Jon Klages – Fabulous Twilight
Hoboken scene veteran, & grandson of famed bandleader Enoch Light — Jon Klages’ captures the vocal magic & pastiche that was once a rock FM late-night radio staple pioneered by the late Kenny Rankin – 1974’s “Silver Morning,” that was all over FM radio that year. Especially the Klages’ beautiful “Rosalie.” The approach is somewhat subdued in a Diana Krall way, but Jon has an enormous amount of feeling, his Wes Montgomery warm guitar is fluid, & in many ways, this can be exciting to a discerning ear.
At times, Jon can be mindful of Kenny Nolan (“I Like Dreaming”) who had a hit with that title in 1976. The addition of the back-up vocalists on some cuts are also reinforcing (“The Fabulous Twilights”). This album of 11-cuts drops April 1st — Fabulous Twilight (Danbury fair Recordings).
It features Jon (lead vocals/guitars/kazoo & piano on “Goin’ Home”), Neil Larsen (keyboards/former Leonard Cohen-Ricki Lee Jones & George Harrison), Elvis Costello Imposter’s band member Danny Faragher (bass), Hall of Fame/Elvis Costello musician Pete Thomas (drums), Arnold McCuller (backup vocals/from James Taylor-Lyle Lovett & Bonnie Raitt), the Horny Whiskey Trio (vocals) & the cuts were produced by Todd Solomon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBHcAjZFPuA
“Long-Tailed Cat,” filled in a room with rocking chairs is an exceptional nostalgic drive down memory lane but without the vintage retro scents. The LP pays respect to Klages’ influences & achievements.
“Red-Dirt Country,” is an atmospheric tune with nice nuances & mood. Perfect late-night fodder with head on a pillow staring up at the ceiling. A perfect tune for Lyle Lovett. It has that progressive country fire.
For the most part, the LP has old-fashioned punctuations yet, modernized showcases that are played with lots of loose groovy melodies, skimming the melodic fun of doo-wop. The musicians are tight & though some titles may suggest novelty – there’s none. The music is all seriously adept & well-performed. Jon isn’t going for laughs so much as just a sly grin on the faces of his listeners.
The songs are well-crafted & performed with ingenuity. The late David Seville aka Ross Bagdasarian aka The Chipmunks did the same with many of his singles – Seville’s jazzy piano instrumental “Almost Good,” (on 45) was my introduction to jazz when I was 10. Cool stuff – and that’s what Jon provides at times. Some humor with a clever twist.
My favorite is the dark strut of “Remains,” a surprisingly cool noir shadow & fog musical creep-along. The finale is a Blasters-laid out lead guitar that could’ve been included in the film “From Dusk Til’ Dawn.”
While some songs drift along in a Harry Nilsson type of wackadoodle way, Klages just lacks that dry daring Harry humor, the vocal acrobatics, the edginess that was Nilsson (“You’re Breaking My Heart”). He approaches it but never tempts it wholly. There’s still time. Lots of entertainment value with Jon. If he masters that – he will have that genre sewn up.
The 41-minute CD is available at Bandcamp & https://www.jonklages.com/