Saturday, May 07, 2011

Review: Garage a Trois- Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil

Like many of my associates, I'm prone to occasionally waxing poetic as I recall the ill-fated band Morphine. Nothing will ever replace the work of the late Mark Sandman, but with Always Be Happy, But Stay Evil, the new album by Garage a Trois, sorrowful Morphine fans can find at least a temporary cure for their pain.

Much of the album seems like a tense prelude to unspeakable acts of violence. The atmospheric "Chimp and Flower" would be perfect for the opening credit sequence of a disturbing horror film. The cinematic musicality of the album's quieter moments even brings Ry Cooder's excellent soundtrack work to mind.

Although vibraphonist Mike Dillon (a sometime Kansas Citian) and saxophonist Skerik are members of The Dead Kenny G's and Garage a Trois, the latter band is substantially more polished. The presence of drummer Stanton Moore and new music gadfly Marco Benevento help steer the noirish instrumental band toward the mainstream. I've witnessed the Dead Kenny G's serve as a successful opening act for Primus, but Garage a Trois would fit comfortably on the same bill with Medeski Martin & Wood, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones or the Flaming Lips.

Take heed, my fellow sad sacks- this compelling new album will keep you on the path of evil.

I reviewed the Moody Blues' concert Thursday at the Midland Theater. I also reviewed a collaboration between NewEar and the Owen/Cox Dance Ensemble last week.

Here's the tranquil scene at Charlie Parker's grave earlier this week. This is my happy place.

Who are the cool kids on Kansas City's music scene? Here's an interesting list.

Kansas City Click: Karrin Allyson will showcase her new album Saturday at the Folly Theater.

The wonderful Ledisi appears with Kem and Donell Jones at Municipal Auditorium on Sunday.

Millie Edwards sings at the Phoenix on Mondays.

The Abel Ramirez Big Band appears at the former site of the Gold Buffet on Tuesdays.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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