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The Jai-Alai Savant – Flight of The Bass Delegate

First, for those of you unfamiliar with The Jai-Alai Savant, the proper pronunciation of this Chicago troupe is: hi-a-lie-sa-vant. I point this out because I expect we’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys, so you won’t want to look like an utter twit by stumbling over their name.


Fleeing from the norm on Flight of The Bass Delegate, Jai-Alai pulls together the crafted chaos of Pollack with the bright, clean pop art of Warhol, throwing us a curve ball with a little velvet Elvis for texture and tastes of kitsch. The orchestrations tap into Trojan Records’ vault of ghosts of inspiration, propagating their own sound with hints of a Yes and Tripping Daisy horizontal bop.

Obscure, vintage samples and hollowed radio tones wrap their creepy fingers around classic reggae horns and percussion. Then boom, the switch is flipped and you’re running around in your living room, rocking in a mosh pit of one. Breathing hard, “30’s in the Thousands,” comes to your rescue with a down home riff and a chug along rhythm.

Lead singer, instigator and songwriter Ralph Darden has his way with words, “What is this? The poor act like they’re rich and the rich kids dress like paupers.” Has he been hanging out in Aurora and Boulder? And, anyone who rhymes “cantankerous” with “dangerous” is more than okay in my book.

What seems like sudden shifts make perfect sense and feel so right, even though you may not understand why. Rest assured; this is not music to be understood or figured out, this time you’re only job is to receive and enjoy. Be the catcher, take a deep breath and hold on.


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