Still crazy

This one has been out for a few months, but it passed my desk just recently. Well, passed would be incorrect. It landed on my desk and did not leave.

Big Lazy
Don't Cross Myrtle
Stephen Ulrich put the original version of Big Lazy together more than two decades ago. There were a few albums, but the band's music was more likely to be heard on TV and in movies and documentaries. Ulrich is one of those guitarists who seamlessly moves between genres, and his shapeshifting sound is perfect for setting a mood.

The original Big Lazy split in 2008. A couple years ago (or so), Ulrich put together a new version. This is the first album with that group, and it follows in very familiar footsteps. Ulrich's ringing, engaging tone blips, rolls and burbles over jazz, country, rock and pretty much whatever else you might imagine. One moment he's Dick Dale, the next Pino Rucher (who handed most of Ennio Morricone's guitar needs).

The jazz assembly of the trio (Andrew Hall plays a lovely and fluid stand-up bass, and drummer Yuval Lion is no stranger to brushes) is one of the things that lends such a versatility to the sound. These three can create almost any sound and evoke just about any emotion. The striking thing is that they do so within the confines of this single album.

Some of these songs do tell stories, and some are more like illustrations. The album itself is a hodgepodge, but I like that. There's very little sweep to the project as a whole, but the breadth of ideas and sound within this collection of songs is wondrous.

Like I said, this one hasn't passed my desk. And it won't. I'm having far too much fun with it right now.

Jon Worley

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