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Jul 16, 2018







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Danny Janklow, Elevation  (Outside in Music)
There’s a very bright, clean sound on this debut album from Janklow, a Los Angeles-based alto saxophonist who released this LP with crowdfunding support from Indiegogo. Some new ground is broken here as far as cool jazz vibe; Janklow’s like a young Lee Konitz, full of pep, vigor and measured optimism, which is all nice and whatnot, but he’s not afraid to toss a chaotic, new-jack knuckleball into the mix (the trippy coda of “Roastmaster” will make you look up to see if your music player just cracked in half). It’s a nice, next-gen way to make people look up from all the Weather Channel lazing, and maybe these bold new West Coast guys will take the next step and cobble up some hypnotic sampling that’d fit, not that anyone ever listens to me. Whatever, I’m content with it as is — there’s only the slightest hint that a few of his hardy runs gave him headaches during practice, and hey, there’s vibraphone here and there, a sound I never thought I’d be able to stand again after all that mid-Aughts hipster rock. A- 
— Eric W. Saeger
 




Greta Van Fleet, Black Smoke Rising (Republic Records)
CD Reviews: November 2, 2017

11/02/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Greta Van Fleet, Black Smoke Rising (Republic Records)

You’ll have to forgive my being late to the party on this one, being that this Frankenmuth, Michigan, hard-rock foursome didn’t pick up a capable PR person until just recently. Named after an old lady from the neighborhood, these four dudes are said to be a second coming of Van Halen, but with Led Zeppelin riffage, something to make people forget bands like Wolf Alice (I already have). Hate to say it but I’ll be forgetting this one too. The single “Highway Tune” is everything that was boring about Zep’s Physical Graffiti album, meaning yes, the singer can karaoke Robert Plant’s early helium-inhaling sound (which is a start, don’t get me wrong), but riff-wise it’s “The Rover” but faster. “Safari Song” fares a little better with the addition of some ’70s-radio slide guitar and a much better hook, but the drums are miked and played identical to John Bonham’s methods, and the whole thing sounds like a tune that Zeppelin II didn’t have room for. And come on, “Flower Power” is just “Hey Hey What Can I Do” with a fake beard. C+ 
— Eric W. Saeger
 





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