egroj world: noviembre 2016

miércoles, 30 de noviembre de 2016

Jimmy Smith • Fourmost

Organist Jimmy Smith has a reunion on this CD with his 30 plus-year associates tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and guitarist Kenny Burrell along with drummer Grady Tate. Together they play spirited and creative versions of standards and blues. The highpoints include "Midnight Special," a swinging "Main Stem," Tate's warm vocal on "My Funny Valentine" and a lengthy rendition of "Quiet Nights." Suffice it to say that this all-star date reaches its potential and is easily recommended to fans of straightahead jazz.~Scott Yanow

Fourmost captures the collaborative efforts of drummer Grady Tate, tenor saxman Stanley Turrentine, long-time Smith guitarist Kenny Burrell and the master organist himself, as they groove through a sizzling live set. Recorded in 1990 at Fat Tuesday's in New York City, the show overflows with the kind of evocative, free-flowing yet tightly disciplined artistry one has come to expect from Smith. The soul that drips off tracks like "Midnight Special" and Burrell's own "Soulful Brothers," as filtered through Smith's mind-bending hand/foot work at the Hammond, Turrentine's pure, personal tone, and Burrell's swinging melodic lines, is enough to make a convert of just about anyone.
Even tired standards such as "Summertime" and "My Funny Valentine," as well as the two Ellington treatments ("Main Stem" and "Things Ain't What They Used To Be"), are resuscitated with new tempos, moods, and above all, blazing leads all around. The record's highlight may be "Quiet Night of Quiet Stars," a textured bossa nova jam that has Smith shouting "Oh, my God!" by the tune's end. With playing like this, there's a good chance listeners will be echoing Smith's sentiments.
Recorded live at Fat Tuesday's, New York, New York on November 16 & 17, 1990. Includes liner notes by Bill Cosby, Andrew Whist and Steve Blickstein.

Svend Asmussen & Ulrik Neumann • Danish Imports

Ulrik Neumann (23 October 1918 – 28 June 1994) was a Danish film actor and musician. He appeared in 19 films between 1940 and 1966. Ulrik Neumann was an accomplished guitar player. From 1959 to 1961 he was a member of the trio Swe-Danes with the Swedish singer Alice Babs and the Danish jazz violinist Svend Asmussen. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and died in Malmö, Sweden. He was the father of guitarist Mikael Neumann and singer Ulla Neumann.

C. J. Chenier • Can't Sit Down

It's not easy to be the son of a famous musician, especially when that musician was the pinnacle of a genre. But C.J. Chenier, son of the great Clifton Chenier (the King of Zydeco), does a great job of following in his father's footsteps. He rocks up the zydeco a little more, and spreads the field a little wider, covering Tom Waits and Curtis Mayfield, as well connecting the short space between zydeco and blues with versions of "Baby Please Don't Go" and John Lee Hooker's "Dusty Road." There's a nod to history in a Boozoo Chavis classic, "Paper in My Shoe," and fiery versions of two songs by Clifton Chenier, where he exorcizes his ghost even as he pays homage. There are three of his own compositions, where he shows himself very much in the zydeco historical line, but on this album, at least, it's about the songs as much as the dance music, laying out his territory and establishing himself in his own right, away from the famous shadow. He's an excellent instrumentalist, one who knows how to use the accordion to the best effect in the music, and he has a crack band (including a guitar player who takes some sizzling, concise solos). Even on disc he works up a sweat -- live he must be quite something. This is an album that fully establishes him as a mature artist, with plenty to say, and the expression to say it. ~Chris Nickson

miércoles, 23 de noviembre de 2016

Bustan Abraham • Pictures Through The Painted Window

The second album of Bustan Abraham, is another step foreword along Bustan's artistic journey.
Many attempts have been made by musicians to create a synthesis between Eastern and Western cultures. Generally the result is that either the Western or Eastern form dominates while the other is merely used for ornamentation. For the past several years Bustan Abraham has met this challenge and has succeeded in pioneering a unique form of instrumental music which combines elements of both these Eastern and Western forms without sacrificing the musical integrity of either.
Bustan (Hebrew and Arabic meaning, "garden of fruits and essences," in this case the garden of Abraham, father of Isaac and Ishmail) was founded in 1991 by Avshalom Farjun. It comprises seven distinguished Israeli musicians, both Jews and Arabs, who have combined their musical experience as composers, soloists and heads of musical ensembles to create original music on a very high international level.
The musical backgrounds of Bustan Abraham's members are very rich and represent an astonishing variety of musical cultures including classical Arabic music, classical European music, jazz, Turkish, Persian and Indian music, flamenco and American folk music.
The instruments played are unusually diverse. Middle Eastern instruments include the oud (Arab lute), qanoun (oriental zither) and a range of percussion instruments such as durbakkeh, daff, zarb and bandir frame drums to name only a few. These are joined by Western instruments including transverse flute, classical and flamenco guitar, contrabass, electric bass, and 5-string banjo. In addition the violin is utilized in both Middle Eastern as well as Western forms of playing. Also represented is an astonishing array of international percussion instruments too numerous to mention! The successful integration of this combination of instruments has never before been presented on the concert stage. The music which embodies this rich diversity is entirely original and was composed and arranged in a cooperative effort by all members of the group.

