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Cloning Americana

For Which It Stands

(Sunnyside; US: 30 Aug 2011; UK: 30 Aug 2001)

Cloning Americana is a muted jazz super group, the coming together of saxophonist Billy Drewes, pianist Gary Versace, bassist Scott Lee, and drummer Jeff Hirshfield. The band’s name, the album’s name, the album’s Jasper Johns-like cover art and the bitter quotation (complete with an explanation of the quotation underneath it) on the back of the album point us to an impression that these four warhorses are a bunch of sad and angry soon-to-be ex-pats. But if you were to ignore press material and shrug the expression “what’s in a name?” to yourself, you’ll find that Drewes and company aren’t mining anything particularly edgy. Despite the group’s cynical attitude towards modern America’s lack of cultural and domestic sensitivity, For Which It Stands is a pretty soft album that barely calls attention to itself. To refer to the skewed harmonies of “Wetlands” as “quiet protest” is almost too weighty of a label.

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