Chazz Dixon - Anachronism (2020)

Chazz Dixon
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Chazz Dixon - Anachronism

Anachronism (noun): a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned.

The title of Chazz Dixon’s latest project makes it clear that he is not one of these artists who worries about making music that is relevant to this time and age. He won’t be bothered that some will label his songs as dated - or the less biting though equally judgmental labels, retro, old-school of dusty (for my Chi town peeps).

Dixon is Smokey Robinson’s vocal doppelganger, which means that he has a sound that is classic and instantly recognizable. And on Anachronism, Dixon leans into the kind of up-tempo tunes and balladry that address matters of the heart with the kind of instrumental arrangements that have a 1980s feel.

Chazz Dixon - Anachronism

Anachronism (noun): a thing belonging or appropriate to a period other than that in which it exists, especially a thing that is conspicuously old-fashioned.

The title of Chazz Dixon’s latest project makes it clear that he is not one of these artists who worries about making music that is relevant to this time and age. He won’t be bothered that some will label his songs as dated - or the less biting though equally judgmental labels, retro, old-school of dusty (for my Chi town peeps).

Dixon is Smokey Robinson’s vocal doppelganger, which means that he has a sound that is classic and instantly recognizable. And on Anachronism, Dixon leans into the kind of up-tempo tunes and balladry that address matters of the heart with the kind of instrumental arrangements that have a 1980s feel.

Of course, Robinson is known as much for his lyricism as for his sweet tenor that could be playful, seductive and vulnerable - often in the same song. Robinson is top rank among songwriters, but Dixon shows that he has the same kind of wit on tracks such as “Dizzy” and “You Got Me.”  Both tracks cover the same territory topically in that they tell the story of a guy who is smitten and knocked off center by lady. Musically, the numbers cover that ground in different ways: “You Got Me” is an up-tempo, bouncy number that features call and response vocals and tight vocal harmonies. “Dizzy” is a funky mid-tempo cut with a driving and percussive bass line and witty word play.

Dixon moves easily into the Quiet Storm lane with tracks such as “Don’t Wait,” “Who’s It Gonna Be” and “Think it Over.” “Who’s It Gonna Be,” a track that was featured on a First Listen, and “Think It Over,” both showcase the vulnerable side of Dixon’s vocal personality in that both find the singer making appeals to a lady from the outside looking in. “Don’t Wait” finds the singer taking control on a track that where the lyrics possess the urgency of now. “Life is short/Bittersweet/But you I’ve got to keep” Dixon coos with a combination of intimacy and intensity.

Anachronism is a record that calls to mind those house parties where couples sit talking, laughing and eating. And then that one song comes on and some stand to dance while others fall into different kind of rhythm. Dixon was going for the vibe of that casual, relaxed time with friends on this musical time trip, and it is mission accomplished. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

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