Bustan aspires to create a new musical form, which speaks to both Eastern and Western audiences, and to pave the way for other joint creative efforts between Arabs and Jews. The group has become a symbol of uncompromising instrumental composition, which has created a new standard of originality in Israeli music, and world music in general, and has received rave reviews to that effect from audiences and critics alike.
Bustan have toured extensively throughout the world between 1992 & 2003 it's powerful stage performance have been always greeted with standing ovations by audiences.

lunes, 21 de noviembre de 2016

Johnny Lytle-Albert Dailey-Chester Thompson • I Giganti Del Jazz

Ivan ''Boogaloo'' Joe Jones • Snake Rhythm Rock

Al Di Meola • Scenario

Eddie Higgins • Prelude To A Kiss

Rusty Scott Organ Group • The Thrill Is Gone

The Rusty Scott Organ Group plays original material and organ standards and is fronted by Hammond B3 organist Rusty Scott of Boston, Massachusetts. The band's music is based on jazz, blues, boogaloo, and funk and features the B3 sound from the 50s and 60s that is associated with Hammond organ legends Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Brother Jack McDuff.

Willie Dixon • I Am The Blues

I Am the Blues is the sixth studio Chicago blues album released in 1970 by the well-known bluesman Willie Dixon. It is also the title of Dixon's autobiography, edited by Don Snowden.
The album features songs written by Dixon and originally performed by other artists for Chess Records.

viernes, 18 de noviembre de 2016

Eddie Higgins • Great Trio Sessions

A solid bop-based pianist, Eddie Higgins has never become a major name, but he has been well-respected by his fellow musicians for decades. After growing up in New England, he moved to Chicago, where he played in all types of situations before settling in to a long stint as the leader of the house trio at the London House (1957-1969). Higgins moved back to Massachusetts in 1970 and went on to freelance, often accompanying his wife, vocalist Meredith D'Ambrosio, and appearing at jazz parties and festivals. Eddie Higgins has led sessions of his own for Replica (1958), Vee-Jay (1960), Atlantic, and Sunnyside; back in 1960, he recorded as a sideman for Vee-Jay with Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter.

VA • Hammond Beat Limited Series Sampler

Scott Hamilton • Across the Tracks

Review by Matt Collar
A project long in the making, Across the Tracks finds tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton pairing with journeyman blues guitarist Duke Robillard for a set of burnished lesser-known standards, ballads, and blues. As Rhode Island natives, Hamilton and Robillard crossed paths early on in their careers, with the younger Hamilton drawing inspiration for his own straight-ahead jazz from Robillard's brand of vintage swing, blues, and R&B. Subsequently, Hamilton cut out a niche for himself in the '70s playing swinging acoustic standards and ballads while many jazz musicians were focused on the electric fusion sound. Although the pair have recorded together over the years, Across the Tracks is the first full-length album they've done together. Joining them here are such longtime bandmates as drummer Chuck Riggs, baritone saxophonist Doug James, and Pittsburgh native organist Gene Ludwig. Recorded by the legendary Rudy Van Gelder at the famous Van Gelder Studios in Englewood, NJ, Across the Tracks is easily the bluesiest album Hamilton has done in his career and a warm, earthy vibe permeates the whole proceedings.

J. B. Hutto • Stompin' At Mother Blues

With his take-no-prisoners slide guitar style derived from Elmore James and a primal, driving approach to the blues, J.B. Hutto was a fixture in the Chicago clubs in the 1950s and 1960s, where he was often paired with the similar-sounding Hound Dog Taylor. This set, which was recorded at Mother Blues on Wells Street in Chicago's Old Town section on December 17, 1966 (the final seven tracks come from a second session held on December 19 and 20, 1972, at Sound Studios), is typical of Hutto's barn-burning style, with ragged, explosive slide runs curling around his raw, nearly incomprehensible vocals (not that the Hawk's meaning was ever unclear), and the end effect is bit like having a bulldozer blast through your head. Among the highlights here are the opener, "Evening Train," "Hawk's Rock" (an instrumental that is about as subtle as Hutto ever got), the monster "Hip Shakin'" (the version here was used on his album Hawk Squat), "Precious Stone," and "Young Hawk's Crawl," although the whole disc is of a piece, a full-throttle charge through some vintage Chicago guitar blues, and since Hutto never strayed from his ragged and gut-bucket approach to things, this set makes as fine an introduction to his slide fireworks as any. (Steve Leggett)

