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CD Review: Jim Duffy - Side One
By Ann Klein - 12/21/2004 - 10:04 PM EST

Artist: Jim Duffy
Album: Side One
CD Review: I love this totally instrumental disc. Go to and get it right away. Jim Duffy is channeling Bacharach, early Chicago and Peanuts, as in the cartoon. There isnít a loop to be found, but it is loaded with strings, horns, piano, wurlitzer, guitars, lap steel and even a glockenspiel. It is buzzing from the heart and soul of real live musicians, and some notable ones to boot: Dennis Diken of the Smithereens on drums, Paul Page on bass and Lance Doss on guitar/lap steel, (both from John Cale's band), provide a fantastic backbone of a rhythm section for Duffyís well orchestrated arrangements. Jim Duffy handles the piano/Wurlitzer himself. These guys must have had a blast laying these tracks down. I wish I had been in the room.

I also love the way itís recorded. Sometimes when I listen to cds, my ears get fatigued by the pure digital-ness of the recording. ďSide OneĒ was recorded and mixed by Greg Duffin at Cowboy Technical Services of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, run by studio stars Eric Ambel and Tim Hatfield on mostly vintage gear. No fatigue can possibly come from these old school recordings.

This is one whimsical, joyous and refreshing cd. Although it is reminiscent of yesteryear, it is so different from much of what we hear these days. Iíll call it the new old school. I hope itís on the way back and gets big.

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