Tea Leaf Green
Tea Leaf Green is a jubilant, progressive California quartet that has drawn most of its fan base by virtue of its live shows. But the grooving jam band certainly pours its heart out on its latest CD, combining clever songwriting with a landscape of swirling, twirling instrumental passages. The album is chock-full of sweet rhythms, intense keyboards and Zappa/Jeff Beck-ish guitar licks, with an unmistakable touch of ‘70s funk. It features nine pleasing, dance-inducing numbers (track 4, “Sister Said,” is merely a hazy, 30-second spoken-word ditty), in which structured Wilco-like Americana-style songs fuse into flowing, drawn-out jams.
Joyous jamming rules the CD, as Trevor Garrod’s quick-handed keyboards are at the forefront every bit as much as Josh Clark’s clever guitar licks. The first three stretched-out tracks, “Reservoir,” “Sex in the ‘70s” and “Panspermic De-evolution,” combine to clock in at over 23 minutes.
Midnight on the Reservoir is a lot of fun, offering jam-filled songs like "Sea Monkeys" and "Hot Dog," but the CD also includes an obligatory love song, "I Believe." And just to remind you graying-templed music fans that it’s a new, younger generation of hedonistic neo-hippie bands out there, consider this lyric: "Mama tell me ’bout the sex you had in the ‘70s." The disc finishes up with "Sleepwalker," a beautiful noodling space-jam, which stands as suitable accompaniment for star gazing or enhancing your favorite herbal tobacco experience.