egroj world: octubre 2015

sábado, 31 de octubre de 2015

The Bent Scepters • Blind Date With Destiny

Review by Barry Weber
The Bent Scepters made their debut in 1996 with Blind Date with Destiny, an album similar to the recordings of such bands as Weezer. While the record suffers from too many instrumentals and occasionally naïve lyrics, it is clear that the group didn't have any intentions other than having the listeners have as much fun as they were having while recording. These "party" songs, such as the irresistible "Take it Like a Man" and the rowdy tune "Gassed," all sound unique in their own way despite the fact that they are all quite short and are highlighted by similar guitar rhythms. It may not be a classic release of the '90s, but Blind Date with Destiny has enough catchy melodies to have fans of the genre looking forward to the Bent Scepter's next release.

viernes, 30 de octubre de 2015

Sergio Mendes' • Favorite Things

Richard ''Groove'' Holmes • Spicy!

Richard "Groove" Holmes (organ)
Gene Edwards,Ivan "Boogaloo Joe" Jones (guitar)
George Randall (drums)
Richie "Pablo" Landrum (congas)

Ben Paterson • For Once In My Life

New York based keyboardist and composer Ben Paterson is probably best known for his work as a pianist, notably as long-time sideman to Chicago saxophone giant Von Freeman, and as leader of his own trio. That may change however with his newest release. Here, Paterson shows why he has quickly become one of the top Hammond B3 players on the jazz scene today, combining influences from his former hometown of Chicago, and from his more recent surroundings in New York City. He is joined on this disc by two phenomenal sidemen, Peter Bernstein on guitar, and George Fludas on the drums, each representing a connection to these two great cities. Together this trio follows Paterson's lead, bringing a unique style and sound to the classic organ trio format.


Lynn August & The Hot August Knights • Zydeco Groove

Buddy DeFranco • The King of Clarinet

miércoles, 28 de octubre de 2015

Bill Doggett • Gon' Doggett

With his instrumental hit "Honky Tonk" in February 1956, Bill Doggett (born William Ballard Doggett) created one of rock's greatest instrumental tracks. Although it generated scores of offers to perform in rock & roll clubs throughout the United States, Doggett remained tied to the jazz and organ-based R&B that he had performed since the 1930s. Continuing to record for the Cincinnati-based King label until 1960, he went on to record for Warner Brothers, Columbia, ABC-Paramount and Sue. His last session came as a member and producer of an all-star jazz/R&B group, Bluesiana Hurricane in 1995.

VA • The Specialty Story #3

Joe Venuti & George Barnes • Gems

This matchup between violinist Joe Venuti and guitarist George Barnes works quite well. With fine accompaniment from rhythm guitarist Bob Gibbons, bassist Herb Mickman and drummer Jake Hanna, the lead voices are free to romp on the ten standards. There are many high points, including "I Want to Be Happy," "Oh Baby," "Hindustan" and "Lady Be Good."

martes, 27 de octubre de 2015

Pete Fountain • Cheek to Cheek

Pearl Django • Time Flies

Pearl Django is a jazz group established in 1994 in Tacoma, Washington by guitarists Neil Andersson and Dudley Hill, and bassist David "Pope" Firman. The group's stated focus is to incorporate the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with American swing music. Initially a trio, they have changed and added members over the years and are now a quintet. Based in Seattle, they have played around the United States, as well as in France and Iceland.
They played at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois-sur-Seine and at Juan de Fuca Festival. The have played with Martin Taylor, Bucky Pizzarelli and Gail Pettis, the two-time recipient of the Earshot Jazz ‘Jazz Vocalist Of The Year’ award. The british virtuoso Taylor turns up on three tracks of their 2011 album Eleven. Violinist Michael Gray, accordionist David Lange, bassist Rick Leppanen and guitarists Troy Chapman and Ryan Hoffman appeared 2012 live at Yoshi's San Francisco. On their 12th album, Time Flies, released 2015, all but one of the tracks are their own compositions, except one that is a classic bossa nova.

