The Skip Heller Trio
Mean Things Happen in this Land
Mean Things Happening in this Land is a jazz record that has crossover appeal. The trio plays in the tradition of B3 organ combos laying down a funky groove with sharp soloing. It's straight ahead enough to keep the jazz snobs happy. Those jazz snobs probably won't notice that the "standards" Heller interprets include "Dear God" from XTC, "Motel Room in My Bed" from punk legend X and mosh pit favorite, "Punk Rock Girl." It's a little strange to hear these songs done as instrumental jazz workouts, but that's cool. While Heller doesn't sing, song titles "Heckuvajob," "President Nero?" and "Katrina Mon Amour" reflect Heller's social conscience. The disc ends with guest vocalist Lisa Christian singing "Aragon Mill." The song sends us on our way with a vivid impression of the sort of mean things that are happening in this land.