Album Review

Marshall, Owen – “Naked Truth, The” – [Jazzman]

Art Crimes   8/21/2012   CD, Jazz

This is a private pressing from 1975 exhumed by some crate diggers. Owen Marshall had played on sessions (primarily trumpet) for Blue Note in the 50s and had seen his compositions done by Horqce Silver, Chet Baker and others. This release found him working at home (apparently with nothing on, if we are to believe the LP jacket photos) overdubbing brass, winds, keyboards and “narration” as well as working with some basic tracks done with a group at gigs in Southern California. The mid-70s had often found jazz acts messing with synths, with mixed results; the synths here are mostly used for atmosphere and effects, not as a lead instrument. In addition, Marshall invented instruments of his own like the “hose-o-phone”. The general sound here is a contrast between the home recordings that have a one-man-band vibe with space effects and spoken word evoking Sun Ra’s outer space journeys layered with the sort of squeaky synth sounds Todd Rundgren favored in his rainbow hair days, and live tracks that are generic mid-70s jazz funk with Rhodes and flute that have a bit of a CTI groove. The single added on at the end is more funk oriented. ((( crimes )))

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