domingo, 25 de octubre de 2015

The Diplomats Of Solid Sound • Let's Cool One

Review by Mark Deming
In a world where the average person's knowledge of funk doesn't seem to go far beyond what Dr. Dre borrowed from George Clinton, it's a pleasure to have the Diplomats of Solid Sound around, who with cool and concision conjure up the shades of the Meters and Booker T. & the MG's on their 2003 album Let's Cool One. While it would be a mistake to say that Hammond handler Nate "Count" Basinger and his partners in crime are quite up to the level of their role models, they hit the target with a lot more accuracy than one might expect, and while these guys know how to brew up a percolating groove (try "Ribsticker" or "Swamp Chomp" and you'll see), they also have an admirably laid-back approach to old-school soul, knowing not to force it if it doesn't fit. Featuring 11 swank originals and a quality cover of Sly Stone's "You Can Make It if You Try," Let's Cool One doesn't stray terribly far from its influences, but these guys are just good enough to capture not just the sound but the ineffable feel of vintage instrumental soul, and they do it with taste, flair, and just the right amount of grit. And any band who not only knows enough to call a song "Pistol Allen" but makes the name-check stick must be doing something right. Cool stuff.

VA • The Specialty Story #2

J.B. Hutto • Hawk Squat

El maestro de la guitarra slide J.B. Hutto y su banda grabaron en 1968 “Hawk Squat”, uno de sus mejores discos con la participación del pianista Sunnyland Slim. Este año, el sello Delmark se encargó de reeditarlo con algunos temas extras, que dan cuenta de la forma como el estilo de Hutto se convirtió en inspiración para muchos otros guitarristas además de ser un documento del sonido crudo y fuerte de J.B. Hutto & His Hawks en ese momento. La voz de Hutto está en un alto nivel, muy áspera y perfecta para interpretar blues. “Hawk Squat” es un fino ejemplo del mejor blues urbano hecho en mucho tiempo y es el producto de la unión de veteranos músicos que no solo compartían escenarios sino también amistad, dándole de esta manera mucha naturalidad a su música.


Review by Bill Dahl
The raw-as-an-open-wound Chicago slide guitarist J.B. Hutto outdid himself throughout an outrageously raucous album (most of it waxed in 1966) anchored by an impossible-to-ignore "Hip-Shakin'," the blaring title cut, and savage renditions of "20% Alcohol" and "Notoriety Woman." Sunnyland Slim augments Hutto's Hawks on organ, rather than his customary piano.

Cannonball Adderley & The Bossa Rio Sextet • Cannonball's Bossa Nova

viernes, 23 de octubre de 2015

Tommy Emmanuel • It's Never Too Late

The virtuoso fingerstyle guitarist has long been a favorite of ours. It’s Never Too Late is an especially exciting release because it’s Emmanuel’s first completely solo studio recording in 15 years. On it, he covers a range of genres, including blues (“One Mint Julep”), Latin (“El Vaquero”) and folk (“The Duke”), handling it all with aplomb no matter what style he plays in or what technique he uses.

Tommy Emmanuel is not only one of Australia’s most respected musicians; his legendary guitar skills are admired the world over. The remarkable guitarist has been entertaining and mesmerising audiences for over five decades – a prolific career that has produced over 20 albums and two Grammy nominations, and has seen the artist honoured with the very rare title of “Certified Guitar Player”, by the eminent Chet Atkins. A virtuosic performer of his complex fingerstyle technique, Emmanuel has become a household name in Australia, recording an arsenal of solos, duets, ensemble works, covers, and originals on both his electric and acoustic guitars. On It’s Never Too Late, his first completely solo album since 2000, Emmanuel returns to the intricate acoustic mastery that has shaped his career.

His supreme layering ability resonates from the outset in the spirited joviality of Only Elliott, and continues to sing on the starry-eyed It’s Never Too Late, a title inspired by the recent birth of his daughter; and at 60 years old its sentiment could not ring truer. The relentless frenzy and innocent bliss of The Bug perfectly personifies its subject in less than 2 minutes, before Emmanuel effortlessly traverses continents and styles. He blends country and western and Spanish traditions with natural conviction on EL Vaquero, becomes intoxicated with the blues on the lumbering One Mint Julep, floats on dreamy folk in The Duke and One Day, as well as delving into more contemporary pop-oriented tracks.

An undeniable visionary with his instrument, Emmanuel not only explores different styles, but evokes a spectrum of distinctive emotions with visceral rawness. From comforting optimism on Hope Street, the rollicking wonder and joy of Travelling Clothes and T.E. Ranch, to an ethereal stillness that swathes Miyazaki’s Dream, and the wounded, but resolute, Blood Brothers.

