Dave Pellicciaro is a bit of a legend in the San Francisco music scene. He was a member of the defunct band Tough Mama, he organizes the playshops at High Sierra Music Fest every year, he plays with practically anyone who comes to SF, and is a frequent guest with the Jackmormons, Code Green, and others. His prowess on the Hammond B3 organ is well known across the Bay.

Mighty Dave has finally released a new album titled Short Goodbyes--The Permanent Collection. According to Pellicciaro, the making of the album was a 18-month endeavor and features many guests including Dale Fanning and Arne Livingston (Living Daylights), Jon Evans (Tori Amos, Paula Cole), Eric McFadden (P-Funk, Stockholm Syndrome, EMT), Reggie Watts (Maktub), Mic Gillette and Johnnie Bamont (Tower Of Power), Karl Perazzo (Santana), Jennifer Newell (Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey), Eenor (Les Claypool), and many others.

The CD is a collection of songs rather than instrumental jams or improv. Most are slower R&B influenced ballads, which are reflective and somber in tone and seem to be a personal statement by Pellicciaro, who wrote, recorded, and produced the album. "Here and Now" is a poppy, upbeat number with horns and swirling organ complimenting Mighty Dave's vocals which sounds a bit like Bruce Cockburn here. The country-tinged "The Big One" is a ballad where M.D. almost channels John Prine in his delivery. There is even a spoken word number, "Debilitalia," in which Dave's recitations are read over spooky percussion and Eenor's spacey guitar. But the highlight of the album is a song where Pellicciaro hands over the vocal duties to Maktub's Reggie Watts, the beautiful love ballad "Several Times A Day," which Watts delivers with honeyed soul.

Big arrangements with lots of layers, horns aplenty, and lots of organ too, but too many slow ballads to give this recording much needed variety. It is an ambitious and honest effort, a labor of love for Pellicciaro who uses his guests' talents well and produces a nice sounding work.

Susan J. Weiand
JamBase | San Francisco
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[Published on: 11/1/04]

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