Big Boo 2020
Walking on guilded splinters, a piano man goes for a sonic gumbo yet delivers a stronger stew.
The Mississippi must be a part of a bloodstream for a person born on its banks so, even though Jack Spann has lived in NYC for some time now, the St. Louis-born artist feels the river’s mighty pull, and where’s best to celebrate it – and the madness that may come with it – than in The Big Easy? These three words can also describe Spann’s single – a follow-up to 2019’s politically charged "Propaganda Man" – whose nigh on nine minutes span encompasses, rather effortlessly, the Louisiana styles Jack used in his oeuvre for years. Here’s a few jazz-tinged rhythm-and-blues pieces rolled into one to emulate an old record which is destined to stay with the listener for good.
There’s a powerful funky groove propelling a hippie messiah story, as Spann dons a multi-instrumentalist mantle to add tasty detail to his usual prowess on ivories and multiplies his voice to create a kaleidoscopic dance, before brass licks pour soul on the humid aural panorama. But then the vocals start float in and out of focus in 12″-mix manner, and individual parts begin to delicately swirl around the ears, until Jack’s scat and handclaps tie it all together again, transcending the locale in search of smile-augmented spirituality. Once Cajun is turned into a symphony of sorts, a trombone solo brings the play to a close yet, most likely, the single will be spun repeatedly, so there’s no real end to this fun.