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Album Review

A casual listener who wandered in and out of a room in which Scott Pinkmountain's album The Full Sun was playing over the course of its 65-minute running time might be forgiven for supposing that several different records were being alternated, one by a "new Bob Dylan" folkie singer/songwriter strumming an acoustic guitar and huskily murmuring allusive lyrics; one by an avant-garde classical musician influenced by Edgard Varèse and his rock disciple, Frank Zappa; one by a free jazz horn player in the manner of, say, Albert Ayler; and one who had ingested the Beatles' taste in psychedelic progressive rock. Pinkmountain, the alter ego adopted by jazz saxophonist Scott Rosenberg, accompanied by so many musicians he has credited groups of them as "Orchestra A" and "Orchestra B" (there is no discernible group that is the Golden Bolts of Tone, despite the co-credit), cannot be accused of lacking musical ambition on his debut solo album. And as the names evoked by his many musical styles attest, he has adopted a sense of 1960s adventurousness and experimentation; it even includes, in "You Gave Me This," a track that could be dropped into a collection of obscure sunshine pop songs of the '60s without anyone being the wiser. Necessarily, this tends to make the overall impression of the album a bit unfocused, especially since the wildly varying music is set to sometimes lengthy lyrics that seem influenced by readings in the Bible and other ancient texts. But the imagination at work here is stupendous, even if the execution sometimes lags the grand intentions.

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The Full Sun, Scott Pinkmountain & The Golden Bolts of Tone
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