|The opening tune, Used Car Charlie has an infectious beat and a raucous raspy sax solo by Perry White who may be doing his best work to date on this disc. This one gets under your skin and youre glad to hear it again and again. But the real winner is Fuller Brush Man. Well, just see him loping along the street 40 years ago with his kit, knocking on door after door and going into his spiel. And thats not all. Listen and you will hear in Breits mandolin, with that funky street music going oompah in 2/4 time in the background, Joseph Cotton pursuing Orson Wells through the streets of post war Vienna with The Third Man Theme playing in the background. Yes, and you might also think of Peter Sellers in Alberto Broccolis The Pink Panther. If this tune doesnt become a hit, there is no justice in the world.
What else? Juul Anderson has more fun on drums that anyone Ive seen in a while, and not only on Crazy Bastard where he gets to sing out like Woody Woodpecker. Russell Boswell on bass fiddle makes his mark especially on Junior Samples. The other visitor to Folkalarm Five besides Perry White is Denis Keldie on accordion. His sound is so full and fat, and blended with Breits skinny mandolin, they are like Jack Sprat and his better half: between them they licked the platter klean. This is a brilliant, funny, good-natured, suite of compositions that will repay totally serious listening. Folkalarm Five seems to me a unified work, the equal of Zappa in its own way, and funny without Zappas mean mockery. Breit totally underplays his work, but like Jack Gleasons The Honeymooners, this creation of Breits ought to become a classic.
If you dont agree with me, think of this: what other jazz musician has enough cool to bring his CD release show at Hughs Room in Toronto to a climax with the words Now its time for a polka?