Down home, southern, twangy—these are terms that people might use after hearing saxophonist Myron Walden’s latest CD. Well, he took some initiative, letting listeners know what to expect, by calling his album Countryfied. A departure from his previous ambitious efforts, the In This World series and his Momentum project, Walden goes back in time for this release—back to his childhood, that is. The New York City resident reached back to his early years in Florida, to channel the spirit of the Saturday night chitlin’ circuit juke joints, Sunday morning Baptist church sermons and the bridge between the two.
The title track and “Double Dippin’ ” are organ-blessed songs meant for sexy slow grinding. Despite the salacious undertones of those cuts, songs like “I Cain’t Do Nomore” and “When My Body Gets Weak” showcase aching pleas for salvation. Walden’s solos throughout are dark and complex, remarkably disguised as straightforward pop/blues technique. You won’t have to be a jazz fan or a country fan to enjoy this set, because it’s not really either. It’s just fun, soothing, “countryfied” music.