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Portland guitarist Ernest Hood was a fixture on the Pacific Northwest jazz scene in the ’50s and ’60s, both alongside his saxophonist brother Bill and in the ensemble the Way Out. When a bout of polio kept him from greater acclaim, he went into community broadcasting, helping to establish KBOO Radio.
In 1975, Hood recorded Neighborhoods, his lone album, and released it himself. The record drifts through Hood’s own childhood memories via tranquil piano, light synthesizer washes, and nimble zither runs. Hood gives the dreamy, melodic album further layers of sound by intermingling field recordings of crickets at night, passing thunderstorms, and children’s distant voices, creating the effect of the album being an open window to the world outside. Neighborhoods drifts past like cumulus clouds and evokes memories of a bygone era; by turns wistful and whimsical, it is a singular vision of one musician’s memories and remains a high point of the American private press. –Andy Beta User Comments