Canada - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 12 - 10/16/97
This is Ottawa Ontario's the Wooden Stars' second full-length album (I think..). They
once again bring us their very jazzy, melodic gorgeous music on their latest release Mardi Gras. The
Wooden Stars have a gentle, glowing sound that is as flavorful as it is articulate.
The album begins with a short, and very jazzy introduction track that ends as the first song, Hands To
Work, begins. Hands To Work is rich in lyric-induced visual imagery. Which although disconnected,
adds to the music infinitely. One of the finest points to the Wooden Star's music is the grace and
clarity of the melody they use. At times it drifts off into shouting or spoken-word, but the larger part is
beautiful vocalization that is complimented nicely by the eclectic and innovative instrumentation which
backs it up.
This album has an inconsistent (jazzy) pace, which serves to highlight the different musical
movements in each song. The instrumentation tends to vary inevitably from sharp and short to a
smooth blending of many different rhythms and varied instrumentation. The sound in this album seems to
either ring like a glorious bell, or bash around like pots and pans in an oven drawer. Even the banjo
track before Wyatt And Pam In The Botanical Gardens can be likened to a menagerie of bells.
Lyrically the ideas are either spiritual, and/or emotional - "it seems that my heart beats in a funny time,
but anyway, it's not mine", "there's a warning sign in fat and toothless parting grin, insects boiling
over in his pants, hay in his hair." Poetic and even satirical, almost majical at times.
This album has class. It moves towards a balanced blend of poetry, rock and jazz. It focuses on
creating an ice number of varying sounds all at once, and still manages to take them all in the same
direction. Underneath the beautiful harmonies and melodies, there is a lot going on. A great album,
by an equally great live band.
Sappy Records: PO Box 25097, Moncton NB, Canada E1C.
Copyright © 1997 Laura Bowman