Dr. Dan,
Dan on the Moon
(Terminus Records, 2000)

Dan on the Moon is one of those albums which grab you with the first note and don't let go until the last note fades away. Each song is a seamless whole, and each one is a joy to listen to. Dr. Dan does one heck of a fine job on this CD.

When there aren't many lyrics on a CD, the music and the skill of the play go a long way to making or breaking the album. The musicians here do a great job playing with the energy and heart needed to transform skilled play into great music. Leading the way is Dr. Dan (keyboards, vocals, scat, moogbass and acoustic piano). He is joined by Sam Sims (bass), Li'l John Roberts (drums), Mica Roberts (vocals), Rob Geisler (bass), John McKnight (drums), Jack Holder (guitar), David Z (drums, guitar), Larry Jackson (saxophone) and Warren Haynes.

The music is infectious, starting off with the electronic funk of "Prowler." "Rollin'" continues on with some more of the same, pulling you further in and then the tempo picks up with "Shock Treatment." The drums add to the drive of the piece with pure solid energy. The only thing missing was the scat that is supposed to be in "Shock Treatment." Either Dr. Dan sounds incredibly like an instrument in the process or it got lost in the shuffle.

The next three pieces shift gears slightly from the previous electronic sounds of the keyboard as the other instruments dominate the sound. It starts off in "Uncle Hank" and continues through "Snap" and "Karma Limbo," and while the tempo picks up over the songs, there remains a cleanness of line to the sound that the first songs don't have.

The shifting takes a different form as the sound starts to flow into jazz for "Timeless." A beautiful love song that still has some of the edge of funk blended into the jazz feel the saxophone emphasizes. The slide over to jazz is completed in "Mia's Tears," a solo piece on the piano.

"Move On" then goes to the rockier side of jazz. At times it can be a bit hard to pick out the lyrics to the song, but any case they blend in smoothly to the sound of the song. The CD wraps up with "Goodbye 20," a slow, mellow piece that fades into nothingness as it ends.

Dan on the Moon is a great CD to slap in and play if you are looking for something fun to listen to.

[ by Paul de Bruijn ]

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