When Emmanuel performs completely solo his outstanding, raw expertise is highlighted even more; the man is able to sing, strum, and drum not only with a single instrument, but in a single moment. It’s Never Too Late is not only a solid and brilliant example for any aspiring instrumentalist; studied guitarists and everyday music fans alike will admire and enjoy it.

VA • The Specialty Story #1

Review by Cub Koda
Label-owner Art Rupe was a savvy businessman who knew the black jukebox industry and what made it tick when he started his Specialty label in the late-'40s. This sumptuous five-disc box set contains a bevy of highlights from this seminal R&B/rock & roll label. Over the years, Rupe recorded a little bit of everything; early big band jump (the Liggins brothers), down-home blues and zydeco (Guitar Slim, Frankie Lee Sims, Clifton Chenier), gospel (early Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers), and doo wop (the Pentagons, Jesse Belvin). But with the discovery of the label's biggest star, Little Richard, in 1955, here is where the real story of rock & roll begins. A box set that no lover of the real thing can be without.

James Taylor Quartet • Live At The Jazz Cafe

Scorching 2008 live platter from this veteran British Acid Jazz outfit. With his trademark howling Hammond, James Taylor has a reputation as a solid and accomplished band leader. 'The Theme from Starsky and Hutch' cemented the band's reputation as masters of the Jazz/Funk/R&B workout. Formed in 1985, JTQ began playing music similar to the rare-groove Jazz-Funk then in vogue around London. By the early '90s, that movement had spawned Acid Jazz, and JTQ found itself at the forefront of a vibrant young club scene.

Stephane Grappelli & Toots Thielemans • Bringing It Together

This 1984 studio session finally appeared commercially on the Cymekob label in 1995, featuring violinist Stéphane Grappelli in a rare meeting with harmonica player Toots Thielemans; the rest of the group included guitarists Martin Taylor and Marc Fosset with bassist Brian Torff. Though producer Andy Kulberg claims in his notes that neither musician had recorded any of the songs, this is a bit of a stretch. Things get off to a good start with a swinging "Bye Bye Blackbird" and are only weighed down slightly by the tedious "Just the Two of Us" and Paul Simon's lightweight "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover." The rich ballad "Georgia on My Mind" rekindles the fire within the session and "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" is highlighted by Thielemans' matchless whistling. While this release could have been stronger with better chosen songs, it will be an essential acquisition for fans of either Grappelli or Thielemans.

T-Bone Walker • Feelin' The Blues

Vibraphonic • Acid Jazzizms

jueves, 22 de octubre de 2015

Butch Baldassari, John Carlini & Byron House • Reflections

Welcome to the world of Butch Baldassari and John Carlini, a place where acoustic string virtuosity and wide-ranging musical influences merge and diverge to create haunting aural images at once familiar and brilliantly explorational. Imagine Bill Monroe's hardscrabble roadhouse mandolin exploring both the uptown vistas of George Gershwin's elegant and romantic melodic sophistication, and the downtown modal improvisations of John Coltrane for a sense of the possibilities explored here. Reflections is filled with that kind of juxtaposition, where musical worlds collide to create their own unique planetary systems operating on rules of harmonic physics that should be contradictory, but in fact emerge as logical and elegant equations that reveal our musical common denominators.
The soloists here both have made indelible marks on today's propulsive and energetic acoustic music scene. John Carlini has been the man behind the curtain of the New Acoustic pyrotechnics, involved in everything from helping flatpicking legend Tony Rice absorb the jazz theory needed to energize his evocative playing to another level, to helping arrange and coordinate the ensemble playing of groups ranging from the David Grisman Quintet to the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble.
The latter association brought him into contact with Butch Baldassari, who in addition to being one of the true keepers of the Monroe-style bluegrass mandolin flame, has branched out to explore everything from turn-of-the-century mandolin orchestra performance pieces, Appalachian fiddle music, and his own brand of brilliant original acoustic string music.

The Madeira • Sandstorm

The Madeira plays surf music born of screaming wind over the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, deafening echoes of waves pounding the Gibraltar Rock, joyous late-night gypsy dances in the small towns of Andalucia, and exotic cacophony of the Marrakesh town
Genre: Rock: Surf Rock

miércoles, 21 de octubre de 2015

Jack McDuff • The Heatin System

Herbie Mann • Today!

