LP is 180 Gram Vinyl, Tip-On Jacket, Download Card & 4 Page Insert.
CD is Tip-On, "Mini"-LP Jacket w/ Insert.
We can try as hard as we can to make sense of Promenade Blue, but in reality, context isn’t really needed because the music on the album is so damn magnificent. In no uncertain terms, it represents Waterhouse’s finest hour as a writer and bandleader — leveraging the musical partnerships he has built over many years to put something forth that is so fully realized and felt that it sparkles beatifically, reverberating with energy, heart, creativity, and vibe from start to finish. Nowhere is this more evident than on the album’s opening track, “Place Names,” perhaps the most remarkable song in the Waterhouse catalogue.
The album twists and turns from the opening to the close — from swinging, sashaying jazz and blues (“Spanish Look”) to jittering, crystalline doo wop (“Very Blue”) and pure, loose, languid mood music with just a hint of Mulatu Astatke’s Ethiopian modal magic (“Promène Blue”). Most striking, perhaps, is the use of men’s voices as a backing texture, bringing an unexpected thematic unity to many of the songs. Lower-than-low gospel chants and refrains lend both energy and emotional weight to these pieces, conjuring a whole new mythic world for Nick’s compositions. This is a statement album, one to get lost in and rediscover over and over again.
In the Waterhouse catalogue, “Promenade Blue” represents rebirth and reinvigoration as well as a clarity of purpose that elevates it and may one day set it apart as something resembling a magnum opus. It’s his ‘Gatsby’ and it’s also his way of reintroducing himself to a fanbase that has grown by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. On this record, he paints a mythic picture of his own life — lost in confusion, grating against time, overheated by false memories, being baptized by nostalgia and a vision of the future that is paradoxically both dark and apocalyptic and sparkling with promise. Sounds a lot like America in the 20s to me. Which 20s though? Which color — green or blue? Which author? Try to figure it out for yourself: