Bruce Piephoff

Sogni D'Oro

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Bruce Piephoff continues to document his philosophical world view, ranging from the best kind of tomatoes to buy to a seemingly simple cure for many of the world's woes: "Listen to Bird, Coltrane, Dylan...pretty soon you'll be chillin'." This is not the best example of this artist's work, it is too short and runs out of steam all the same, but some may find it the most useful since it contains in the formerly mentioned song the recipe for a proper tomato sandwich the way it is done below the Mason-Dixon line. With this and that Ginger Baker number about making a British cup of tea, it can truly be snacktime in everyone's house. This could be appropriate considering that this is the first of Piephoff's albums to bear a title in Italian, never mind the fact that the Italians got tomatoes from native Americans, perhaps even the tribe that was living on the plot where Piephoff now has his nice little house. He appears accompanied by only two other musicians, bassist Pat Lawrence and Scott Manring on a variety of stringed instruments, both of whom need to think about ways of putting more of themselves into Piephoff's music, a move that would hopefully result in a more varied sound.

Production polish has helped this picture somewhat, meaning the ten tracks basically all have a "sound" as opposed to just hanging in there in the air like many recordings. "I Remember Asheville" encourages jokes about its title, no surprise considering the skepticism a savvy listener might have about anyone remembering anything about a town nicknamed both Hashville and Ashterdam. Piephoff surprises, pulling out a song that is both whimsical and extremely cynical. He pulls the listener along with him by expertly phrasing way ahead of the beat. The title track educates us to the fact that this artist has been in hospital during the preceding period, an experience that, like the motorcycle accident of Piephoff mentor Bob Dylan and Les McCann's heart attack -- to name just two examples -- may have inspired him to communicate his feelings in a more direct manner. "Like Ophelia Trying to Make Land" could be an example, if that supposition is true, Piephoff easily touching both the shores of folk music and poetry with a simple, compelling image.

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