Tom Waits Small Change on 180g LP from Warner Bros.
Singer-Pianist's Fourth Record Features Incredible Jazz Trio and Expressive Tales
180g LP Pressed at RTI
The Heart of Saturday Night, Nighthawks at the Diner, and Closing Time Also Available on 180g LP from Warner Bros.
Floozies, strippers, bartenders, loners, crooked cops, bouncers, and alluring counter waitresses are just a few of the colorful characters that inhabit Tom Waits' wry tales of skid-row and strip-tease adventures on the amazing Small Change, the singer's most cohesive, playful, and head-turning record to date. For the 1976 date, Waits and a crack jazz trio--tenor saxophonist Lew Tabackin, bassist Jim Highart, and drummer Shelly Manne--create a rhythmic, sympathetic set of tunes that traverse jump blues to lonesome piano ballads. The record includes the poignant "Tom Traubert's Blues," arguably Waits' most well-known song.
While Waits had mined seedy joints and sketchy patrons since his 1973 debut, they come into clearer focus here. So does Waits' increasingly prevalent wit and down-and-out comic humor. Rather than cry in his beer, he uses irony and jokes to kill the pain, and on the frantic “Step Right Up,” turns into a sleazy auctioneer on what is his initial foray into a voice that he'd revisit again during his career while skewering conventions, greed, and stupidity. Manne and company afford the singer a sodium-light moodiness that comes on like a blinking neon beer sign. Small Change is a masterwork of nocturnal emotion and lyrical poetry, with Waits perfecting drunken vocal inflections and the raspy, rubbery phrasings garnered from chief influence Louis Armstrong.
An artist whose popularity spans generations and is equally prized by both older and younger audiences, Waits' records remain in constant demand, particularly on vinyl, where they fetch top dollar on the used market. Despite several import LP versions, no edition of Small Change has ever claimed enhanced sound.
Tom Waits Small Change Track Listing:
1. Tom Traubert's Blues (Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)
2. Step Right Up
3. Jitterburg Boy
4. I Wish I Was in New Orleans
5. The Piano Has Been Drinking (Not Me)
6. Invitation to the Blues
7. Pasties and a G-String
8. Bad Liver and a Broken Heart
9. The One That Got Away
10. Small Change
11. I Can't Wait to Get Off Work