By Herb Fountainbleu, Akron After Dark
Not Acker Bilk, Acker BROTHERS, you nit-wit!..."was the voice message from my editor, after I had just submitted what I considered to be a superior piece of journalism. I cringed...Not that Fuzak outfit out of Boston!..I sighed, and set myself to the task. After all, one must put food on the table mustn't one? In fact, I had covered and critiqued the brothers in a former life at the (Jazz) Examiner, where my work was under-appreciated, and it was agreed that I was free to explore other opportunities.
To the point: Yet again, the ever-indefinable Acker Brothersmasters of the marginalhave assembled a collection of utterly unrelated musical nuggets. The opening cut (Cherries Jubilee) will have you waxing nostalgic for the days of slippery backbones and purple polka-dot punch- bugs. The remainder of this angular musical sojourn will have you bouncing like a pinball through brooding ballads, stripped-down swingers, handsome hoedowns, carnival nights, and electronic assaults. Like a box of chocolates for jazz loversyou never know what's inside each piece until you take a bite (or poke a hole in the back).
The stable of skilled players on-hand for this project brings substance and verve to the overall performance, however beware: Moldy-fig Jazz purists may find this record as appealing as Bordeaux in a box. But if you can dig it...then dig it.