Chandler Travis Philharmonic Blows!
Chandler Travis Philharmonic
3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
by William Ruhlmann
Guitarist and singer Chandler Travis is a bandleader with a sense of humor, and his nonet Chandler Travis Philharmonic can be described as a sort of demented Dixieland outfit, notably on the leadoff track on this album, “Mid-Morning in Moscow,” and on “Tomatohead Blues,” a left-handed rewrite of “Potatohead Blues.” But that’s only the beginning. Depending on his whim, Travis may turn to quirky folk-pop, as he does on “Anne,” which finds him pleasantly propositioning a neighbor, or to dub reggae, as on “Work It.” Also a member of the Incredible Casuals, he details that band’s travails on “The Day the Casuals Went to Sweden.” As a big-band leader, Travis isn’t quite Spike Jones, but he is some ways down the road in the direction, and like Jones, he manages to get some impressive musicianship out of his bandmates, even as they support his zany ideas.