An incredible document of late 60s America – composed and conducted by Gary McFarland
, in a style that's much more ambitious than any of his other work! The album's fully titled "America The Beautiful: An Account Of Its Disappearance" – and features "movements" with very telling subtitles that include "On This Site Shall Be Erected", "80 Miles An Hour Through Beer Can Country", "Suburbia: Two Poodles And A Plastic Jesus", and our personal favorite, "Due To A Lack Of Interest, Tomorrow Has Been Cancelled". Gary
's really wearing his politics on his sleeve here – picturing a late 60s America that's without hope, without revolution, and clearly in danger of falling prey to its own plasticization. The whole thing's a wonderful antidote to the "revolution is coming" side of the 60s that is more popularly pushed – and Gary
was one of the few musicians at the time with an eye that was clear enough to see that in the 60s, you could sing "The Times Are A-Changing" – but in reality, the corporations were a-growing! Musically, the album features a larger group of jazz players working in a full, rich style that has lots of soundtrack touches. There's a real Axelrod-like feel to the set – with string passages one minute, funky rhythms the next – and some breakout jazz soloing that really colors the tunes nicely! Players include Jerome Richardson, Eric Gale, Bernard Purdie, and Chuck Rainey – and Gary
's mostly doing the conducting on the set.