BOYLAN'S JAZZ-ROCK JUMPS
"SUZY" Terence Boylan, Asylum, 6E-201
There was a time when this album's sort of lyric beauty, verging on jazz-rock with its ethereal quality, might have emerged as a folk record, destined for semi-obscurity. Folk roots are in Terence Boylan's past, having played in New York's Greenwich Village years ago, meeting Dylan along the way. One of Boylan's first college bands was to include Steely Dan founders Fagan and Becker, as well as Chevy Chase.
All of these influences are well in evidence on "Suzy," a meticulously crafted album, noteworthy not for its consistency, but for the sheer depth Boylan brings to a range of styles, There's the ironic power of "College Life; " the poetic grace of "Ice and Snow," a tune based on the Fitzgerald short story "The lce Palace;" and the Oriental influence of "Miso Soup."
"Miso Soup" reflects an influence Boylan shares with his Steely Dan comrades. Other similarities abound - the jazz-like keyboards he wraps his tunes around, as well as the ability to bring quality musicians to fill out the contours of his songs. Jeff Baxter plays his usual searing slide guitar, given the opportunity, admittedly scant. Gary Foster, chums up a marvelous sax solo on the album's finale, and Will McFarlane plays a tasteful electric guitar throughout.
For the most part, Boylan, who has also produced this record, refuses to fall prey to the myriad musical forces he has assembled. Although there's nothing here remotely resembling a boistrous rocker guaranteed to break into radio airplay time, one hopes Boylan will continue to be able to turn out mature rock like this. The album is filled with hidden treasures, waiting to be savored.