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Ernie Krivda: Blues for Pekar

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I really wanted to like this album. The reason is that, while there are warehouses filled with jazz records dedicated to spouses, mistresses, fellow musicians and pets, Blues for Pekar is the only one I can think of dedicated to a jazz critic.

It turns out that its connections to critic (and American Splendor creator) Harvey Pekar are tenuous, but that isn’t the problem. Ernie Krivda is a tenor saxophone player with energy, speed, force and sincerity. There is therefore no pleasure in reporting that, at least on this album, he is also overbearing, heavy-handed, undisciplined and exhausting. Even ballads like “Darn That Dream” and “More Than You Know” get bludgeoned. The quavering quality in Krivda’s vibrato, especially annoying on the ballads, is a major reason for the overall unattractiveness of this session.

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