Album Review

Wilson Marks--- No Beak, No Time

Wilson Marks - Peregrines

I wrote a review for Wilson Marks' What Was Made For Weathering album awhile back comparing Marks to Craig Elkins in terms of the approach to music (read it here). I reread that review this morning and it all came rushing back to me--- the shock that something just short of lounge jazz could strike me as much as it did, the fascination with the creatively personal aspect of the music, the chords squeezed from the guitar, the whisper of the voice. I felt then like I feel now. It is not an album nor just a collection of songs. It is much more--- a moment in time, if you will. I need to dive through the accumulation of CDs I have acquired over the past number of years and find this... this treasure, because I need to hear it again. Need.

But first I need to let you know that Marks has another beauty of an album which takes his music a step further. Peregrines. He premiered the album last night at an album release party I could not attend thanks to its taking place in another State (for myself, equivalent to taking place on another planet) and can only imagine what took place. John Elliott joined Marks, his new album part of the party too, and while I am sure it was low-key, it more than likely was one of the best low-key parties going.

For one thing, Peregrine is one mother of an album. I knew it at first listen but when I saw the supporting video, I was convinced beyond all doubt. Marks teamed up with creative genius Paul Curreri, one of my favorite people in all of the entertainment business, and created this:

I don't know why but I laughed all the way through the first time I saw it. The absurdity of it all, maybe, or the film content or the way the pieces cohesed into a whole or something. I mean, unexpected slime is always good for a chuckle and, hey, owls. Without that music, though...

Lounge jazz turned quirky, I guess you could say, or random thoughts with guitar. Marks has a way of disarming you with his voice patterns as much as his lyrics and when combined with the guitar (and piano on a couple of tracks) you can't help but feel the cigarette smoke wafting through the air and smell the bourbon. Word jazz. Guitar jazz. Jazz jazz. Hitting chords kids these days probably only hear by mistake or accidentally clicking on an infomercial for Les Paul and Mary Ford albums.

Still, there is accessibility to this jazz. Jazz for people who don't like jazz? A rocker and a jazz musician walk into a bar... This is good stuff. All it takes is an open ear attached to an open mind.

I made the mistake of mentioning to Marks that he was unique. I assume he was shrugging his shoulders when he replied, unique and individual just like anyone else. Look, I know people out there have done similar things on a similar scale, but do any one of them have owl videos? Seriously!

Just so you know, this is what Marks does when the mood strikes... not on the album.