Friday, May 18, 2007

Album Review: Puttanesca - Puttanesca


Following up on Any Given Tuesday's review of the Unknown Instructors recent release, The Master's Voice (available now from Morphius Records), I recently received a copy of another Joe Baiza project: Puttanesca (Catasonic Records). Along with Guitar Joe, Puttanesca is Weba Garretson on vocals, Wayne Griffin on drums, and Ralph Gorodetsky on bass (all three gentlemen being part of Universal Congress Of).

Recorded roughly a decade ago and shelved for various reasons, the album is finally available in its raw, unadulterated, no overdubs glory. Blending the free form of jazz, the dischord and aggression of punk, the eclecticism of Joe Baiza and Weba Garretson's electrifying and liberated lyrics, Puttanesca is a saucy dish full of spice. Don't be fooled by the sultry opening of "Shift", because the electric guitar kicks in and the lyrics, well, you'll realize this isn't your parent's jazz.

Puttanesca bombards with Baiza's signature guitar and rumbling, rocks-falling-off-mountain drums, throughout 10 tracks of original material before settling on one cover: Captain Beefheart's "Lick My Decals Off, Baby", ironically chosen, I'll venture, as part of Garretson's feminist expression of sensuality. "Shiny Red Box" is a smooth cabaret number with groovy guitar underlied with baritone sax.

Expect to be challenged by Puttanesca, which requires an adventurous taste just as its namesake would.

Purchase Puttanesca at CDBaby.

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