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TERENCE BLACKER - Playing For Time 

ARTIST - Playing For Time 
Talking Cat Recordings TCCD1901 

Nilsson Schmilsson meets Jake Thackery with a little bit of Bonzo Dog thrown in for good measure! Outwardly the style of Terence Blacker’s Playing For Time has a very jolly vibe to it. Each original track blends into the next in an effortless, jazzy meld of deceptive simplicity and sophistication. In its production and delivery much of the CD has a lazy, hot Sunday afternoon, hammock swinging style to it. The predominant soft guitar playing that underlies the vocals is largely responsible. That is not to say the music is sparse. Far from it, the tracks are ably supported by a variety of instruments: Hartmut Saam, accordion; Domenico de Marco, percussion; Gianni Crescenzi, bass; Giovanni Rago, guitar. Fortunata Monzo provides a welcome contrast with her considered, vibrant vocal contribution. The 12 original compositions were recorded in Southern Italy by musicians from Italy and Germany. But it doesn’t matter where they hail from as individuals, it’s the music that counts. In this case, the added bonus is a definite continental slant, complementing the ambience in spades.

There is plenty of wit on offer in these compositions - a bright, sharp-eyed response to our modern world. As we leave the European Union there is a great sense of regret in Europa, Mein Amour. Fake News is a humorous, tongue in cheek swipe at social media and its potential consequences. Thank You To My Team struck a familiar chord with me, a song about camaraderie, memories of old glories and ultimately… tempus fugit.

Playing For Time is an enjoyable listen and the more you do, the more the wit and irony shine through!

John Oke Bartlett


This review appeared in Issue 133 of The Living Tradition magazine