Sept. 30, 200

The Dangling Success – Down on Houston

July 27, 2012

I became aware of The Dangling Success about 3 years ago when this smooth group released its sophomore release City Lights. What a cool project that was. They are now backwith Down on Houston, a project that is mostly a cool, rather unassuming and humble yet funky offering.

The group makes clear in its press materials, as well as in live performances, I’m sure, that the title is not a reference in any way to Houston, TX. Rather, it refers to one of the artistic meccas of New York City. In fact, the pronunciation is even different. This Houston is pronounced House-ton. If the music heard here is indicative of what one might hear there, I must make it a point to visit.

As stated above, for the most part, this CD has an interesting cool quality to it. While it has rhythm, drive, and melody, the band has approached the tunes with a pretty chilled-out vibe while still maintaining a good funky edge on select tracks. Tracks like “Bling,” “Sidewalk Soul,” “Bryant Park,” and “Mysterious” are good examples, and tracks like “Coney Island” and the title track are even more laid back, like that carefree stroll along a beach with that special someone. Speaking of the title track, you’ll love the easy, gliding scatting here. Very catchy, as is the overall tune.

The up-tempo “dancers” here would be “Latin Dance,” “Gigi’s Café,” and “Playing Hooky,” while the mid-tempo “Blue Martini” carries a swagger with its groovalicious melody.

It makes sense that a band that approached its first two CDs with an air of both enjoyment and seriousness would strike the pose it strikes here on its latest project. You can sense the serious attention to detail while also sensing that it must have been fun pulling this production together. You will find yourself thoroughly enjoying the melodies in particular. A very satisfying album indeed. – Ronald Jackson