This album by flutist Herbe Mann was arranged and conducted by Oliver Nelson and released in 1967 on Atlantic Records. It features Jimmy Owens on trumpet and Dave Pike on vibes among others, the groove is cool and swinging, with nice latin percussion by Carlos "Patato" Valdes.

Cal Tjader • La Onda Va Bien

Michel Camilo • What's Up ?

Review by Thom Jurek
Though he has recorded in many different contexts before, from duets to trios to big bands, Michel Camilo has released only one solo piano outing in his long career up to now, 2005's Solo, which revealed in intimate detail his tactile, technical facility. What's Up? is a few steps down the road. Comprised of seven originals and four covers, this date showcases the composer and pianist's love of harmony, texture, color, and rhythmic invention in performing solo jazz piano. Camilo is a wily and rangy player; he embraces the jazz piano tradition throughout this date, and extends it with Latin and classical music He opens with boogie and stride in the title cut; it's punchy, knotty, joyous, and swinging -- a fine ride through Camilo's blues imagination. Following this energetic opener is the moodier "A Place in Time," with its classical nocturne feel that explores varied hues and timbres inside a minor-key arrangement. Given its ethereality and shimmering nuance, it's a fine contrast to the opener. Camilo's love of rhythms is evident in his sprightly reading of Paul Desmond's "Take Five" and his own charging Latin powerhouse "Paprika," with its wide harmonic exploration in the right-hand chord voicings and his rumbling left hand that shifts accents every chorus. His version of "Love for Sale" is playful, elegant, and canny in its deep inquiry into the melody's possibilities for extrapolation -- his solo winds it out entirely without losing its essence. His reading of Compay Segundo's "Chan Chan" is rife with Afro-Cuban rhythmic accents even as it exposes both blues and son. "On Fire" is an exercise in pure technical mastery yet despite its intense right-hand arpeggios and ostinatos, its intricate lyric statement remains amid athletic rhumba, mambo, and salsa rhythms. In his closing ballad "At Dawn," one can hear traces of both Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, as space, and lyricism -- both direct and implied -- send the recording off with an elegant whisper. What's Up? is a commanding performance by a truly masterful, wildly creative jazz pianist and composer.

martes, 20 de octubre de 2015

VA • Jazz Fusion Giants

George Benson, Kenny Burrell,Wayne Shorter,Return To Forever,Eumir Deodato,Stanley Turrentine,John McLaughlin,

Gabor Szabo • Rambler

Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio while the Szabo quartet was in New York to perform at Carnegie Hall, RAMBLER is primarily a collection of bassist Wolgang Melz compositions. Mostly riff based, clever tunes like "Rambler" and "Reinhardt" (named for Melz’s son) allow for clean, dynamic playing from Szabo and excellent interplay with Melz’s exciting electric bass.

The Ventures • The Ventures Greatest Hits

VA • Cool Jazz Bossa Hits

Antonio Carlos Jobim,  Sergio Mendes,  Charlie Byrd & Stan Getz, Diana Krall,  Lalo Schifrin,  Astrud Gilberto,  Walter Wanderley,  Coleman Hawkins,

Oscar Peterson • Motions & Emotions

lunes, 19 de octubre de 2015

VA • West Coast Down Home Harmonica

Henry Mancini • The Music From Peter Gunn

Herbie Mann • Turtle Bay

Ken Peplowski Gypsy Jazz Band • Gypsy Lamento

This is a gypsy combo of the Django Reinhardt persuasion, rather than being fully-crazed wedding party cacophony. In fact, reedman Ken Peplowski makes matters even more specialized by concentrating on a preponderance of slow plodders rather than the frenetic hurtling that many gypsy jazz guitar outfits now prefer. The album's cover is slightly strange. Two pseudo-brides in billowing white silk cavort with a pair of goats. Is this what gypsy life entails?

Half of the compositions are written by the old Belgian guitar master Reinhardt, with Peplowski flanked by guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and Howard Alden, which is certainly an impressive way to be surrounded. This is a world where reeds are not always invited, but Peplowski smoothly slides in his clarinet and tenor saxophone, delivering some of the most sensitive solos of his career. Pizzarelli and Alden opt for steely picking, bright with a percussive attack, but it sounds like it's the former who's taking most of the solos.

