Addiss & Crofut

Eastern Ferris Wheel

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At their roots, Addiss & Crofut were folk musicians, but this hard to label record mixes elements of classical and jazz, as well as the music of Japan, Indonesia, China, Brazil, and more. Steve Addiss and Bill Crofut share the lead vocals; while Addis primarily plays 12-string guitar and Crofut plays both banjo and guitar. The unusual percussion instruments added on most of the tracks give this recording a true "world music" sound long before such a term was popular. Addiss' "The Jimmy Song" begins with a direct quote from Bach's Wachet Auf (Sleepers Awake). Crofut's "In Just Spring" is a magical setting to music of the famous poem by e.e. cummings, which he would perform to delighted audiences throughout the rest of his career. The Dave Brubeck Quartet (minus an absent Paul Desmond) guests on an unusual version of Brubeck's "Forty Days" (from his oratorio "The Light in the Wilderness"), which also includes Palghat Raghu on mridangam. Eclectic composer Charles Ives' He Is There is a comic masterpiece (which contains a pastiche of brief references to bits of Americana such as "Dixie," "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean," "Tenting Tonight," and "Yankee Doodle," among others), complete with strings, piccolo, calliope, tuba, and even Crofut on French horn. This delightful LP will greatly appeal to open-minded listeners with wide-ranging tastes in music.

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