jueves, 17 de noviembre de 2016

Jack McDuff • Sweet Valentine's Jazz

The New Mastersounds • The Nashville Session

Review by Thom Jurek
Over the last 16 years, Leeds' instrumental funk quartet the New Mastersounds have amassed a sizeable catalog: Ten studio albums, two live dates, two remix collections, and a compilation. Their records are so consistent in carrying the torch for driving, jazzy, retro funk, that it can be daunting to know where to start with them. The Nashville Session provides an answer to that quandary -- with a catch.
At the end of a 2015 tour, the band entered Nashville's analog-centric Welcome to 1979 studio. In front of an invited audience they performed ten tracks from their catalog, as well as a cover of Grant Green's arrangement of James Brown's "In the Middle." The single-session evening was multi-tracked live to one-inch tape. Immediately following, the recording was mixed down to quarter-inch stereo and cut direct to vinyl lacquers. And therein lies the catch: There are 1,000 copies on wax. Period. No other formats. It's not a gimmick. And the evidence is in the record's sound. Instruments bleed through the channels into one another to provide a level of immediacy and even clarity unmatched by their other offerings.
Musically, The Nashville Session finds the New Mastersounds tighter than ever, and at a creative peak. Improvisational elements from previous versions of these tunes have become hardwired into the charts, leaving room for new directions. As a result, while the funk never takes a back seat, and jazz elements come to the fore -- check Joe Tatton's organ solo and Pete Shand's bass breakdowns in opener "One Note Brown" -- Eddie Roberts' chunky guitar vamp in "Burnt Back" draws a straight line through Muscle Shoals, NOLA groove, and Blue Note soul-jazz. "The Minx," with its mix of wah-wah lead guitar, rave-up bassline, Simon Allen's cracking rim-shot breaks, and swelling organ, makes it the spikiest, meanest tune in the set. The verse-chorus-verse structure in "102%" bridges the Meters' "Cissy Strut" to Jimmy McGriff's "Keep Loose." Roberts proves his mettle on the Green chart in the James Brown cover. His unshakeable rhythmic invention is matched only by his precision. Single-string leads sting and bite; they get twinned and build on one another while Shand's bassline sidles up underneath with juicy fills, and Allen's drums punch through the bottom while Tatton's B-3 bubbles and then soars.
The Nashville Session is abundant in groove quotient. At under an hour, it's the perfect length for a listening session or to kick off a party. If you find yourself sitting still while it's playing, it may be well past time to get your pulse checked.

Al Caiola • The Guitar Style Of Al Caiola

martes, 15 de noviembre de 2016

Lynn Hope & Clifford Scott • Juicy!

Review by Myles Boisen
Here's another must for sax instrumental buffs, with rare wax by Texas tenor Clifford Scott and balladeer Lynn Hope. You and a few million others heard Scott on Bill Doggett's classic "Honky Tonk"; here he is joined by organist Hank Marr, Charles Brown on piano, and other session cookers for five solid shufflin' sides. Lynn Hope is a different character -- a Muslim who admired the record-selling style of Earl Bostic, and in turn influenced a generation of ska hornsmen. In contrast to his lush romantic sound on "Stardust," "Tenderly," "Ghost of a Chance," etc., there's the bar-walkin' "Shockin'," jazzy "Juicy," swaggering "Little Landslide," and exotic "Sands of the Sahara." There are 20 tooters total and little duplication with Hope's Saxophonograph material.

Brian Setzer & The Tomcats • High School Confidential Live At TK's Place 24-05-80

Like all the other discs in Collectables' exhaustive reissue of Brian Setzer & the Tom Cats' material, High School Confidential is an entertaining collection of high-energy rockabilly and rock & roll, highlighted by covers of "Ubangi Stomp," "Round and Round," "High School Confidential," "Hallellujah, I Love Her So," and "Summertime Blues," as well as several solid, workmanlike originals. ~Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Silas Hogan • Trouble - The Best Of The Excello Masters

This 26-track single-disc retrospective may not have every last alternate take extant on it, but you'll never need a better compilation mirroring Hogan's stay at the label. "Trouble At Home Blues," "I'm Gonna Quit You Pretty Baby" and "Here They Are Again" are just about as low down as Louisiana swamp blues gets and Jay Miller's studio sorcery is clearly on hand. ~ Rovi Staff
Every song is a blast. The info booklet introduced me to this amazing singer. The songs are fun to listen to and sing along with. If you are not in a good mood sitting down with this CD will soothe your soul and make you happy. Buy it and have a blast, you will not be sorry. ~ Michael Beck

domingo, 13 de noviembre de 2016

Bustan Abraham • Ashra

Bustan Abraham was an Israeli band playing mostly instrumental music, which existed between 1991 and 2003. Its name means "Abraham’s garden"; the reference to the common ancestor of both Jewish and Islamic traditions intending to imply a unifying theme. The band was called a pioneer in the realm of world music.

