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Album Review

Noahlewis’ Mahlon Taits – “Six Pieces For Dancing ” – [Em Records]

Thurston Hunger   7/13/2006   A Library, CD

ven without reading the title, you would think this was a
dance record (not a rave, but you know cotillion). But as
you listen, it’s this sleepy dance of turtle and elephant
that is just dreamy. Slooooow moooootion, gentle with an
awkward grace. Watching over our charming couple is a full
moon with saw-player “Fumiya Morita” perched on its south
pole as the bandmaster. Saw lovers will appreciate the slow
pace, and how it really allows the tremolo flow of the saw
to shine. And to weep, to reflect… The seven piece
accompaniment features 3 am sliding guitar (sometimes
Hawaiian style) and 5 am banjo. Bleary but cheerful. A
lot of the melodies seem like they might be from soap
opera’s of yesteryear, but this is a current cobweb-free
octet out of Tokyo, soporifically terrific and as romantic
as a silent movie kiss! Well most of the time, the last
number never quite finds the heart, and “Blues, Just Blues,
That’s All” has Morita-san put down the saw and huff and
puff on the jug. Although you don’t hear the jug so much,
it ends up seeming more like the bandmaster left the
proscenium with his mic-clipped and still on as he snuck
back stage for a quick romp with six toes Rosie. As for
jug bands, evidently the real Noah Lewis led a jug band of
some note in the early 1900’s, and Mahlon Taits, well this
release squeeze my melonhead just right. So cool to pursue
a unique sonic vision like this!

-Thurston Hunger

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