It’s been 15 years since their last album, and much like a comet sighting or the in-unison crescendo of periodical cicadas, the return of the amazing and distinct genius of Leo Kottke and Mike Gordon with Noon is a welcomed sight and sound.
Since the release of their tropical sophomore release, Sixty-Six Steps, Gordon has kept the motor running with his full-time and notable bass gig with the band Phish, and Kottke has traveled the by-way circuit in a rental car packed full of guitars — both gathering inspiration for this dynamic album of funky acoustic and fuzzy creole jazz.
The warm gravel of Kottke’s vocals, combined with the smooth layered pitch of Gordon’s, provides a classic whip of cookies and cream with a touch of salt.
With the accompaniment of Brett Lanier on pedal steel, cellist Zoë Keating and Jon Fishman on drums, Noon makes a subtle departure from the previous duo-only albums.
Tracks like the whimsical bop of “Flat Line,” twisty lush of “Eight Miles High” and bluesy stomp cover of Prince’s “Alphabet Street,” make Noon the perfect brew of sun-tea that beckons a glass full of ice, rocking chair, box fan and front porch.
– Chris Rucker