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Encomium In Memoriam Vol 1 Jan Berry of Jan & Dean Import
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An eclectic taste of California, from Surf to the Psychedelic era and beyond, examining rock pioneer Jan Berry's musical arrangements for Jan & Dean and others. Artists include: P. F. Sloan, Vic Diaz, Tom Bahler, Mike Deasy, Jill Gibson, David Marks, Don Grady, Robbin Thompson, Michael Carey Schneider, Tripsitter, Alan Boyd, Probyn Gregory, Paul Johnson, Stephen Kalinich, Lisa Mychols, Woolly Bandits, Cameron Michael Parkes, Mark A. Moore
How strange it is that it takes a tribute album, of all things, to reveal the true artistry of Jan Berry, a primary architect of the West Coast sound who just may have been Brian Wilson's equal as a songwriter and arranger. The funny little ditties about little old ladies, cars, girls and superheroes that Jan & Dean spun into "beach music" gold were undeniably catchy, but perhaps they prevented some from taking Berry seriously as an artist. However, beneath the goofy humor was a complex, rich sonic environment the product of Berry's sublime arrangements and production. Conceived while Berry was still alive and the detailed liner notes say he was excited about the project s possibilities this lush, fully realized 23-track tribute was put together by producers Cameron Michael Parks and Mark A. Moore, as well as associate producers Alan Boyd and David Beard, using Berry's personal archive of musical scores. And all involved including guests like P.F. Sloan, Jill Gibson and David Marks among others take great pains not to trample over Berry's legacy, their orchestral flair and great reverence for the source material ensuring this was done right. Swaddled in mellifluous harmonies and warm horns, "Dead Man s Curve" and "I Found A Girl" with its snappy, uptempo gait are simply magical reworkings, while the instrumental "'B' Gas Rickshaw," ignited by a drag-racing intro, surprises with its cinematic scope, sweeping strings and charming playfulness. "Ace of Hearts" and "When It s Over" swoon with heavy, delicious melodrama, without feeling insincere or heavy-handed, and "Carnival of Sound" is vibrant and exotic, fulfilling Berry's original psychedelic vision and offering ample evidence of his ability to change with the times. With most tribute albums, it's hard to tell if the artists are participating only to further their own careers. Or, rather, it's painfully apparent that that's exactly what they're there for. On "Encomium In Memoriam: Vol. 1 Jan Berry of Jan & Dean," there is no room for such vanity. Each piece is meticulously crafted and gorgeously fleshed out; even the incidental scraps from the harpsichord musings of "Bat No. 4" and "Bat No. 1" to the parade of found sounds that is "Filet of Droll (Part 2)" seem to be carefully thought out to reveal Berry s entertaining court-jester personality. Truly, this was somebody's labor of love. Peter Lindblad Goldmine Magazine April 10, 2009 Issue --Goldmine Magazine
A joint production by Cameron Michael Parkes (vocals, piano, guitar, bass, percussion) of Box o Clox and producer Mark A. Moore, Encomium In Memoriam Vol. 1 celebrates the music of early 60s surf-rock pioneer Jan Berry of Jan & Dean. On par with Brian Wilson as a singer / composer / producer, Berry never quite got the same amount of respect in the music world and Parkes and Moore go the distance to correct that oversight with this 2008 tribute CD. Following his near fatal car crash in 1966, Berry carried on with partner Dean Torrence though sadly Berry passed away in 2006 . Famous for his Box o Clox tributes to Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, Parkes and Moore have crafted a modern surf-rock inspired masterpiece with this Jan Berry tribute. Focusing on Berry s original arrangements based on his personal archive of music charts and scores, the CD studio sound is enhanced by an incredible lineup of seasoned L.A. studio hands and voices including early Beach Boys guitarist David Marks and pop icon P.F. Sloan. The CD book is encyclopedic, filled with rare b&w photos and amazing details about Berry s career and the making of this tribute. z --Music Web Express 3000
"[B Gas Rickshaw is] darn close to the original . . . but with Paul Johnson's silky guitar . . . A very reverent and unexpectedly cool tribute . . . Also called "Quasimoto," the song is poppy and infectious and fun . . . [Bat No. 1] is almost classical in nature. David Marks' playing is really good, and the sound soothing and pristine. --Phil Dirt, Reverbcentral.com
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
There are so many things that I like about this album, but one of my favorites is just hearing Jan talk with Arnie [Ginsburg] as they get set to record, or listening to him interact with Brian Wilson, and even role play as a radio DJ broadcasting from KJAN -- great musical history and a rare insight into another time.
The first song on the album, "The Anaheim, Azusa & Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review and Timing Association," is so strong that I kept repeating it over and over. It took me a few days of listening before I heard the album all the way through because I couldn't stop playing track one. I think Don Grady is amazing on Fan Tan and I had no idea he was such a talented singer. The a cappella bonus tracks of Fan Tan and Anaheim are among my favorites. Lisa Mychols on It's As Easy As 1, 2, 3 is also a great find for me on this album.
I think this album has a name that limits identification and distribution and I also think that in terms of marketing this album it's surprising that track names aren't listed with artist names. That seems to be true on every site, not just here on Amazon and I can't recall that being true of any other album I have seen.
I am very happy to have discovered this tribute album and ordered mine here on Amazon in February of 2013. I paid $15.35 at that time and still think it's money well spent. I can tell that this project was a labor of love for those involved and I wish I could thank them all personally.
to Jan & Dean but, mostly directed to Jan only, says: "This album isn't about
recreating their sound because that's impossible". It's hard to believe that
in 2008, when this was recorded, no-one is able-with all the tecnical progress
in 45 years- to create that typical Jan & Dean sound from 1963/64. Here we have
a whole group of lead singers, an orchestra and many of the artists that did
revivals of them in the 90's uncapable to reproduce that original sound produced
by two guys and the Wrecking Crew. Some of their greatest hits are included here
and in spite of all their efforts, you immediately notice a big difference between
both interpretations. It is kind of a dull sound which make the Jan & Dean originals
almost musical hymns of the early/mid 60's. On the other hand they've included some
Jan & Dean talking between takes during those days which is kind of waste of time.
I recognize the efforts being made by all the participants in this special tribute
CD but since it is quite a pricy CD, I do not recommend it.