Jay Leonhart – Salamander Pie (1983) [Reissue 1999]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 64:08 minutes | Scans NOT included | 2,59 GB
or DSD64 Stereo (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Scans NOT included | 2,55 GB
or FLAC (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/44,1 kHz | Scans NOT included | 568 MB
Named Most Valuable Bassist in the recording industry three times by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences between 1975 and 1995, Jay Leonhart is a well-rounded musician comfortable in almost any idiom. However he also “belongs to a breed of serious comic songwriter whose marquee names include Tom Lehrer, Dave Frishberg and Loudon Wainwright III”. Like Frishberg, Leonhart’s voice doesn’t sound “serious”, but the arrangements, chord structures, and musicianship indicate there is more to this music than first meets the ear. This album is a bit of classic now. Salamander Pie features 17 of Leonhart’s crazy songs with the expert accompaniment of Mike Renzi on piano. This release is also notable as it is one of the earliest all-digital recordings, recorded live to two track in 1983 by Tom Jung, who had begun converting the output of every microphone to digital back in 1977 in an effort to alleviate all of the noise associated with analog recordings.
Jay Leonhart had long been a first-call bassist in New York City by the time of these 1983 sessions, his first as a leader. But Leonhart has often been inspired to write songs as a result of chance encounters with famous people, in honor of other individuals, or simply to tell a story or recall part of his own life. Half of the fun is guessing whether or not the events in his lyrics ever took place. The bassist has a pleasant though not overly powerful voice, and he is well accompanied by pianist Mike Renzi on these 17 originals. The dry wit of “Robert Frost” discusses the difficulty of writing in a hectic urban atmosphere, though “Let the Flower Grow” is a bit of a throwaway, more fitting as a folk song. “Chanticler” is an odd song describing a fascination with a stripper back in the 1950s. But the most memorable piece is “Uncle Jim,” a touching portrait of the black sheep of his family. For some, a full disc of Jay Leonhart performing his own songs will be a bit too much, but his quirky humor and ability to tell a story are never in doubt.
01. Look Down Off A Bridge
02. Robert Frost
03. Drink No More
04. Sometimes I Think
06. Caribbean Island
07. Flight 861
08. Salamander Pie
09. Let The Flower Grow
10. Beat My Dog
12. Giant Flies
13. Kentucky Wild Flower
14. Momma Don’t You Think…
15. Goodbye Miami
16. Uncle Jim
Jay Leonhart – bass, vocals
Mike Renzi – piano
Produced, Engineered & Edited by Tom Jung.
Recorded and Mastered totally digital.