Maher Shalal Hash Baz | GEOG24 | Released: 17/11/03
A stunning new album by Maher Shalal Hash Baz, which is already being acclaimed in Japan as the most soulful, compassionate work of Tori Kudo's career. Recorded and mixed in two memorable sessions in East Kilbride Arts Centre by David Scott, Blues Du Jour is an accessible, beautiful album which often seems infused by the kind of slow-motion melancholy sound we associate with certain west of Scotland music. As if to confirm this, upon completing the session, group leader, Tori Kudo, picked out a painting of the Finnieston Crane as the perfect cover art. Blues Du Jour is the first new album of Maher Shalal Hash Baz songs since their legendary 83 song opus, Return Visit To Rock Mass. This time round Maher managed to get it down in 41 songs, culminating in Kudo running through his remaining scores until each composition had been assigned the status, 'masterpiece' or 'rubbishy little song'. In a way this little comedy had a bittersweet truth to it; a miniaturisation of the way that the world has heard Maher Shalal Hash Baz music, undecided whether it was musical or unmusical, graceful or gauche, sophisticated-naive or just unfinished. It's as if Tori Kudo felt his music had to fend for itself.