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  •  The Independent Musicians CD Reviews

    Welcome to the Become a CD Reviewer for EVOR!.
    We are opening up the CD review process to anyone that wants to write a professional review. All you need to do is listen to the MP3 files that we provided for the band or artist and write your review.

    Reviews follow a specific format so use the form below to write your review. Once we have published 5 of your CD reviews you will be mailed an official EVOR Reviewer Baseball shirt. They look great and are made in the USA! So pick out any CD listed below, listen to all the MP3 files then write your review.

    The EvO:R CD Review Team

     CD title - Strength and Kindness
    by Somebody Else's Nightmare
    Review by Charlie Harrelson

  •    Song Samples from CD Baby
  •    Band Website

    Song from the CD
    All songs are from the artist's CD Somebody Else's Nightmare.
    Destination Nowhere  /   Yard Full of Joes  /   Worker Bees  /   Strength and Kindness  /   The Light Will Show the Way  /   Drones  /   Generic Happy Song  /   Snake Hair  /   Lonely Town  /   Again Dawn  /   Somebody Else's Nightmare & Joe Holiday  /  

    CD title - Strength and Kindness
    by Somebody Else's Nightmare
    Review by Charlie Harrelson

    The Players
    Joe Holiday - Bass, Vocals, Duduk, Arranger, Composer of Music and Lyrics, Artwork • Cherie Chooljian - Keyboards, Background vocals Producer • Miles Tune - Percussion • Alex Garcia - Woodwinds, Left Side • Adam Mick - Woodwinds, Right Side • except Lonely Town J. Holiday- Vocals and instruments • Adam Mick - Sax
    The Review
    Joe Holiday teams with a plethura of talented musicians to create "Somebody Else's Nightmare." The CD title is called "Strength and Kindness." The band name "Somebody Else's Nightmare" lends itself to an Alice Cooper release but the music is miles removed from the theatrical rock of the "The Godfather of Shock Rock."

    To quickly discribe this CD I would have to ask you to visit a Shula 374 resturaunt. Sit at the bar and order one of over a dozen specialty martini's. While enjoying your favorite adult beverage the music setting the stage for this olive fest would be the music from S.E.N. Think Spyro Gyro, Steely Dan, The Yellow Jackets, a small taste of Return to Forever just to name a few. The CD is an adventure once it is opened up. Openning the three tier CD sleeve reveals a mamouth amount of information. This includes artist's names, song titles, info about each song, studio and production credits and contact information. I loved the fact Joe released information on each of his songs. Understanding the artist's mindset about a piece of music is very insightfull. I will publish all the notes in this review so you can click the song title and listen to a sample of each song while you read the information.
    The Songs
    In an effort to fuse the intention of the compositions with the result, here are some of my thoughts about the pieces.
    Destination Nowhere
    One of my favorite compositional techniques is to write a phrase then repeat it, changing only the bass notes. This way, the chords and melody take on a whole new meaning. In this example, a repeating C major chord is played in the beginning section while the bass continually changes the root of the chord. When we performs live, I might change these bass notes and vocal line, but the new progression continues to work beneath the repeating keyboard pattern.

    Yard Full of Joes
    On a break between sets, I often jot down a tune for the next set, write it out on cocktail napkins and give it to the band. I keep the ones that I think work well. This is one of those “cocktail napkin” tunes. Regarding the title of the song: if you had a yard full of Joes (perish the thought), this Boogaloo would be the song they would be dancing to...
    Worker Bees (from the Bee Suite)
    In Russia, which I was fortunate to visit in the 1980s, workers seemed to be honored. In this piece I imagined the worker bees doing their job day in day out. I also imagined an ancient tribe of hardworking people who tended their sacred bees while singing to them as they honored their mutual work. I invented the “bee language” to reflect this. Musically the piece is composed of one-chord vamps with small cued sections separating them. This allowing the musicians a bit of a breather where they don't have to read so much and can just play.
    Strength and Kindness
    This bass line, borrowed from the Cedar Walton tune “Bolivia”, has stuck with me. It is elegant and perfectly designed for a bass, open strings sixths and dominant seventh notes. The intent for this song was to use this line throughout the piece while changing the harmony. Here, the A section is open for the horns to improvise a melody.
    The Light Will Show the Way
    I absorbed poetry and jazz while sneaking into the San Francisco North Beach nightclubs as a teenager. Today’s rap is to me an evolution of this tradition. This is my expression of it.
    Drones (from the Bee Suite)
    This speaks of the sadness of being a drone, hearing their call and realizing their purpose. As the queen leaves the hive for the first and last time flying miles straight up in the air, the drones follow to mate with her. Then they return to the hive where their one and only job is done. The harmonic energy towards the end of the piece evokes their moment of joy. Then they go back to being a drone.
    Generic Happy Song
    At times I have been teased - by both players and audience members, that I play and write too many sad songs. In response to them, the patterns and phrases in this piece say: HAPPY!
    Snake Hair
    I picked up an Armenian double reed flute called a Duduk, and decided to learn it and write a piece around it. For the next round of compositions I am planning on writing Middle Eastern-fusion-Dixieland music.
    Lonely Town
    I've always loved standards. The world at large decides which tunes eventually become standards. They become part of our lives, enjoyed by generations to come. Lonely Town has some elements a standard. A few nice phrases, hopefully, a memorable melody. It follows the typical AABA structure of countless standard tunes. It was composed from a warm-up exercise. This self-created exercise consists of playing a complex bass pattern while singing a melody to compliment the bass part. I may do this for hours, sometimes stopping to write out a few ideas. This song was born from one of those ideas.
    Again Dawn
    Life goes on. Many times we search for something to look forward to. This is the sound of the promise of a better tomorrow. This composition was inspired by the final scene of the film Black Orpheus in which the child picks up the father’s guitar and plays so that the sun might rise once more.
    The Review (Cont)
    I hope having some song insights helped you enter the mind of the composer. These brief glimpses are becoming so unexpected in this downloadable age. In the 21st Century when you hear the word "Drones" you think of flying spy aircraft, not mating bee's. Reading the information on Drones (from the Bee Suite) helped me enjoy the song greatly. It also clarified another meaning for what a drone is.

    This CD was not written to be a commercial success. It is music made by musicians for musicians and all others are welcome to enjoy. Many casual Jazz listeners may label this offering as "Happy Jazz" which is to dumb down jazz music so it can appeal to the unsafisticated listener. Don't make that mistake with this CD. The music is well written and performed by some of the most talented players you will hear. I was especially drawn to the bass work of band leader Joe Holiday and the amazing chord voicings from keyboard player Cherie Chooljian. Joe has a little Stanley Clark in his blood and Cherie sounds like a Chick Corea protigy.

    If you are looking for a good jazz CD, look no further then "Strength and Kindness." It's available from our friends at CD Baby.
    In the Studio:
    This is a class act recording on par with any great recording past and present. Vocals were clear and crisp and placed perfectly in the sound field. The drums had depth and sounded very tight. Recording horns is an art form and this recording is a lesson in such technique. Produced by the bands Keyboard player Cherie Chooljian who shows she is solid as a player as well as an amazing producer.

    Once in a while we all need to take a break from our world and take a journey into someone else's. Joe Holiday has opened up the road to his musical mind and allowed us to peek in. It's well worth having a look around.

    Reviewed by Charlie Harrelson
    Founder of EVOR

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  • Charlie Harrelson
    EvOR Reviewer
    855 Markham Wood Rd
    Longwood, Fl.

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