Phil Jackson – The Sandy Sessions – EP Review

Phil Jackson - Sandy sessions

Phil Jackson – The Sandy Sessions – Review

Karl Mearns

Reviewer on behalf of GigglePics

This whole album was recorded in one take, as a live session, and this is very apparent from the recording quality and production. There’s a soft crackle and hiss throughout, reminding me of vinyl, lending a lovely warm tone to the whole collection, and a slight echo makes it feel like I’m sitting in an empty pub, Phil singing to me and the barman, as we cry (in a manly way) into our pints.

Phil says ‘I try and catch things quickly as the best things are here then gone…’, and I think that is portrayed very well here. Performing the tracks in one take means there are imperfections, but they just add to the emotion. The track ‘Reading the Signs’ is a personal favourite of mine. Phil’s intonation and instrumentation reminding me of ‘The Times They Are a Changin’ by Bob Dylan, and does a wonderful job have taking something very personal and sombre, and turning it into a reflective, uplifting piece of music.

None of the tracks are particularly long, with the longest, ‘Who’s Gonna Love Me Now’ sitting at a fraction over three and a half minutes, where the guitar is more aggressive in its tone. With this short snippets of emotion, you get just long enough to be drawn in, before Phil moves onto another story. Whether intentional or not, this lends itself to collection that doesn’t struggle to keep your attention.

‘A Big Man’ was another track that caught my attention, as it picks up the tempo a bit more, a reflects more of a country sound. There is a masterful pace change halfway through the track that took me by surprise, before smoothly dropping back into the main trunk of the song. I’m not massively into my country music, but this track manages to grab you by the scruff of the neck, and go ‘I’m a stereotypical country track’ without sounding silly or contrived.

The EP closes with ‘Sandy Theme’, which is jarringly different to the rest of the track, and seems almost like an afterthought. This is the only ‘negative’ thing I have to say about the collection as a whole. The tracks are numbered interestingly, starting at 8, and finishing with 19 and 22. this may go to explaining the jarring nature, as there may be more to come that helps to complete this journey.

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