Danny O'Keefe

The Global Blues

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The Global Blues was Danny O'Keefe's last record for Warner Brothers and his last until 1984's The Day to Day. The song content foreshadows the environmental activism that O'Keefe would dedicate himself to in the following decades. Musically, the album is a collage of various styles popular in the late '70s including jazz fusion, pop/rock, and even new age. O'Keefe's poignant lyrics and dynamic vocal range hold the pieces together, but occasionally the shifts in musical styles tend to clutter the listening experience. This is especially noticeable when the shifts appear within a single song. However, this sense of deconstruction seems to be what O'Keefe is after in setting the stage for his "Global Blues." There's a generous dose of jazz fusion and '80s pop/rock, particularly on the title track, which features the great jazz drummer Tony Williams. There's a new age feel on the poetic "Square Sun," which also features Williams on drums, as well as Kazu Matsui on bamboo flute. One of the most enduring songs on the album, "Falsetto Goodbye," is a highlight of O'Keefe's entire songwriting career, but as with any O'Keefe record, there's plenty of excellent songwriting throughout. One of the most notable lines comes from the jazz-tinged "Livin' in the Modern Age," which features a six-piece horn section. O'Keefe sings "Ain't it hard to paint your picture when your colors bleed and run," and in a way, it sums up both the beauty and lack of continuity inherit in The Global Blues.

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