Lou Donaldson • Say it Loud

The Bongolian • Moog Maximus

'Moog Maximus' see the welcome return of The Bongolian, AKA multi-instrumentalist and Big Boss Man front man Nasser Bouzida. His fifth album under the Bongolian moniker continues the musical journey where 2011’s 'Bongos For Beatniks' left off, taking us through the fractures of time like fellow traveller H. G. Wells. Nasser has now landed in ancient Rome, armed with a bank of Moog synthesisers over a bed of heavy grooves in a wildly eclectic fusion of Funk Soul Hammond Beat Jazz and a Sci-Fi Boogaloo.
Back in 2001, Nasser Bouzida disappeared into his studio and created a solo set of recordings which resulted in the birth of his alter ego The Bongolian. Drawing on influences of Funk, Latin, Soul and Jazz, Nasser produced an inspired selection of recordings blending elements of grinding percussion and heavy Bongo rhythms. The eponymous debut 'The Bongolian' was released early in
Back in 2001, Nasser Bouzida disappeared into his studio and created a solo set of recordings which resulted in the birth of his alter ego The Bongolian. Drawing on influences of Funk, Latin, Soul and Jazz, Nasser produced an inspired selection of recordings blending elements of grinding percussion and heavy Bongo rhythms. The eponymous debut 'The Bongolian' was released early in 2002 to much critical acclaim, and followed up by the albums 'Blueprint', 'Outer Bongolia' and 'Bongos For Beatniks'. The albums have become record box essentials for DJs, finding a wide appeal from Dance and Hip-Hop to Rare Groove and Funk 45s fans.
Nasser has also assembled a high calibre five piece live band with which The Bongolian have toured USA, UK and Europe.
Nasser Bouzida's most recent release was with Big Boss Man whose 4th album 'Last Man On Earth' which received strong support at BBC 6 Music (Cerys Mathews, Craig Charles, Gideon Coe, Nemone) with the band touring Europe extensively since it’s release. The Bongolian also collaborated with Fay Hallam for the album 'Lost In Sound' (Fay Hallam & The Bongolian).

Brother Jack McDuff & David Newman • Double Barrelled Soul

Jutta Hipp • At the Hickory House

At the Hickory House is a two volume live album by German-born jazz pianist Jutta Hipp featuring performances recorded in 1956 and released on the Blue Note label as BLP 1515 and BLP 1516.

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
At the Hickory House is a thoroughly appealing collection of lightly swinging small-combo jazz that draws equally from hard bop and soul-jazz. There's a soulful lilt to Jutta Hipp's playing that keeps it engaging and enjoyable. The rhythm section of Peter Ind (bass) and Ed Thigpen (drums) largely stay out of the way, letting Hipp dictate the tempo and mood of the pieces, and she has a knack for creating infectious, swinging interpretations of jazz and pop standards that are enjoyable and easy to listen to. Vol. 1 contains such staples as "Dear Old Stockholm," "Billie's Bounce," "Mad About the Boy," "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "These Foolish Things," all of which are performed with verve and style, making the record a wonderful little gem.

Boogaloo Joe Jones • What It Is

sábado, 12 de noviembre de 2016

Johnny Lytle • The Village Caller!

Jimmy Ponder • To Reach A Dream

Charles Earland • Live At The Lighthouse

Hot Club De Norvege • Caution Hot

Hot Club de Norvège is a string jazz quartet from Norway, established in 1979, by guitarist Jon Larsen with childhood friends Per Frydenlund and Svein Aarbostad.

They are influenced by the music of Hot Club de France, and the French gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. They formed a quartet with violinist Ivar Brodahl (1928–2003), later replaced by Finn Hauge, that became part of the international renaissance of the gypsy jazz in the 1980s.

Hot Club de Norvege has worked with Stéphane Grappelli, Jimmy Rosenberg, Stochelo Rosenberg, Nigel Kennedy, and the Vertavo String Quartet.

In 1980 they started the Django Festival in Norway.


Hot Club de Norvège es un cuarteto de jazz de cuerda de Noruega, fundado en 1979 por el guitarrista Jon Larsen con los amigos de la infancia Per Frydenlund y Svein Aarbostad.

