Purveyors of everything from crime jazz to ’70s blaxploitation-style soundtracks to scary circus music to sitcom theme songs, The Jack Silverman Ordeal mine a musical terrain far left of the typical Music City fare. Featuring 10 original instrumental compositions along with a wacked-out recasting of The Meters’ “Cissy Strut,: the band’s eponymous debut weaves together infectious grooves, haunting melodies, stellar ensemble playing, a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek musical humor, and of course Silverman’s singular guitar work — a blend of lyricism, dissonance, haunting melodies, tongue-in-cheek musical humor and imaginative improvisation that avoids (or at times lampoons) the rote clichés of the six-string canon.
Silverman spent the first couple decades of his musical career playing in rock and jazz bands in Providence, R.I., New York City, and his hometown of Cleveland, before moving to Nashville in the late ’90s. For years he worked as a sideman with artists such Jason White, Jim Hoke, Kristi Rose, Brady Seals and Mitch Ryder, to name just a few. After years of playing other people’s music, he decided it was time to start bringing to life the odd little symphony he’d been hearing in his head for years.
After a couple of years composing music and gigging around Nashville, Silverman decided it was time to record. He tapped world-renowned bassist Viktor Krauss, known for his work with artists as broad-ranging as Lyle Lovett and Bill Frisell, to produce and play bass on the album. Krauss was a natural fit — in addition to his seminal work with Frisell, he’s released two critically acclaimed albums of his own instrumental music, and has performed with Silverman for years. The record also features stellar contributions from drummer Derrek Phillips (Charlie Hunter, Greg Osby), keyboardist Tyson Rogers (Tony Joe White, Don Williams, Chris Stamey and cutting-edge jazz outfit The Blueprint Project) and finally trombonist Roy Agee, whose twisted musical contributions on several tracks serve as the perfect brass counterpoint to Silverman’s own demented digressions.