Umphrey's McGee — Safety in Numbers
(Sci Fidelity SCIFI 1032, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Umphrey’s McGee is still an anomaly in the jam band void left open by the disbanding of Phish. Umphrey’s fills that gap for fans largely due to their prominent self-deprecating humor and also by the sextet’s high quality musicianship and arrangements. From the first few strains of the lead cut, “Believe the Lie,” it’s clear that the band is heavily leveraging easier-to-assimilate works (set in place by their last CD Anchor Drop). Guitarist Brendan Bayliss’s songcraft works in tandem with Jake Cinniger’s songs across the disc. Bayliss’s songwriting is perhaps best represented on the country-fried acoustic ballad “Rocker,” which is adequately accompanied by a lightly mixed string section. His best songwriting effort culminates with “Ocean Billy,” that is lead by a radio mix that pans into a full band riffing melee. In contrast, Cinniger’s most notable contributions include the folksy “Liquid,” which captures the essence of the Dead circa Working Man’s Dead. The band’s high profile new friends include Huey Lewis (mouth harp) and Joshua Redman (alto sax), who lend a creditable hand on three separate cuts, with “Intentions Clear” being the best jazz inflected collaboration. Overall the disc shows songwriting maturity as the band has refined their skills (much in the same mode as moe. rather than Dave Mathews band).
Related artist(s): Umphrey's McGee
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Slava Ganelin and Ned Rothenberg - Falling into Place – Pianist and composer Slava (Vyacheslav) Ganelin is known for his assertive power trio in Russia and his leadership within the Israeli free jazz scene since emigrating there in 1987. In contrast, New... (2005) » Read more