The Ramirez Brothers
Mountain Music Records
Zappatastic Prog-Jazz meets Country Music For Adoring Hipsters.
A month or so back I reviewed a Psychedelic Blues album from Israeli Bluesman Uzi Ramirez, and now he has combined with his brothers Sefi and Kitkit to create a mind-bending album that merges Country Music with Chet Baker style Jazz, tradfitional Israeli Folk and wacky Prog-Psychedelia – but all adding up to a lovely 50 minutes or so!
The opening track, the instrumental Balcony could easily be from a Cohen Brothers soundtrack; as can several other of the quirky instrumentals that make up the majority of the album.
Next track Eurydice (?) is a sort of Classic Country song from the 60’s; sung by Ruth Dolores Weiss; but only if Frank Zappa or the good Captain Beefheart had done the production. Leftfield? Most definitely.
Who among us can resist a track called Pinky Ponky? Not many I’d wager; and this Prog-Jazz offering could easily have been recorded by Chet Baker after a night on the happy-baccy during his Amsterdam years. The trumpet is as sharp as a tack and the keyboard compliments it like water and wine; and oddly enough, its the track I keep coming back to.
Another Country flavoured track is Sweet Lady; a Native American atmospheric beat; and again; sounds perfect for a movie soundtrack.
Then of course there are the ‘hypnotic Bass lines’; only there aren’t any – no; no Bass at all, just guitars, drums, trumpet, keyboards and a ubiquitous glockenspiel but no bass guitar.
With track titles like Higgledy Piggledy, Crystal Lake, Ponky Ponky, and Eger Eger you will presume that this is no straight-laced album; Hell No! This is as left of centre as my senses allow; but I have enjoyed it as background music on a Sunday morning while reading the papers and cranked up to 11 on the car stereo when I was in a foul mood; but I guess fans of the Ramirez Brothers will enjoy it best after a smoke and a little tincture or two.
Not for everyone, that’s for sure, but I can imagine a couple of my friends really, really getting into it and if ever the Ramirez Brothers play in the UK, expect a surge in Afghan coat and petulli oil sales in the neighbourhood.
Released December 25th 2015