Peter Calo


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Peter Calo's Spoonerism six-song EP from 1983 displays his clever grasp of pop, especially on "When It's Good," which has the markings of multi-format smash written all over it. This was released on Calo's own En Route label and is another example of how record companies in the '80s failed to do what they did in the '60s -- to pick up great regional music once it found its way out into the world on its own. The black-and-white cover is as clever as the music, unique artwork by Richard Fitzhugh on the front, the four-piece band facing each other at a coffee shop, with Calo peering at the listener from inside a mirror on the back. Side one is titled "Concave" and is hollow and curved like the inside of a circle, while side two is called "Convex" and is curved out, like the outside of a sphere. Three songs have vocals, while three are instrumental. "Next to You" is George Benson-style jazz-pop, some scat singing with dancing guitar and keys. "Sunbathing" contains no voices, and needs none -- it is just a stunningly beautiful piece of music. With the high profile this artist would receive working with singer Carly Simon, along with crafting Hollywood soundtracks, it is really a shame that this exquisite song hasn't been rediscovered and had the chance to penetrate the consciousness of the masses. Both "Sunbathing" and "When It's Good" are outstanding finds, well-produced statements packaged with care. The record was engineered and mixed by Phil Green, former guitarist in the band Swallow, and some of the music goes into territory explored by another great Boston jazz artist, ex-Orchestra Luna guitarist Randy Roos, whose Mistral album has much in common with Peter Calo's Spoonerism. The curve of a spoon and the curve of a circle reflect this sound, which takes diverse elements from Atlanta Rhythm Section, Genesis, and other artists, but comes up with its own uniqueness. "There's a Reason" is the only song which has a collaborator, co-written with Elaine Davies, while the fine musicianship of the bandmembers is on display in another instrumental, "Captain Squirrel Cheeks." PCB, the Peter Calo Band, released another track, "Fine Line," on The Boston Rock & Roll Anthology, Vol. 7 around this time. All of this is music which should be made available again, and perhaps will, as journeyman Peter Calo is an artist who many respect and appreciate.