Published Apr 24, 2015There aren't any earth-shaking surprises on Gecko Turner's latest offering, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. That Place By The Thing With The Cool Name follows the same understated yet affable cocktail of organic jazz-funk, soul and world grooves that this globetrotting Spanish musician and crooner concocted on his past three albums.
"Breezy" is probably the best term to describe balmy opener "I'll Do That," as a polished Fender Rhodes washes with Turner's light croon over an entrancing Latin-funk rhythm. "Chicken Wire" is a quirky dance jam, its whimsy heightened with an extra snappy skip in its step before dovetailing into a folksy, acoustic coda. "Extremely Good" and "Juanita" are refreshing and sunny toe-tappers; the acoustic soul cuts "Did You Ever Wonder Why" and "Here Comes Friday" owe a debt to Bill Withers. The album's best cut is "Rockin' Didley," a lively Afro-Cuban workout with some especially inspired playing by Turner's Afrobeatnik Orchestra.
Despite the Orchestra's stellar playing, the instrumental closer "The Strange Adventures of Two Runaway Elephants in Kentish Town" is the album's only slip-up — it aims for atmospheric free-jazz transcendence, but wears out its welcome after four of its eight minutes' length. But that's a minor flaw on what is another low-key, feel-good and accomplished effort from Gecko Turner. (Lovemonk)