Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sammy Hagar & Friends Frontiers Records 2013

Sammy Hagar & Friends makes for a great hang!
Brent Black / www.bop-n-jazz.com

Critics in general and jazz critics in particular are some of the most over analytical people I know. They have the overwhelming desire to place every square peg into that proverbial round hole and in doing so completely miss the joy of making music. To be fair, society puts this pressure to neatly label and categorize everything on the critic as does the music industry. Sometimes you just gotta say, "What the fuck?"

Enter Sammy & Friends, a ten track feel good release that hits rock, blues, country but never lingers in one spot long enough to have an arbitrary tag placed on it. Music should never be sanitized for your protection nor should the critic be that is attempting to describe it because after all that is all we really do. The rest is your problem.

With guests including Kid Rock, Neil Schon, and Mickey Hart and his co-conspirators from Chickenfoot we get a ten track romp through some killer tunes that can simply be summed up as fun. They went into the studio with little if any preconceived notions, ideas, or self imposed limitations and banged out a ten track disc as good as any genre release out there. Some notable highlights include the Depeche Mode cover of "Personal Jesus" along with the Jimmy Buffett classic "Margaritaville" and a live in studio jam of "Going Down." Slightly reminescent of the last Wabos record, this is not Sammy embracing middle age but just a guy having some fun making some music. Sammy Hagar meets Toby Keith...

This music in the moment methodology works and has worked for years. I myself learned it from improvisational saxophonist Ivo Perleman and practise it when I write. I stopped prep work when I negotiated my way out of college. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sammy Hagar & Friends works! Grab a cold one, the baggiest pair of shorts you can find, your flip flops and just chill out...

Yeah, I know...A jazz critic shouldn't write about this stuff but then again since when do I follow the rules?

Tracks: Winding Down; Not Going Down; Personal Jesus; Father Sun; Knockdown Dragout; Ramblin' Gamblin' Man; Margaritaville; All We Need Is An Island; Going Down (Live In Studio Jam).