Están influenciados por la música del Hot Club de France, y el guitarrista gitano francés Django Reinhardt. Formaron un cuarteto con el violinista Ivar Brodahl (1928-2003), posteriormente sustituido por Finn Hauge, que se convirtió en parte del renacimiento internacional del jazz gitano en los años ochenta.

Hot Club de Norvege ha trabajado con Stéphane Grappelli, Jimmy Rosenberg, Stochelo Rosenberg, Nigel Kennedy y el Vertavo String Quartet.

En 1980 iniciaron el Festival de Django en Noruega.

Amazon ...

Anime That Jazz • Evening!

Versiones en tiempo de jazz de temas de animes.


Jazz time versions of anime themes.

viernes, 11 de noviembre de 2016

Brother Jack McDuff • Gin & Orange

Lucky Peterson • Ridin'

As a child prodigy, keyboardist and organist Lucky Peterson's exploits were legendary. The stories grew even more widespread as he became a teen and stints with Little Milton and Bobby "Blue" Bland only added to his fame. But Peterson's records have not always justified or reaffirmed his reputation. That is not the case with the cuts on this 1984 set, recently reissued by Evidence. The spiraling solos, excellent bridges, turnbacks, pedal maneuvers, and soulful accompaniment are executed with a relaxed edge and confident precision. If you have wondered whether Lucky Peterson deserves the hype and major label bonanza, these songs are the real deal. ~ Ron Wynn

The Head Cat • Fool's Paradise

Fool's Paradise is a 2006 album recorded by "The Head Cat", a collaboration between Lemmy of Motörhead, Slim Jim Phantom (of The Stray Cats), and Danny B. Harvey. It features covers of mostly classic 1950s songs. It is re-release of their first album "Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B" recorded in September 1999. This re-release doesn't include 3 songs from original release, it have different cover and track list is in different order.
While there is nothing groundbreaking in this recording, the 1950s songs that are chosen (penned by likes of Buddy Holly and members of his group) are played "commendably", keeping close to the original versions with restraint.The album received less praise from other critics.(~Wiki)

Head Cat was formed after recording the Elvis Presley tribute album Swing Cats, A Special Tribute to Elvis in 2000 to which the future band-mates all contributed. After recordings were finished they stayed at the studio and Lemmy picked up an acoustic guitar and started playing some of his old favorite songs by Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. The rest of they guys knew them all and joined in. The name of the band was created by combining the names Motörhead, The Stray Cats and 13 Cats, which resulted in The Head Cat, similar to what Lemmy did in 1980 with Headgirl, a collaboration between Motörhead and Girlschool. In 2006 the band released their first studio album, Fool's Paradise, which included cover songs from artists such as Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Lloyd Price, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. On the recordings Lemmy played acoustic guitar but on live performances Lemmy uses his signature Rickenbacker bass saying "I'm just not that good on guitar".

Few musicians are as synonymous with heavy metal as Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister. But long time fans know that ol' Lemmy has tackled other styles over the years, including British Invasion pop (as part of the Rockin' Vicars) and space rock (as part of Hawkwind). Additionally, Lemmy has covered a few country and/or rockabilly tunes over the years, including a metallic version of "Stand By Your Man," Carl Perkins' "Matchbox," and Johnny Cash's "Big River." So it shouldn't come as a surprise that in the early 21st century, Lemmy launched a rockabilly side project, the Head Cat. Taking a break from his beloved Rickenbacker bass, Lemmy handles vocals (which resemble little of the throaty growl of his Motorhead work), acoustic guitar, and harmonica duties, and is joined by ex-Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom and lead guitarist/bassist/keyboardist Danny B. Harvey. As evidenced by their 2006 debut, Fool's Paradise, the trio is one rockin' good time -- a much needed antidote to the computer/software enhanced state of popular music. Expectedly, this isn't going to melt your speakers upon first listen like Ace of Spades did all those years ago. That said, it's certainly a worthwhile listen for die-hard fans to hear Lemmy tackle covers of some of his favorite standards -- "Not Fade Away," "Well All Right," as well as the two aforementioned tracks, "Big River" and "Matchbox." (~Greg Prato)

