The Liner Notes for Off The Cuff

 

People are talking. What they’re saying’s not important. They’re just people talking. You hear strange noises.

A bowling ball spins by. Some brass band comes marching out of nowhere. Everyone’s so caught up talking they don’t hear a damn thing, can’t sense what’s happening right under their noses.

That’s how Off The Cuff opens — with “Voices,” a track about confusion and obliviousness.


  Off the Cuff is a call to arms. LC Wells wants people to listen. If they did, they’d realize that while they’re talking, bad folks are busy scheming:

The gold-digger  in “Looking for Mr. T” who rides a Bo Diddley beat straight into some sucker’s bank account; the false prophets in “Not in the Name of God”; the morally bankrupt politicos in “Living a Lie.”

They’d understand the bad vibes and sense of foreboding in “Storm Warning.”


  Life’s not all bad, though. For every moment of fear or betrayal or paranoia on Off the Cuff,

there’s a moment of beauty as antidote.

  In “Woman in the Snow” a mother bids a sad goodbye to her son; “Cave Jam” is a 90-second burst of scorching guitar work.


Wells pays tribute to musical heroes on “Dizzy Heights” — dedicated to the incomparable Dizzy Gillespie — and “What If,” a track that imagines the musical roads Hendrix might’ve traveled.

The show-stopper is “Paralysis through Analysis,” a blazing-fast Coltrane-inspired track.


  The sounds on this record are influenced as much by Wells’s observations as they are his diverse influences — Hendrix, Cream, Zappa, James Brown, Miles, Coltrane, Charlie Parker, the list goes on. Off the Cuff also features a number of great players.


Mike Longo (Dizzy Gillespie’s music director of many years) and Marty Laskin play great solos on “Dizzy Heights.” Allan Namery damn near expires taking the sax solo on “Paralysis through Analysis.” JB Lessen (guitar, harmonica), Susan Diedrichsen (vocals) and co-producer Jay Dittamo(percussion) contribute to multiple tracks.

Off The Cuff