Early this month, jazz artist J. Frederick Millea (a.k.a. L.A. Cowboy) released his latest album, The Big Pitch. The eight-song record is a presentation that will appeal to a very targeted audience. That is due in large part to the record’s sequencing. It will be discussed shortly. The arrangements featured in the album also play into that directed appeal. They will be discussed a little later. The album’s lyrical content is a positive in its own right, too, and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make the album worth hearing at least once.
J. Frederick Millea’s latest album, The Big Pitch is a big pitch, and ultimately proves worth hearing at least once if not occasionally. The album’s biggest strength comes from its sequencing. The sequencing is so important because it does show at least an attempt to keep the album from becoming too redundant. The record’s overall musical approach is that bluesy, swinging, big band jazz that was popular early in the 20th century. What’s more, there is a near automatic comparison between Millea’s work throughout the record and that of Brian Setzer and his orchestra, who is really the most to credit for the resurgence of that genre. From one song to the next, the songs have the same stylistic approach. On the other hand, the sound of each song varies ever so slightly. The sequencing takes those subtle variances into full consideration, ensuring that they are highlighted for audiences who listen closely. On another level, for all of the similarities in the songs’ stylistic approaches, the sequencing also ensures that there is at least a pair of break points in the album. The first comes in the form of ‘The Museum,’ which comes just past the album’s midway point. Unlike so much of the record’s musical presentation, this song is much more relaxed. Its gentle, flowing piano line and time keeping pairs with Millea’s equally velvety vocals to make this “slow dance” type composition a great way to change things up just enough. The second break point comes in the album’s finale, ‘Why Do I.’ While not as reserved as ‘The Museum,’ it is still laid back in comparison to so much of the music in this record. It is a light, springy work, driven largely by the piano, drums and vocals. The guitar line serves more of a support role here. Between this song and ‘The Museum,’ the pair does just enough to keep the album’s arrangements from becoming too redundant. They are unlike one another and unlike the album’s other entries. Keeping this and everything else noted here, it is hopefully clear how important the album’s sequencing is to its whole. In reality, its importance is such that it really forms the album’s foundation.
Taking a closer look at the arrangements, it has already been noted that for the most part, they each follow a similar stylistic approach. They are each familiar swinging jazz works. They will immediately appeal to fans of said genre, and more specifically, to fans of the likes of Brian Setzer and company. The thing is that for all of the largely familiar stylistic approach throughout the arrangements, there are subtle differences in their sound. So even as the arrangements’ styles remain so much the same from one to the next, there are little touches that Millea and his fellow musicians add to each song. Those who listen closely will catch those subtle variances an in turn, find more to like. More casual audiences on the other hand are less likely to catch those variances, again showing why this aspect and the album will appeal to the specific audiences.
The lyrical content that is featured throughout the album is important to examine because of its accessibility. Throughout the course of the album’s 34-minute record, its lyrical content focuses almost entirely on the concept of romance. In this case, the topic is more love found than lost. That all too familiar topic is something that in itself will connect with plenty of audiences. The subtle variances in how the topic is approached in each song ensures the appeal among the noted audiences in its own right. When this aspect is considered along with the variances in the arrangements, and the sequencing thereof, the whole makes The Big Pitch a record that will get to the plate for a very specific audience.
L.A. Cowboy’s recently released album, The Big Pitch is a presentation that will find appeal among a very targeted audience group. Its appeal comes largely through its sequencing. The sequencing ensures that the album keeps moving and reduces the chances of redundancy from the record’s beginning to its end. On a related note, the arrangements will keep the noted audiences engaged and entertained because of the subtle variances in each composition. Audiences who catch those subtle variances in the largely similar stylistic approaches will find that just as appealing as the album’s sequencing. The accessibility of the album’s lyrical content works with the other items to round out the album’s presentation. That is because it is so overwhelmingly familiar and constant throughout. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album a presentation whose pitch will not fall entirely on deaf ears.
The Big Pitch is available now. More information on the album is available through Millea’s official website at https://www.lacowboy.com.
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