The playing, arrangements and production qualities make this a disc to savor, even though it would benefit from a few more briskly trotting numbers. Peplowski's oozing clarinet closeness on "Anouman" sinks the listener into a less familiar Reinhardt tune. Next up, his tenor tone on "Crepuscule" is magnificent; sounding like the mic is buried deep inside its velvet-lined bowels.

 Violinist Aaron Weinstein isn't around much, but when he's soloing, the impact is noticeable. He's half slick sluice, half hot friction. The guitars engage in a dialogue during "I'm Confessin,'" the leader layers up both of his horns on "Please," conversing with himself, while it's just Peplowski and Pizzarelli together for the closing "Time On My Hands." This album is an oldster's reflection, but this is no bad thing. Peplowski burns up frequently during other sessions, so a reclined set makes for a pleasurable change.

Ken Peplowski: tenor saxophone, clarinet;
Bucky Pizzarelli,
Howard Alden: guitars;
Aaron Weinstein: violin;
Frank Tate: bass;
Chuck Redd: drums.

domingo, 18 de octubre de 2015

VA • It's Shuffle'n Ska Time With Lloyd The Matador Daley

Lloyd Daley also known as Lloyd's the Matador (born 12 July 1939, Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican electronic technician, sound system pioneer,studio engineer and reggae producer.
Daley had success in the early reggae period on his Matador label with artists like Jackie Mittoo ("Dark of the Sun") or The Scorchers ("Ugly Man").
His biggest hit came out in 1969 with Little Roy and his rasta song "Bongo Nyah" which became a long-time Jamaican number one.[citation needed] He then produced other popular singles for artists like The Abyssinians ("Yim Mas Gan") recorded 23 November 1972, The Ethiopians ("Owe Me No Pay Me"), Dennis Brown ("Things in Life")and ("Baby Don't do it"), The Wailing Souls ("Gold Digger"), the first recordings of The Gladiators ("Freedom Train", "Rockaman Soul"), Alton Ellis ("Back to Africa" and "Lord Deliver Us" another Jamaican hit), John Holt or The Paragons. In the book Reggae, The Rough Guide, Steve Barrow commented that the releases "...superbly demonstrate how Jamaica's musical heritage should be presented".
He also released many instrumental tunes with Johnnie Moore or Lloyd Charmers ("Zylon" was a 1969 hit) and dee-jay versions of his hits with artists like U-Roy ("Sound of the Wise" and "Scandal", both recorded in October 1969).[citation needed] In 1971, Daley released Little Roy's "Hard Fighter" version, recorded by The Hippy Boys, and named "Voo-doo". It was one of the first instrumental dub tunes where drum and the bass had a dominating role.
more / mas info en inglés ...

viernes, 16 de octubre de 2015

Lee Morgan • The Sidewinder

The Sidewinder es un álbum de jazz de 1964 del trompetista Lee Morgan. El tema que da nombre al álbum es uno de los temas que dio forma al género del soul jazz, convirtiéndose en un estándar jazz. Se publicó una versión editada como single. El álbum se convirtió en un éxito comercial, y una gran influencia - muchos álbumes posteriores de Lee Morgan, y otros discos de Blue Note, reprodujeron el formato de este álbum, comenzando con un blues funky seguido por varios temas hard bop.
Las 5 pistas del álbum cuentan con el saxo tenor Joe Henderson. También cuentan con el destacado batería Billy Higgins, y el contrabajo Bob Cranshaw, quien estuvo asociado durante largo tiempo con Sonny Rollins.
Todas las composiciones son del propio Morgan, siendo temas basados en el blues exceptuando el tema "Hocus Pocus" de estilo de la música de Cole Porter.


The Sidewinder is a 1964 album by the jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan, recorded at the Van Gelder Studio in Englewood, New Jersey, USA. It was released on the Blue Note label as BLP 4157 and BST 84157.
The title track, "The Sidewinder", was one of the defining recordings of the soul jazz genre, becoming a jazz standard. An edited version was released as a single.
The album became a huge seller, and highly influential - many subsequent Morgan albums, and other Blue Note discs, would duplicate (or approximate) this album's format, by following a long, funky opening blues with a handful of conventional hard bop tunes. Record producer Michael Cuscuna recalls the unexpected success: "the company issued only 4,000 copies upon release. Needless to say, they ran out of stock in three or four days. And 'The Sidewinder' became a runaway smash making the pop 100 charts." By January 1965, the album had reached No. 25 on the Billboard chart. The title track was used as the music in a Chrysler television advertisement and as a theme for television shows.

