Max's Kansas City, NY
Buckley has proven himself one of our more adventurous writers and stylists in
his very experimentalism forming his chief strength and weakness as his vocal
attack has evolved from its delicate, reedy folk style to its present range of
effects. If past bands and tours have found Buckley crippled by his ambitions,
his Max's stand made it all worthwhile.
current band is possibly his strongest, spiced by strong soloists but equally
impressive for its overall ensemble finesse. Their current set focuses on Buckley's
most recent album, his first for Frank Zappa's DiscReet label, Sefronia,
and the contrast between more evocative, moody pieces and some tough, rhythmic
electric music that cooks like the best rock 'n' roll while offering startling
vocal excursions from the front man made for an exciting evening.
is clearly at the peak of his vocal work, his earlier efforts at developing an
intense, hypnotic melodic style that revealed his love for long-lined jazz solos
now paying off. He's absorbed the technical flexibility earned through those acrobatics,
but his sense of economy has been restored as well, and the results are impressive.
the evening was Kathy Dalton, another DiscReet artist whose first solo album offered
a striking voice but uneven material. Ms. Dalton's problems persist, her current
back-up band being somewhat uneven and the material, most of it from the album,
proving equally mixed onstage.
out, though, 'cause the lady has a clear hard-edged tone that is distinctive and
could score nicely with stronger tunes.