Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

By the time his third album was released in 1990, Lyle Lovett had devised a term for his unique blend of Americana-country-crooner music. He didn’t make big band music; he made “Large Band” music. The corresponding album fleshes out the austerities of his first two efforts by adding a full-fledged horn section for a refreshingly out-of-place rendition of “The Blues Walk,” a flash of bluesy bebop written by trumpeter Clifford Brown in 1955. The cabaret-performance vibe runs throughout the program, from its blues (“Here I Am”) and jazz ballads (“Good Intentions”) to its handsome turns into country classicism (“I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You”). A boldly pronoun-unaltered rendition of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man” is just one of many indications that Lovett wasn’t interested in the old conventions. He was, however, fond of the old sounds. In imitation of a long all-night jam session, this joyful album winds down with a series of quiet acoustic numbers. The best is “Which Way Does That Old Pony Run,” a simple cowboy ballad played with the smoldering sensuality of Al Green.

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