Part-explorative blues elegy and part-prickly funk(y) work-out on a corner somewhere, Snappy Daps by the Neil C. Young Trio has not long been released and is deserving of your attention, jazz fans.
‘Agennanon‘ begins proceedings with a tentative solo blues feeding nicely into ‘Grooder‘ which gradually builds and swells in a tight cyclical fashion reminiscent of Charles Earland‘s ‘Mom and Dad‘. A simpatico underpinning from bass and drums, alternating between skittering fills and soft crescendos, lets Young – on lead guitar throughout – determine a path forward.
A riff-led ‘Noo One‘ ups the tempo with another pacy bassy monster, ‘Hydrant‘, following in its wake. Straight backing on ‘That Damned‘ lets Young return with a sparing squeeze of clipped and deliciously curled notes, highlighting his pealing notation rather than his pedals. ‘Run Fishy Run‘ brings oodles of noodles, sammon-ing up something between the insistent energy of Joey Santiago and the more nuanced and fanciful wanderings of Carlos Santana, showing why it’s been a live favourite at the Trio’s gigs.
Two personal highlight are ‘Scooch‘, which allows a walking bass to dovetail nicely with its under-stated guitar lines; such controlled aural devastation is tailed and book-ended by ‘Bloo Ferie‘, a gorgeous piece of lead simplicity in search of a Joel and Ethan Coen opening sequence to soundtrack. No Country For Bold Men?
Predator-like due to the tight interplay between the three players yet still plaintive and haunting in the questioning of its chords, ‘Snappy Daps’ is a study in abstraction both blue and benign and, as such, is recommended as an accompaniment to your end of year wind-down.
Listen, stream, buy the album here.
© Pat Mellow