Darryl Read

Freshly Dug [2000]

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AllMusic Review by

Devotees of the former Door's keyboard style will surely get a feast on this largely improvised affair, with Darryl Read delivering his own Jim Morrison-styled imagery to Manzarek's electric and acoustic pianos as the mood suits them. The comparisons seem apt on "Man O Jazz," a tribute to New Orleans' music and lifestyle, or the supernatural doings chronicled at "The Magic Tavern," where Manzarek's grand piano sounds truly thunderous. It's not hard to imagine Morrison's ghost rolling on the floor during the more intense pieces, like "Tales From the Underground Kings" or "The High Bright Sun"'s grim snapshot of a dead man lying in the road. Manzarek's playing, as always, is spry and intelligent. He knows exactly when to pull out all the stops and when to lay back. To apply Doors analogies, "Set"'s rollicking boogie wouldn't have sounded out of place on Morrison Hotel, while the sparse electric piano of "Azure Skies" could have fit comfortably on Strange Days. Read -- whose own history includes associations with the Deviants and the Pretty Things -- does a good job of varying his delivery to suit the mood. For all the title's clever destroy-all-conventions puns, this effort is crisp and disciplined; most tracks average 90 seconds. Mainstream shoppers won't understand, but fans of the Doors and Stooges' more esoteric moments should feel right at home.

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