J.A. Granelli & Mr. Lucky

El Oh El Ay

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Bassist J.A. Granelli named this band after a Henry Mancini song, "Mr. Lucky," a dark-hued version of which appears here. The eclectic quartet boasts some of the leading lights of New York's avant-garde scene: David Tronzo on slide guitar, Jamie Saft on organ, Kenny Wolleson on drums. (Granelli plays the unusual piccolo bass on a couple of tracks.) They make adventurous music together, getting off to a playful start with a ghoulish, cajun-tinged reading of "Whatever Lola Wants," from the show Damn Yankees. Often they wholeheartedly embrace a backbeat, even nodding unabashedly toward funk and rock on tracks like "Tronz," "Karnish," and Charlie Parker's "Red Cross." Granelli's melodic gift comes to the fore on originals like "Crawl," "Lane" (with Bob Hoffnar guesting on pedal steel), and the highly abstract "El Leo Nora." Quirky and even a bit freakish, yet quite accessible.

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