Sunday, April 20, 2008

Taxi! I Say Taxi! Taxi Mary!

Another track from 1982 (yeah yeah I know but it was such a great year for pop music), this time from the closing overs of the career of Australian band Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons. 'Taxi Mary' was taken from the 'Cha' album and reached #11 on the local charts late in '82. Technically both album and single were credited to just Jo Jo Zep - the alter-ego of rock journeyman Joe Camilleri but in tow were long time Falcon Jeff Burstin along with the featured vocals of Jane Clifton. Clifton would go on to have a solo Australian #13 hit with 'Girl On The Wall' in early 1984.

'Taxi Mary' stood out for me then as it does now because of it's blatent eccentricity of style. Yet at the heart of the song lies a group of musicians whose craft was finely honed, drawing on and incorporating a jazz fusion baseline with funk-brass and salsa style overtones.

Jo Jo Zep (the band) wouldn't mark the end of Camilleri's prolific contribution to the Australasian musicscape. Soon after they wrapped up with a live tour in '84 Camilleri unveiled his new project The Black Sorrows. As far as chart success goes the Sorrows performed every bit as well as Zep & The Falcons. But for mine Jo Jo Zep plus or minus The Falcons really stamped itself as being at the cutting edge of development in the Australian pop-rock scene in the late '70s early 80s. As an aside the original lineup of Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons reunited in 2003 to record the album 'Ricochet'.

Check out the hip clip here:

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