Eli Newberger – The Men They Will Become
The Men They Will Become
(Stomp Off – 2004)
by Matthew Robinson
As a companion to Eli Newberger’s book of the same title, this CD has success of varying degrees in teaching paternal lessons to emerging males. From the obvious (“It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie”; “Little Pal”) to the more tangential (“Big Bad Bill”) and the barely related (“Miss Otis Regrets”; “Old Fashioned Love”), tubist/pianist Newberger works through a list of favorite “male character themes” along with pianist/clarinetist Thompson and banjoist/vocalist Mazzy. Musically, the album is predominately made up of jowly jazz tunes from the Preservation Hall.
The dual pianists range from barrelhouse rag to Vaudeville and waltz. Though Newberger’s inconsistent tuba falls off the low end at times, Thompson’s clarinet is sparse but smooth and Mazzy’s skin and strings chime in the background, occasionally filling the percussion role. Though there “Ain’t Much Good in the Best of Men Now Days,” if you “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “There’ll Be Some Changes Made.” In the meantime, this is a pleasant fake book (complete with lyrics) to read along with Dr. Newberger’s study of the ways of men.
© 2004, M. S. Robinson, ARR