Live at the Old Pasedena Summerfest
Good humor and a party vibe pervade Live at the Old Pasadena Summerfest (Rhombus) by keyboardist Thom Teresi and his Street Smart Band. Recorded during a 2001 concert, the album's pleasant though lightweight tunes span a range of genres, from the funky "Too Good to Be True" to the Latin-inflected "Pingo Landia" and the reggae-flavored "S.S. Dub." Drummer Dee Teresi performs the album's two vocal tracks. The lighter-than-air dance tune "Gino's Groove" pays tribute to Dee's infant son, while "I'm Free" communicates a "gonna make it on my own" message but is weighed down by cliched lyrics ("I'm free/No one can stop me now/ I'm sailing on the sea/Blowing like the breeze."). Still, the song is performed with such obvious high spirits that it's hard not to like it. The production isn't perfect: Thom's keyboards often get lost in the mix, and the album comes to an odd, rather abrupt end. But despite its compositional and technical shortcomings, it documents what must have been a fun show performed by musicians who are enjoying playing the music.