Big frowns all around to the marketing people at Rock-A-Billy Records for placing that "file under" command on the disc. Of course it may result in purchases from Lemmy fans, but it is a quick buck that closes off a larger audience than it approaches, and Fool's Paradise deserves a status above novelty. There are plenty of young Rock-A-Billy fans who would never think of scanning the Motorhead department for their fix. Also, there are a tremendous amount of "Baby Boomers", plus those born in the 50s and 60s who are devoted listeners of pre-hippie rock, which is the world of Rock-A-Billy, although my parents, who grew up on it, wouldn't know what the hell I was talking about using that moniker. Why "file under Motorhead"? Why not send this album to stations that play music from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and challenge them to play new music that pays tribute to the decades they endorse, so the many people who believe the music they like was replaced with rap, dance, and metal, comprehend that it's still alive and kicking? It is clear those questions were not fleshed out by those marketing Fool's Paradise once "file under" appeared on the disc. Lemmy fans are diehards who do not need easy access. They would sniff him out in a sea of Roxette discs. Apparently the members of this all star group, featuring the aforementioned Lemmy, Slim Jim Phantom, drummer from Stray Cats, and Danny Harvey, guitarist from 13 Cats, are most enamored with Buddy Holly. There is not an original piece on the disc, and nine of the fifteen tracks are Holly tunes. With Lemmy on vocals, the title track, "Fool's Paradise", has a very Kinks-like sound, especially when the harmonies kick in. Often times, covers seem to lose their spirit in the hands of other artists, but "Fool's Paradise", when performed by The Head Cat, is as lively as it was a half-century earlier. Lemmy Kilmister is not quite the vocal match people would automatically envision when thinking Buddy Holly, but he really does a fine job delivering his songs, especially during the jungle toms of "Not Fade Away", and the acoustic rhythm of "Crying, Waiting, Hoping". The grizzled texture is more melodic than most Motorhead fans would imagine possible. Out of the Buddy Holly tracks, only "Take Your Time", and "Learning the Game", seem like stretches vocally. The six non-Holly tracks pay tribute to the artists at Sun Records, and its founder Sam Phillips. There are four blues songs featured from the likes of Jimmy Reed, T-Bone Walker, Lloyd Price, and Carl Perkins, plus two early rock standards from Elvis and Johnny Cash. The Head Cat does a phenomenal job with Cash's "Big River". The "Man in Black" has such a signature sound and approach that, even though he is covered often, it is difficult to deliver with a great degree of authenticity. The moment "Big River" is heard though, those who have little background on Cash, possibly only seeing the movie, will immediately recognize the source for this selection. Two of the strongest songs end the album, as "Big River" is followed by Perkins' "Matchbox", which is rocked out a bit thanks to the guitar work of Danny Harvey, who makes it a little more honkey tonk than blues. "Matchbox" is the song you'd picture playing during a huge barroom brawl. The trio, known as The Head Cat, is very impressive, especially considering the short time they dedicated to this project. Given their backgrounds, talent is a given, but just because ability is present, providing listenable music is not a guarantee (see Damnocracy). If you are a fan of Rock-A-Billy music, which is so deeply rooted in all of today's sounds, Fool's Paradise, by The Head Cat, will not be a disappointment. It might even leave each listener imagining what possibilities could exist with original material from this band. At the very least, it should provide modern listeners with a window into a rock world which is worth traveling back five decades to experience.(~Patrick Muldowney;

While Lemmy Kilmister was best known as an innovator in heavy metal with his over the top band Motörhead, he was around to witness the early days of rock & roll. The Head Cat was a side project that allowed Lemmy to indulge his passion for rockabilly and first-era rock. The Head Cat featured Lemmy on bass, guitars, and vocals; Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats on drums and vocals; and Danny B. Harvey of the Rockats and the Lonesome Spurs on guitar, bass, and keys. The trio came together when Lemmy was invited to contribute guitar and vocals for the 2000 album A Special Tribute to Elvis by Phantom and Harvey's group the Swing Cats. After cutting a version of "Good Rockin' Tonight," Lemmy picked up a guitar and began jamming on some classic Eddie Cochran tunes. Phantom and Harvey quickly joined in, and the three felt the chemistry was right and they should cut an album of their own. In 2000, the trio recorded Lemmy, Slim Jim & Danny B, which was released by the German label Steamhammer; it was reissued in a different sequence and with new artwork in 2006 by Cleopatra Records under the title Fool's Paradise. The band played occasional live dates when their schedules permitted, and a 2004 show in Los Angeles was released in a special DVD/LP package, 2006's Rockin' the Cat Club: Live from the Sunset Strip. In 2011, the Head Cat brought out a second studio album, Walk the Walk...Talk the Talk. While the debut album consisted entirely of vintage rock & roll covers, Walk the Walk featured a pair of original numbers along with ten rockabilly, blues, and country chestnuts. The Head Cat continued to play occasional club and festival dates until early 2015, when Lemmy's failing health began to interfere with his performance schedule. The Head Cat were scheduled to perform as part of a Lemmy birthday show on December 13, 2015, but Kilmister was too ill to participate. He died on December 28, ending the trio's memorable run.
(~Mark Deming)

