STEAM RADIO TAPES
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The Steam Radio Tapes from Gary Windo has an interesting origins story (as can be found in the liner notes of the CD sleeve). It grabs your attention by mentioning that Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) invited Windo to record his music at Floyd’s new state of the art music studio, Britannia Row, and that some of the music was even glossed over by Mason and Waters as Windo impressed both (including Floyd’s manager and engineer) to the point that they wanted to get in on the action.
Despite being an album that seemed destined to not find an audience I was glad that it did, on the Gonzo Import label. The album is a smooth nine tracks that feature Windo’s mastery of both the Tenor Sax and Alto Sax, as well as the Bass Clarinet. It only helped that Windo was joined by a revolving door of great musicians as he recorded his masterpieces over the years.
Steam Radio Tapes is filled with a lot of Funky Jazz Blues that simply comes off as jam sessions filled with raw energy and power. From the opening track, Ginkie, which is an instrumental tune that goes down smooth and relaxing to the funky bass lead “Is This The Time?” which features a monochromatic chorus hypnotizing against a sax performance that has so much soul that you can find yourself getting caught up in the spirit of the performance.
Sometimes, when you look back on music from yesteryear, in contrast with the sometimes soulless cookie cutter music of today, you’re easily able to find yourself enveloped in the mood of the music, the movement of what it was like to know this might be your only shot at making some really great. No filler pleas for attention from radio, no easy going feeling that you can add useless stuff in just to grab as many audiences as you can get, but to really just play from the heart. I think this album truly reflects that. Windo given the opportunity to test out Floyd’s new equipment as sort of a favor and having come in at a place and time when he was looking to record some music. All the elements together made for a great set of tunes well worth checking out. Enjoy.
Review by AJ Garcia
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