Arthur Doyle

Do the Breakdown

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If there is a thin line between being a visionary and merely being a lolling lush, Arthur Doyle's Do the Breakdown easily exists on both sides of the divide. Probably recorded on a microcassette recorder (you can loudly hear the recording buttons being pushed), Doyle's disk is sloppy and fun, but meant to be taken seriously. Doyle is at his best when playing the saxophone. Simple melodies explode into a fury of squawking on "Breakdown" takes one and two. His "singing" is showcased on "Alabama Feeling" and "He Exists," which are the best sung-to-a-wall busking songs ever committed to disk. "Battle of Jericho," his flute centerpiece, is as annoying as it is mesmerizing. This was recorded in one day, and it sounds like it. But it is a hunch that it would have none of the charm, spontaneity, or wit that it does if one day more was spent working on it.

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