The Lounge Lizards: The Punch and Judy Tango


The Punch and Judy Tango


The Lounge Lizards


Big Heart: Live in Tokyo (Antilles 314-510089-4)

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John Lurie (sax), Roy Nathanson (sax), Curtis Fowlkes (trombone), Marc Ribot (guitar),

Erik Sanko (bass), Dougie Bowne (drums), EJ Rodriguez (percussion)


Recorded: Tokyo. February, 1986


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

John Lurie's Lounge Lizards were known for injecting their unique brand of humor into their compositions – adding elements of surprise and sideways logic to 'normal' jazz contexts. On “The Punch And Judy Tango,” a fairly basic tango is taken 'out' with bursts of squeaky horns, film noir percussion, an argument between the sax and the trombone, and a piano solo that slowly dissolves into a mere shell of the tune's motif. All of this is supported by the song's heart & soul: the surfy guitar of Marc Ribot. From his twangy statement of the head to the skronky outbursts to the busted arpeggios, Ribot plays with attitude and abandon. You can almost imagine the red rose clutched between his teeth.

Reviewer: Mark Saleski


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