Minor7th Reviews Traveling Salesman

October 29th, 2008

By David Kleiner

Notice the striking (and ecological) packaging of this CD. Iadanza dedicates the record to his grandfather, Sam — a traveling salesman. Every detail reflects that this album is a labor of love. The songs bring to musical life the thoughts of the salesman as he drives from one place to another, sometimes late at night (“Night Light Lullaby”). The lyrics tend to jump like thought, from thing to thing (“And I’ve got this new pad, and you’re the first word I felt inspired to write. Hey, maybe you’re not feeling much different inside”). But the tendency toward disunity is more than offset by the consistency of the concept and the arrangements. One of Iadanza’s best moves was securing the trio “Gathering Time” to spice up the vocals (“Your Song”) and take the edge off his gritty voice. Thanks to them and Carolin Pook’s fiddle playing and arranging, many of the tunes really swing (“Lovers in the Park,” “The Barn”). Credit, as well, to Jon Castelli’s engineering for maintaining clarity throughout. As Joe the Traveling Salesman, Iadanza has surely made Sam proud.

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please note: The author misinterpreted (from the album’s dedication) that my grandfather Sam was a traveling salesman. He was not – he actually was the president of the NYC cemetery workers union for many years until his retirement. The inspiration he provided was (and is) one of spiritual strength and faith in walking my path.