Hear The Track HereOver the past year Chas Holman (aka 333maxwell) has thrown some really excellent tracks at me, not the least of them being the incredibly faithful to the period Post War Dreaming (September 2008). It was an absolutely faultless reproduction of a sound and an era that doesn't get half the attention it truly deserves. There again, it is jazz we are talking about and that's always been a contentious area for anyone. What is jazz? Well, for me, true jazz is about rhythms and syncopations often outside of the more linear style favoured by jazz artists crossing over to commercial. Yep the kind of jazz it is forgiven to hate, and in fact encouraged to hate by yours because it is one of music's greatest abominations.
(Ed: uh oh, quick get the meds!)
Whenever Chas has used the J word around me, I have found him to be a dedicated purveyor of what I would consider the truest of jazz forms; the smoky cellar sound. He re-created the 1940's and 50's with Post War Dreaming and he's gone back even further with After Hours. Oh no, you say, that style is more modern than that, its the kind of thing that was happening at the same time. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this style was popular in some areas of America long before that century. It might not have been called jazz but for sure it would have some roots in the New Orleans/Louisana school of music.
It has that so lazy, I just can't move feel that is so essential to pulling off the 'cool' a track like this demands, but does it such a way that each note, each beat seems like a cliff to fall off. The real star of the track just has to be the incredibly warm, brassy oh my God shiver inducing tenor sax that takes up the first section of the track. The song itself appears around two minutes in and is exactly in tune with the feel and tone of the track, the voice relaxed and suitably husky. In short, another excellent recreation of a byegone age, but also something more than that. A flame keeping true jazz afloat and for that alone, I will raise a glass or two to 333maxwell. Obviously you should like jazz, and preferably of the old school but this would make just as good a chill out track as any. Jazz is, after all, the original chill out music. Excellent old school Jazz of the highest order.