Jimmy Smith • Daybreak

Axel Zwingenberger • Boogie In The Barrelhouse

Zwingenberger was born in Hamburg, Germany, and enjoyed eleven years of conventional piano training. In 1973 he listened to recordings of boogie-woogie pianists Albert Ammons, Meade "Lux" Lewis, and Pete Johnson. He soon joined piano playing partners Hans-Georg Moeller, Vince Weber and Martin Pyrker, and word about the four friends began to spread. In 1974, he played at the First International Blues-and-Boogie Woogie Festival of the West German Radio Station in Cologne which was followed by Hans Maitner's annual festival Stars of Boogie Woogie in Vienna.
By 1975, Zwingenberger received his first recording contract, issuing such solo recordings as Boogie Woogie Breakdown, Power House Boogie, and Boogie Woogie Live, as well as lending his talents to recordings by such artists as Lionel Hampton, Jay McShann, Big Joe Turner, Lloyd Glenn, Joe Newman, Sippie Wallace, Mama Yancey, Champion Jack Dupree, Sammy Price, Ray Bryant, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Vince Weber, and the Mojo Blues Band, among others. In addition to issuing other solo recordings, Zwingenberger continues to tour all over the world. He has also authored several publications about blues/boogie-woogie music and musicians as well as Boogie Woogie: Piano Solo, a book of 12 of his compositions, exactly transcribed.[3]
Being a railfan since early childhood, he is also known for his photographs of steam locomotives,[4] including some taken from within the machinery itself. Zwingenberger established a non-profit foundation within the German Foundation for the Protection of Historical Monuments which donates for the preservation of monuments on rails, including the world's fastest operational steam locomotive, the German DR 18 201.
In spring 2009, coordinated by young pianist Ben Waters from the UK, Zwingenberger renewed his relationship with Charlie Watts, drummer of The Rolling Stones. Together with bassist Dave Green, they played joint concerts billed as The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie. In June 2012 they released their first joint album The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie - live in Paris and presented it in New York by playing concerts at Lincoln Center and The Iridium Jazz Club.

Lou Donaldson • Play The Right Thing

Review by Richard S. Ginell
As specifically indicated by the album's title, the title tune's bluesy cast, and Sweet Lou Donaldson's own determined liner notes, this CD aims to strike a blow for soul-jazz, a once-popular, then-maligned idiom newly returned from exile. That it does -- with no frills, no apologies, and an idiomatic supporting cast. For Donaldson, it was a return to the style that lit up inner-city jukeboxes for him in the 1960s, and though his alto sax lacks some of the majesty that he could summon forth, his bop-flavored technique remained in fine shape in his mid-sixties. It was also a reunion with Donaldson's occasional organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, who contributes plenty of understated savvy to his solos and bass pedal underpinning. Peter Bernstein is the crisp, tasteful guitarist and Bernard Purdie remains the genre's premier timekeeper, assisted by conguero Ralph Dorsey. Together, they work over a series of standards ("Harlem Nocturne," "I Had the Craziest Dream"), some vintage bop (Charlie Parker's "Marmaduke"), and a few Donaldson compositions. "Whiskey Drinkin' Woman," a humorous slow blues featuring Donaldson's high-pitched, good-natured vocals, became a popular feature of his stage act into the next century. With all of these ingredients in place, the CD achieves a comfortable level of competence without really grabbing hold of a groove and riding it the way Donaldson could in his Blue Note days. Also, the sound is a little dry.

