Tom Waits 1973 debut album Closing Time is more of a late night record than an early morning record… although I suppose those two things can be the same.
Today I find myself with a couple of hours free before work, house to myself and a newly cleaned thrift store copy of Closing Time on my turntable… what a treat!
This record manages to be both folk and jazz at the same time. Waits’ trademark raspy drawl and night club piano is backed by plenty of muted horns, stand-up bass and brushed drums. The songs range from cocky and defiant to introspective to vulnerable… mostly the latter.
The album has a real fly-on-the-wall feel, like you were invited into the Troubadour after party where the musicians were winding down from a night on stage. The album cover art really captures this feel as much as any album cover I can recall.