Myro

Song for Mavis

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Growing up in Chicago, Myro was a schoolmate of Frank Zappa. Now with a rough-edged voice and sardonic compositions, he recalls Mose Allison, Bob Dylan, and Bob Dorough as well as Tom Lehrer, the master of satirizing institutions held dear to the American heart such as the Boy Scouts and hunting. Some of Myro's unconventional compositions deal with love, true and otherwise, while others deliver a morality message and still others comment on the today's social scene. There's also an urban blues, a tribute to a hero of the Spanish Civil War and descriptions of various human conditions. Myro plays guitar, but not with any special virtuosity, but to set the pace for his singing. He's also accompanied by the Moonlight Mirror Orch., which is really a quintet with some fine players. Multi-instrumentalist Steve Wolfe has a leading role in Myro's musical backdrop. He does a great R&B-tinged tenor solo on "Help Me to Be Untrue," a sardonic tune straight from the Mose Allison lode. There's good work by Bill Hannaford on trombone and helicon, the latter part of the euphonium family. A duet with Guenevere Wolfe on "Don't Jump Ship" is more like a conversation with Myro making not too clever asides along the way. Finally, for "2BFree" a rap-like style is employed to comment on the contemporary social scene, laying everything that's wrong with the planet at the doorstep of the rich and powerful. Suffice it to say there is good ensemble and individual instrumental work. Beyond that, it's hard to determine whether this album is a spoof à la Lehrer, or is to be taken seriously. Each one who listens to this album will have to make up their own mind.

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