Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Gary Windo DogFace Gonzo 2014

Revered by his contemporaries and overlooked by critics, DogFace embodies the warts and all approach that seemed to embody Gary Windo.
Brent Black /
DogFace is a good record, but flawed. So in Cindy Crawford but you don't hear many people harping on the mole now do you? To describe the Windo sound on tenor might be easily summed up as Ben Webster on steroids while his mind was a whirling dervish of creativity which seemed to hit an apex with this most eclectic of outings.
A wonderful jazz musician, Carla Bley referred to Windo as the best saxophone player she ever heard. Gary Windo had his own ensembles yet achieved his notoriety in working with performers such as Bley, NRBQ, and The Psychedlic Furs. Windo even composed incidental music for Saturday Night Live. Versatility and enthusiasm were his calling cards, his wheelhouse. DogFace includes NRBQ as well as a whimsical reharm of the Elvis Presley classic "Don't Be Cruel." The amazing aspect of this recording is that despite a few blips along the way, Gary Windo was one of the ultimate musical chameleon with genre or style holding little importance to his passion for making music. A woodwind virtuoso to be sure.
In jazz, improvisation is essentially limited to the solo and the harmonic course taken. With DogFace the entire release was essentially improvised transcending the musical norm and reinventing the avant gard glass ceiling. An unlikely pioneer for modern music but an important figure whose influence continues to be felt today.
4 Stars
Tracks: Puppy Kisses; Feela Dog; Guard Duty; Rex And Spot Meet The International Bitches; Hound; DOGFACE; The Husky; Don't Be Cruel; Baxter; That's All; Lassie Breaks Out