leaving the listener shocked at the array of music he/she has just been witness to, and wanting for more...much more. By Thom Jurek

Fantastic! "City of the angels" beautiful guitar playing! "American Land", what a song, strange feelings! Incredible!
In my opinion, this is a true masterpiece!

Highly Recommended!!

Get it!


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