Slow Moving Dog is a perfect hole-in-the-wall dive discovery CD, the kind of band you look for in out of the way places in order to sit down to some really good acoustic jazz by a threesome of talented locals living for the artistic side of things. Eric Skye's a very talented breezy guitar player capable of moving between chords and runs with the best of 'em, not to mention a master of tempo changes, but the unexpected surprise is Brian Casey's perambulating double-bass, a case of a secondary lead instrument straddling the line between its true duties and a very rambunctious dual guitar attack mode. Things are quite well explained when you know that Casey's a member of Pojama People, who play Zappa's repertoire. Bruce Robinson, an ex-member of the pop combo One Fish Two Fish, keeps the true rhythm section of the ensemble in judiciously chosen drum patterns.
Dog originally was going to be a carefully wrought affair. It started out that way, with layers of studio precision and much attentiveness…until, two years into it, the guys realized they were losing what they really wanted, scratched the project, and just set up for live sessions two mornings in July in one of the world's coolest cities (Portland). Man, was that a great decision because there's a vitality here that would be impossible to replicate otherwise. I guarantee, had you been prowling around any city's Boho section, looking for a great dive and a cool-out session, the moment you caught these cats, you'd be planting yer rear in a seat and ordering some wine, java, or beer.
I doubt I'm casting a too wide net when I say it's pretty obvious that North Wes is a tribute to Wes Montgomery and One for Green is dedicatory of Grant Green (one of my all-time faves) because Skye plays very much in that bag, nor has he gone unnoticed, having appeared on NPR, PRI, and in a number of music and guitar mags. This disc is a trifle too atmospherically rough to appear on the plasticene antisepticality of most of the major labels, but what they'd pass up, and that mode has been increasingly the downfall of the sector, Half Diminished Records (Skye's own imprint, I'm guessing) refuses to buff, and therein lies a world of difference. Like I said, you really needn't hunt down that hipster hang-pad now, just lower the lights, pour yourself a tall cool one, sit back, and groove with the trio.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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