City Slang: Weekly music review roundup

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Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 46226. Email MP3s and streaming links to [email protected]

Dave Bennett is a former member of the Hot Club of Detroit, so you know straight away that the man has some chops. The coolest clarinet player in, well, anywhere has a debut record for Mack Avenue Records out, Don’t Be That Way, and the album sees him putting his own stamp on tunes from the mainstream (Benny Goodman) repertoire. It’s jazz, and it’s standard jazz at that, but there are enough twists and turns courtesy of Bennett and his wonderful band to make this a fascinating listen. The influence of the likes of Artie Shaw and Pete Fountain can be heard, but Bennett pays tribute by running with the baton rather than sticking to the tried-and-tested path.

So I was at PJ’s Lager House the other day, and I saw a pile of CDs amongst all of the fliers and copies of MT. I grabbed one, as I always do, and it turned out to be from a band called Zelda & the Unibrows. Now, we’ve reviewed them before, a year ago when the Blissful Cessation CD came out. This CD left at PJ’s place is actually from 2003 and it’s called Greens. In that last review, I said, “The pop hook, Casio keyboard-like jingle running throughout and the ropey vocals only make me love it more.” That stands true here too. There’s a film score vibe, a touch of Philip Glass minimalism and Tangerine Dream lush atmosphere, about the record. Best of all, it was free in a bar. Score.

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