Ian Carr and the Various Artists – I Like Your Taste in Music

Album Review | Reveal Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 5/5

After seeing the celebrated ‘go to’ guitarist in several line-ups over the years, usually seated alongside an extraordinary vocalist or sandwiched between equally extraordinary musicians, Ian Carr’s own adventures as either a soloist or as the focal part of one of his own collaborative endeavors, never cease to surprise me. Always utterly inventive, a little bit different (in a good way) and always infused with a little humour, Ian’s albums are usually a joy to behold. I Like Your Taste in Music is right up with the best of them.

Based in Falun, Sweden, Ian once again teams up with Maria Jonsson and Staffan Lindfors, who both appeared on the last Various Artists album Who He? as well as Laura Wilkie on violin and Thomas Gibbs on piano and harmonium. There are also one or two guest appearances, which makes the Various Artists a little more various. The instrumental pieces on this album are both highly inventive and easy on the ear at the same time, with “Climber” being a fine example of a swing between Scandinavian, Scottish and jazz influences, a tune that according to Ian used to be called “Pisspod” after accidentally dropping his ipod down the toilet on a train. It’s a bold move to include a song that runs for almost eight minutes, with just two words repeated over and over in “Oh Yeah”, but this indicates clearly Ian’s lovely humour in a time when we need it most. Once the oh yeah’s are delivered though, the piece opens up into something rather exceptional, before the kids come in with some gleeful ‘oh yeahs’ before the end. It’s almost like a John Coltrane number with the signature tune replaced by words before the improvisational part takes over. Is there really a better function for music, than to touch you, intrigue you, impress you and to make you smile all at the same time?

Choice Track: I Like Your Taste in Music (NSV 495)