Skip Heller

Homegoing

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Skip Heller's Homegoing finds the eclectic Los Angeles-based musician back in jazz mode. With long and loving liner notes that frame Heller as a player with ravenous tastes, Homegoing is a tasteful, restrained disc that nonetheless reflects wide interests. Heller's understated guitar playing slides through between Mike Bolger's organ and Robert Drasnin's woodwinds, often sounding like a horn or a keyboard itself. Though his phrasing wouldn't sound out of place on an old jazz 78, there is a decidedly modern flare to Heller's attack, both as a soloist and a bandleader. The quartet fits together in a way that is informed equally by old swing sides and cool bossa nova grooves. Fellow Los Angeles punk-folkie Dave Alvinturns in two charmingly dry vocal performances on a pair of pop covers.

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