Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Horn Rock Heaven Top 20 - #9. Crabfoot – The Flock

Chicago, the band, was not the only horn/rock ensemble to hail from Chicago, the city. The Flock also called The Windy City home and made their own unique contribution to the horn/rock music scene. Aside from the genre standard of a tight rhythm section and blaring horn troupe, The Flock featured a secret weapon in legendary fusion violinist, Jerry Goodman.
On first listen, ‘Crabfoot’ sounds like an up-tempo rocker that had likely been born out of a studio jam. But further study reveals a compositional demonstration not unlike other songs from the horn/rock genre. The Flock’s ability to make the song seem loose and fun only adds to their credibility as a top-flight band. But aside from the vocal interplay, motific horn-lines, and various solos, ‘Crabfoot’ provides much more for any eager listener. Halfway thru the eight-minute piece the song changes speeds with a percussion break-down and violin solo which morphs into a lengthy drumming spotlight. Then, as if the listener hasn’t heard it all, the studio trickery begins with what, is our best guess, a sped up sax, violin duel. The group weaves their way back to the crux of the song for one final, spirited verse.
It’s not clear if the collage of sound delivered on ‘Crabfoot’ was merely done for self-indulgence fulfillment or if it was serving a greater musical purpose. Nonetheless, The Flock, were obviously in no way, trying to emulate Chicago, the band, with something akin to ‘Make Me Smile’. Rather, The Flock delivered a unique brand of music that should make Chicago, the city, proud.