Back in the 90s day, before the bean counters marketed everything into handily exploitable genre compartments, there was a widely held belief that music’s future lay in fusion and cross-cultural experimentation. I dunno, maybe it was all the E, but for a brief period this screamadelic utopia seemed to make an awful lot of artistic sense.
Now, of course, those chaotic days are gone and it’s each to his own, with consumers algorithmed into neat pigeonholes, and music’s future has never looked quite so… ah.
Anyway, probably the neatest, most seamless example of this alchemical mix-and-match crossover emerged from the boundary-free melting pot of The Big Apple’s club scene. Huey Morgan, a guitar-toting ex-Marine with a rogueish twinkle and an enviable record collection, worked bar and spun the best yarns in the Tri-State area. Musical prodigy ‘Fast’ Leiser and Wise Guy-esque drummer Steve Borgovini felt it prudent to recruit him as the Scorsese-sharp frontman for their loop-literate jazz, rock, hip-hop, soul, blues, funk combo.
With cinematic rhymes straight out of Tarantino, these magpie mafiosi dazzled all that they surveyed and for a brief period bestrode the zeitgeist as ‘the coolest band in the world’.
So what went wrong? What can I tell you? People are nothing if not cloth-eared… They bought The Spice Girls instead. Anyway, who cares when you’ve this near-perfect artefact – bulked up to box size with all the usual peripheral mixes, live tracks and radio sessions – to significantly sophisticate your shelving by its mere presence?