Adam Dorn, aka Mocean Worker, has looked around at the current socio-economic situation and decided that what the world needs is a little bit of feel-good dance music. So he gathered some friends (including Bill Frisell, Hal Willner, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Charlie Hunter, and Lyrics Born) and put together a jazzy, funky, sometimes downright humorous program that blends up-to-the-minute breakbeats, pre-swing jazz, '70s rare groove, Latin hip-hop, hard bop, and house to create something that sounds simultaneously familiar and fresh. The cover illustration shows a chocolate bar dressed in a Roaring Twenties-style top hat and tuxedo, insouciantly smoking a cigarette, and that gives you a good idea of what kind of sound and mood to expect. Jazz-leaning electronica artists often make the mistake of eviscerating the beat in favor of a faux sophistication, but Dorn manages to convey all the sonic complexity of five decades of jazz without sacrificing slamming grooves: notice in particular the ancient-sounding jazz combo combined with hard funk beats on "Hoot and Hollah," and the way Kirk, Frisell, and Hunter all integrate themselves beautifully with the orchestral backdrop and the ethereal female vocals on "Sho Nuff Now." Lyrics Born sounds like he's having the time of his life over the stripped-down boogie of "My Own Little World," and "Do Like Ya Like" blends fragmented layers of soul horns with skittering brushed drums to very fine effect. This album won't change the way you think about macroeconomics, but if you want to forget your pension-fund losses and swing the night away in your living room, this is the perfect vehicle for it.
Candygram for Mowo! Review
by Rick Anderson