This duet team is not satisfied to go for out-to-mars solo expeditions of muscle and breath. Nah, the legendary Lol Coxhill, a musically restless duffer has teamed with the much younger Pat Thomas, who is a drummer and DJ by trade, but is really the Nile Rodgers of the underground to come up with a set of funky yet swinging jams for the punters. None of those cats who show up to see Coxhill in the West End pubs in long coats and longer beards are gone be warming up to this little slice of grooved out heaven. The set kicks off with a dancefloor version of "That Old Black Magic," with a triple layer of beats and basslines, and Coxhill runs the melody through one before moving it harmonically inside to test its mettle before bringing it back. They pull this is with the nugget "I Can't Get Started" as well (also known as Bunny Berrigan's theme song). But it's the originals that rock the house the most. The title track finds Thomas creating piano grooves, rubber-banded basslines, and shifty rhythms for Coxhill to improvise over, and he does so, on the beam, in the harmonic body and most definitely in the cut. For "On with the Show," Thomas constructs an African rhythm in triple time, a lucid, McCoy Tyner-like piano line, and Coxhill blows soprano a bit further back in the mix to accent the drums, but he' s soaring right into those piano drones and changes and meeting the accents head on with a limited yet taut melodic statement that makes its own way from the pocket. This is where jazz meets the street groove, the late nightclub minded hipster is going to be making a mess of herself over this. Coxhill's never made a record like it, and Pat Thomas should be producing Janet Jackson or Prince.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek