Saturday, June 23, 2012

Steve Nieve "Lazy Point" (4*)

Steven Nason, fresh out of the Royal College of Music joined Costello's backing band The Attractions in 1977, gaining a new identity after uncertainty as to the nature of a previously unknown (to him anyway) called a groupie. Ian Dury allegedly did that.

There is, however, nothing naïve about the mad scientist keyboard work he has contributed to Elvis Costello records and concerts since This Year’s Model. To be fair, there have been times when Elvis has dispensed with his services (he discarded The Attractions between Blood & Chocolate and Brutal Youth) and when that has happened Steve has managed a number of other collaborations, playing gigs and composer credits, including film soundtracks and an opera (Welcome to the Voice).

The actual Lazy Point of the title is a headland in The Hamptons, a group of villages and hamlets along the South Fork of Long Island, New York that are popular seaside resorts in summer and boast some of the most expensive residential property in the U.S.A.

A glance at the track titles (Kathy's Verandah, Ferry to Shelter Island, Amy's Adirondack In Sagaponack for example) should be enough to indicate the languid summer holiday vibe here and the visiting the seaside village, friends and acquaintance comes through when you see titles like Alison for Michael At the Music Store and Shipbuilding for T On Treasure Island.

Yes, that’s be Mr Costello’s Alison and Shipbuilding reworked, not quite in the manner of the keyboard extemporisations on the Costello & Nieve box set, but not a million miles away either.

Mileages may vary if you’re a classical piano fan, but for this long term admirer of Steve Nieve’s playing this fills a significant niche in the music library, and will be getting plenty of action when the right environment rolls around.

The Supervisor was quite taken by it as well.

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