Graham Connah

Because of Wayne/The Only Song We Know

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This is a smart-looking triple-CD set that would serve one's biggest dinner party; that is, if tastes ran to the fusion/funk/jazz/rock side of things. It isn't that this is all San Francisco-based keyboardist and bandleader Connah can do. He is an accomplished pianist in all styles and there are more than crumbs of that here, as well. He is heard playing beautiful passages on the keyboard, and one can also hear his harmonic way of thinking in the charts he has constructed for these various large bands. He also comes up with some of the wildest, off-the-wall electronic keyboard solos this side of Sun Ra, and that is pretty heavy company. The Ra, however, never harnessed his material to this kind of funky vamping, with the rhythm section pumping out unison accents to themes that sound as if they are cut from cookie molds. And the Ra's players would never adopt the attitude of some of the players from these two Connah bands, who improvise as if someone had created a glass wall somewhere around the time of the last "avant-garde" session done for Blue Note, and jailed them behind it. But just the comparison with Sun Ra is again highly complimentary, and Frank Zappa can also be added to that list; fans of his more instrumental, jazzy side will go for these discs in a big way. One drawback for many listeners will be the vocalists, neither of which ever gets comfortable with the text they are asked to sing nor the music to prevent a strained feeling from developing.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 8:08
2 10:04
3 9:42
4 13:44
5 12:26
6 15:13
7 6:43
8 4:54
9 6:10
10 8:08
11 3:15
12 8:53
13 5:04
14 8:40
15 5:37
16 4:20
17 6:21
18 9:39
19 4:29
20 7:11
21 8:53
22 5:58
23 6:08
24 9:26
25 4:53
blue highlight denotes track pick