Weba Garretson
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Weba Garretson

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"The name comes from an Italian kind of pasta. The lineup is made of Weba
Garretson (vocals), Joe Baiza (guitar), Wayne Griffin (drums) and Ralph Gorodetsky
(bass)...there is a clear blues'n'jazz root in what they do, which surely has nothing to do
with your typical "easy going" showcase of kerranging riffs and screaming vocals
for headbanging pleasures. At times, Garretson could even remind someone of a
more vocally corpulent version of Annette Peacock; indeed, in "Shiny red box" I
myself was thinking about Peacock's contribution to Bill Bruford's "Feels good to
me". There is something genuinely appealing in this band, though; the recording
sounds like captured in a garage, but some of the elements are refined and telling in
a sensual kind of way. The rhythm section is tightly seamed, without concessions to
any lustre, and some of the arrangements wear like deliciously battleworn clothes on
the ears; there's even a Captain Beefheart cover ("Lick my decals off, baby") that
closes the show, and a (probably involuntary) tip of the hat to Jethro Tull in "Red
haired woman". All in all, "Puttanesca" is a nice melange of honesty and passion. - Massiom Ricci


Puttanesca began with a meeting between Weba Garretson, artist vocalist and cabaret performer, and Joe Baiza, considered one of the best guitarists in circulation at the moment . with them: Wayne Griffin and Ralph Gorodetsky. more than once, they shared different kinds of musical experiences with baiza. Although the meeting of the 4 happened more than 10 years ago, only this year we get the chance to listen something more definitive from the puttanesca project. The result is an album with 10 unpublished songs and a cover-track ( (Lick my decals off, baby by the good "captain beef-heart") that ranges over several genres and creates -each time- a personal rereading of the jazz, punk and blues. Among dissonances and virtuosity, never much intrusive and with an end in itself, the songs are leaded by the charismatic voice of Weba who leads us by hand in a courageous and intriguing album that could be a very good listening even for that great deal of ' indiesomething' people which would get a pleasant and interesting diversion in their pile of cds. - Beautiful Freaks


"Blending the free form of jazz, the dischord and
aggression of punk, the eclecticism of Joe Baiza and Weba
Garretson's electrifying and liberated lyrics, Puttanesca is a saucy
dish full of spice. - Any Given Tuesday


"And then there's "White Nylon" where you get more bang for your buck when Garretson goes for a groovy/sexy/cool slow vocal that tells a tale of trying on white nylons and
fishnets in the attic, while the band hits the Minutemen zone perfectly as
the drums rumble chaotically into the solo. In fact, the whole rhythm
section sounds like you could push 'em down the stairs as they played and
they'd still land on their feet, bashing out an amazingly beautiful
disjointed undercurrent to the song." - Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth?


On the Italian web, the only information - that is, attention - available on Joe Baiza's new
project, dubbed Puttanesca, can be found on the webpages of the unbrucoblu site.
that's a pity, for the encounter between performer Weba Garretson and Joe's guitar is so
sparkling fresh as to obliterate the efforts of any indie rocker
struggling with ghosts and semblances of modern antiquities usually labeled as "angular"
(among other things).

Puttanesca's vital backbone is made up free-flowing electric jazz vs punk attitude, blues and contemporary music, Saccharine Trust's signature approach long before the us maple.

Puttanesca is a spicy dish driven by the tight triangle [here the original "triello" refers to the final scene os sergio leone's "the good, the bad and the ugly", with the duel between three] of Weba's vocals and tantalizing crooning, pop-concised (at least in terms of average duration of tracks) standards and, obviously, Baiza's guitar voice, ever oscillating between stabs and open wounds.

"Shift", the opening track, introduces to an idiosyncratic, sticky sound, ideal territory for Baiza's clockwork, razor sharp interferences. Razorsharp but also deliberately imprecise, as they are not only about technique but drift sometimes toward visceral, wild jams. Such freeform approach harnessed within a structured narrative is made clearer in the following track, ending in a most memorable baiza-style solo. "Shiny Red Box" is among the album's most impressive tracks: the same formula is applied to a crossbred white funk, driven by Ralph Gorodetsky's bass and highlighted by Jacky Klimek's baritone-sax intermission, which saturates the groove into a marvelous finale, where Baiza's guitar embraces a vibraharp-like resonance.

From here on, the CD is a monolith of fun and balance, constantly oscillating between Weba's sketches and Baiza crooks, renouncing schizophrenia in favor of a more functional overall outcome. Tracks like "Red Haired Woman" (the longest of the cd) and "Watch Out" are the exceptions here, being based on a dispersion of the textures that sustain Puttanesca's music. The first introduces Vince Meghrouni's sax in the final minute, when Baiza resorts to a feverish, squirming progressive jazz; the second, shaped along the lines of a King Crimsonesque
ellipse, spins spiral obsessions reminiscent of "fish and roses"-era Sue Garner.

The final track evokes one of the undercurrents of the Puttanesca project, the very olive on the pasta, in a gastronimical pleasantry: "Lick my Decals off, Baby", a treacherous, Beefheartian debauchery caught in the net of Baiza's universe.

- Indie Eye/Italian review translated


For the record industry, so often afflicted by the dreadful menace of the mainstream, the months of December and January usually offer hope for higher quality releases, a time of year when many emerging bands decide to move their first steps inside this multi-faceted universe.

Early 2007 in particular brought a batch of fresh new bands you‚d better check out. One of these new entries is Puttanesca. The LA-based band formed in 1996 but only last year did they release, after a ten years‚ warm-up, their same-titled debut album. And it's exactly the tightness and smooth interaction between their members, musicians extraodinaire Joe Baiza (guitar), Weba Garretson (vocals), Ralph Gorodetsky (bass) and Wayne Griffin (drums), that places Puttanesca among the most interesting acts out there. Their music oscillates between the refined and the sophisticated, the explosive and the restrained, streaked by impulses and flashes of pure genius, constantly tending toward a mix of genres as different as punk and acid jazz, blues and funk and psychedelia.

The opening track, "Shift" can be ideally divided into two parts: after an intimate intro where the tone is set by Weba's caressing voice (against a soft background of scratchy drums) in the second, more spirited part, guitar and bass tinge the vocals with psychedelic nuances.
Next up are the blues redundancies of "Fruit Filled Pancake" where Baiza's shamanic touch produces a twitching yet elegant solo. But also the aggressive approach gets its due: punk-oriented "Shiny Red Box" blends harder-than-usual chords (and another great, screeching guitar solo) with a layer of warm and fascinating saxophones.

The odd tempos of "Firecracker Girl" find fertile ground in the crooner's timbre of the voice, with Weba smartly adding a pinch of soft funk to the whole. But it's with track number five, "Action Hero" that all members of the band impress their own personal mark on the final result: while the guitar evades its rhythm duties venturing alone to reclaim visibility, the bass feels more in the fore and the voice finds new depths along with new tools to explore them (just think of the falsetto ) and the tempo is set more resolutely by the drums, now a little less obliging than in the previous tracks. - Storiadellamusica


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Still working on that hot first release.

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