Liz Jones & The Broken Windows
Bricks and Martyrs
Smoky Jazzy Blues Hybrid Drenched in S.O.U.L and L.O.V.E With a Calypso Kick Too.
Baring in mind the music that I associate with the mutual friend that sent me this album, I was confused the first time I played it …. as I was expecting something Bluesy and probably brassy too; but what I got sounded like something akin to a ‘retrospective album’ covering a lot of styles and musical adventures over a bands’ life span.
Now; a month later ….. I couldn’t care less what I thought that afternoon; the mature and contemporary sounds of Liz Jones & her Broken Windows have really grown on me; perhaps but necessarily because of my recent conversion to Jazz.
Opening track Before Me has a delightful Calypso beat to it; and really showcases Ms Jones smoky vocals as she purrs her way around a bittersweet pre-breakup love song, that (even when driving) has me shuffling my shoulders in time with the bass lines.
After that lovely intro, we go down a winding path that strays back and forth from what I perceive to be Dinner Jazz or perhaps the equivalent in the Blues world.
The Blues certainly comes to the fore more than once; not more so via the wailing harmonica intro to Karma; an intricately delicate love song that slowly unravels across a mesmerising four minutes or so.
I’ve always been impressed by songwriters who can take the mundane and turn it into a song of immeasurable quality; and Liz Jones does that more than once or twice here; with another Calypso groove; Stain fitting that description perfectly but anyone who can do what she does with Call Centre Blues and its use of funkalicious guitar breaks to emphasise the monotony and pressure cooker atmosphere that such a place is full of, deserves not just my praise; but that of the Awards committees too.
Hailing from Sarf Landin and now based in Edinburgh, Liz Jones is something of a musical bumble bee; flitting from genre to genre and eventually pollinating beautiful songs like Candle and the crunchy Angel; which are like chalk and cheese; but juxtapose perfectly well; and show what skills not just the writer has; but the band too.
I presume you know what I mean when I call an album ‘Grown Up;’ you know that the songs have all come from a voice that has lived a full life and has stories to tell, that we can all relate to in one way or another; which is where the enigmatic Lover and Jo come into the mix; and neatly brings me to selecting a Favourite Song.
Using my tried and trusted method of leaving the room and closing my eyes, two songs instantly sprung to mind; the album finale On The Rise simply aches with longing and hope; whereas Narcissist is just simply different subject matter from what I may ever have heard; and the way Liz Jones and the Broken Windows deliver this belies their British background; this sounds like it comes from the dark side of Memphis and was recorded on a sultry July Friday night with the lights turned way down low; which is why it is my very most Favourite Song here …… and deserves your attention too.
Without getting too carried away with hyperbole; to some intents this is the type of album I’d have hoped a young Dusty Springfield would make were she have been born 50 years later; while not a Soul album by any stretch of the imagination; every song here is drenched in S.O.U.L and L.O.V.E too.
RELEASED October 29th 2021
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Liz Jones & The Broken Windows BRICKS AND MARTYRS
Liz Jones & The Broken Windows
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