Henry Wolfe: Linda Vista

Written by April 5th, 2011 at 11:42 am

Henry Wolfe
Linda Vista
(Undermountain Music)
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Henry Wolfe’s latest record Linda Vista plays like the soundtrack to a cocktail party after a sunny California day. The son of actress Meryl Streep and artist Don Gummer, Los Angeles musician Wolfe comes by his old Hollywood charm naturally, though he foregoes the glitz and glamour of his parents in favor of a more timeless, classic sound. The album, recorded live rather than track by track, is classy and tasteful, with simple arrangements and understated vocals comprising its majority. Opening track “Used to Be” saunters along with the jazzy swagger of an unadorned guitar and occasional brass, with Wolfe’s tale of a love gone wrong pushing and pulling right along with the beat of the snare. Most tracks, like “Open the Door,” “The Third Act,” and “Van Nuys” stay on the softer, prettier side, which suits Wolfe’s gentle voice and delivery. The title track, an upbeat instrumental number, allows the band to show off its musical chops a little more and is placed well within the context of the rest of the album. The record could use a little more sonic variation to move it along, but overall it’s a nice collection of songs that would be just as suited for a Hollywood jazz club of decades past as it is for driving down today’s crowded highways after a long day at the office.

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