Tom Rigney and Flambeau • Back Streets

Artist Biography by Linda Seida
Fiddler Tom Rigney has contributed more than a quarter-of-a-century to roots music in San Francisco. After graduating from Harvard with a Masters in fine arts, he went on to play the fiddle for a band named Back in the Saddle. That stint brought him a Bammie (Bay Area Music Award) in the early '80s, thanks to his performance on the group's first album. The band independently issued one of Rigney's compositions, "Time & Again," which became a regional hit. When Back in the Saddle folded, Rigney moved on to Queen Ida & the Bon Temps Zydeco Band. While touring with the group, he came to fully appreciate the music of Louisiana, specifically zydeco, Cajun, and some sounds of New Orleans. He took his new appreciation for Louisiana's music to his next venture, a band called the Sundogs that teamed Rigney with T.J. Politzer and Joe Paquin. Rigney and the Sundogs put out more than half-a-dozen albums and spent more than a dozen years together. They took their mixture of blues, Cajun, and roots music to stages and festivals throughout the U.S., as well as in Europe and Canada. Upon leaving the Sundogs, Rigney pulled together a new outfit, Flambeau. The band consists of guitarist Danny Caron, accordionist and pianist Caroline Dahl, drummer Jimmy Sanchez, and bassist Steve Parks. Rigney composes most of the band's music, but Flambeau also plays several of the old zydeco and Cajun favorites. In addition to recording with his bands, Rigney also has a solo effort to his credit. Chasing the Devil was released in 1998 by Parhelion. Rigney, son of the late San Francisco Giants infielder and manager Bill Rigney, was raised in the Bay Area.

jueves, 15 de octubre de 2015

Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery • Further adventures of Jimmy and Wes

Tony Kinsey Quintet • Time Gentlemen Please

Artist Biography by Eugene Chadbourne

This drummer and composer's initial training came at him from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, reflecting the unique nature of his younger days. Tony Kinsey toiled as a seaman on ships with transatlantic routing. At port in New York City, Kinsey partook of drum lessons with Bill West. Back home in Birmingham, England, Kinsey had been studying piano since a tyke; the drums he had taught himself with a local player named Tommy Webster also providing pointers. Kinsey went onto a splendid career on the British jazz scene, backing national names such as Johnny Dankworth as well as visiting stars, among them Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald as well as others -- pianist Oscar Peterson, scat singing Sarah Vaughan -- whose tempo preference nodded at the diabolical. The drummer took charge of his own proceedings on a regular basis during the '50s at London's Flamingo Club. Throughout that decade he performed at European jazz festivals, contexts including bebop, swing, and jazz poetry.
Between 1950 and 1977 he logged more than 80 recording sessions in the jazz genre alone, more than proving his ability in other styles when demanded. In the meantime, he pursued a compositional muse, developing an individual approach to chamber music. A Kinsey string quartet is part of the soundtrack to On the Bridge, a short film, not a meeting place for a ransom drop or instructions to a piano player. Speaking of the latter, Kinsey provided plenty of his own reports in a busy series of writing assignments, including big-band charts and arrangements and incidental music heard in at least 100 commercials. The most recent project of note for Kinsey is an extended musical theater work based on a book by George Elliot. He also continues to play drums.

The Ventures • Play Telestar

Otis Spann • Walking The Blues

Review by Thom Owens
Walking the Blues is arguably the finest record Otis Spann ever cut, boasting 11 cuts of astounding blues piano. On several numbers, Spann is supported by guitarist Robert Jr. Lockwood and their interaction is sympathetic, warm, and utterly inviting. Spann relies on originals here, from "Half Ain't Been Told" to "Walking the Blues," but he also throws in a few standards ("Goin' Down Slow," "My Home Is in the Delta") that help draw a fuller portrait of his musicianship. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Walking the Blues simply sounds great -- it's some of the finest blues piano you'll ever hear.