Clifton Chenier • In New Orleans

Clifton Chenier (June 25, 1925 - December 12, 1987), a Creole French -speaking native of Opelousas, Louisiana, was an eminent performer and recording artist of Zydeco and 1983 Grammy winner. Like so many American originals, accordion player and singer Clifton Chenier was able to synthesize several older genres of music into a new form. He added to Cajun music a touch of the blues, rhythm and blues, and rock & roll to create a driving pop version of Zydeco. He explained, "People been playing Zydeco for a long time, old style like French music. But I was the first one to put the pep to it." He started his career performing on weekends near the oilfields, where he worked at his day job. During the '50s he was associated with R&B, recording for legendary labels like Specialty and Chess. His influences were not older Cajun musicians, but figures like Fats Domino and Professor Longhair. By the time Chenier hit his stride, traditional Cajun and Creole music had begun to take different paths: Cajuns were becoming more interested in country music, while Creole players preferred blues and R&B, abandoning the fiddle in favor of the rub-board and sometimes a horn section. In 1964 Arhoolie Records producer Chris Strachwitz persuaded Chenier to play more zydeco -- a move that renewed his career and led to a long series of hit albums. Among his later hit singles were 1964's "Louisiana Blues" and 1965's "Black Gal." He also recorded what has become the national anthem of Zydeco, "Zydeco Sont pas Sale." Clifton Chenier became the first major Zydeco superstar and also introduced the word Zydeco to the musical lexicon in 1965. He said that Zydeco was a corruption of les haricots (French for the beans). The undisputed "King of Zydeco," Clifton Chenier was the first Creole to be presented a Grammy award on national television. Blending the French and Cajun 2-steps and waltzes of southwest Louisiana with New Orleans R&B, Texas blues, and big-band jazz, Chenier created the modern, dance-inspiring, sounds of Zydeco. A flamboyant personality, remembered for his gold tooth and the cape and crown that he wore during concerts, Chenier set the standard for all the Zydeco players who have followed in his footsteps. In an interview from Ann Savoy's book, Cajun Music: Reflection of a People, Chenier explained, "Zydeco is rock and French mixed together, you know, like French music and rock with a beat to it. It's the same thing as rock and roll but it's different because I'm singing in French." The son of sharecropper and amateur accordion player, Joe Chenier, and the nephew of a guitarist, fiddler, and dance club owner, Maurice "Big" Chenier, Chenier found his earliest influences in the blues of Muddy Waters, Peetie Wheatstraw, and Lightnin' Hopkins, the New Orleans R&B of Fats Domino and Professor Longhair, the 1920s and '30s recordings by Zydeco accordionist Amede Ardoin and the playing of childhood friends Claude Faulk and Jesse and Zozo Reynolds. Acquiring his first accordion from a neighbor, Isaie "Easy" Blasa in 1947, Chenier was taught the basics of the instruments by his father. Chenier is credited with redesigning the wood and crimped tin washboard into the frottoir, an instrument that would easily hang from the shoulders. Cleveland Chenier, Clifton's older brother, also played in the Red Hot Louisiana Band. He found popularity for his ability to manipulate the distinctive sound of the frottoir by rubbing several bottle openers (held in each hand) along its ridges. By 1944, Chenier was performing, with his brother Cleveland on frottoir in the dance halls of Lake Charles. Moving to New Iberia in the mid-'40s, Chenier worked in the sugar fields cutting sugar cane. After moving, to Port Arthur, TX, in 1947, he divided his time between driving a refinery truck and hauling pipe for Gulf and Texaco and playing with his brother. In 1954, Chenier signed with Elko Records. His first recording session, at Lake Charles radio station KAOK, yielded seven tunes including the regional hit single, "Cliston's Blues" and "Louisiana Stomp." Chenier's first national attention came with his first single for the Specialty record label, "Ay Tete Fille (Hey, Little Girl)," a cover of a Professor Longhair tune, released in May 1955. The song was one of 12 that he recorded during two sessions produced by Bumps Blackwell, best known for his work with Little Richard. By 1956, Chenier had left his day job to devote his full-time attention to music, Touring with his band, the Zydeco Ramblers, which included blues guitarist Philip Walker. The following year, Chenier left Specialty and signed with the Chess label in Chicago. Although he toured, along with Etta James, throughout the United States, Chenier's career suffered when the popularity of ethnic and regional music styles began to decline. Although he recorded 13 songs for the Crowley, LA-based Zynn label, between 1958 and 1960, none charted. The turning point in Chenier's career came when Lightnin' Hopkins' wife, who was a cousin, introduced Chris Strachwitz, owner of the roots music label, Arhoolie, to his early recordings. Strachwitz quickly signed Chenier to Arhoolie, producing his first single, "Ay Yi Yi"/"Why Did You Go Last Night?," in four years. Although they continued to work together until the early '70s, Chenier and Strachwitz differed artistically. While Chenier wanted to record commercial-minded R&B, Strachwitz encouraged him to focus on traditional Zydeco. Chenier's first album for Arhoolie, Louisiana Blues and Zydeco, featured one side of blues and R&B and one side of French 2-steps and waltzes. In 1976, Chenier recorded one of his best albums, "Bogalusa Boogie", and formed a new group, the Red Hot Louisiana Band, featuring tenor saxophonist "Blind" John Hart and guitarist Paul Senegal. Chenier reached the peak of his popularity in the '80s. In 1983, he received a Grammy award for his album, I'm Here!, recorded in eight hours in Bogalusa, LA. The following year, he performed at the White House. Although he suffered from kidney disease and a partially amputated foot and was required to undergo dialysis treatment every three days, Chenier continued to perform until one week before his death on December 12, 1987.
Starting in the 1950s, Clifton Chenier pioneered the modern sound of zydeco and eventually became one of the genre’s best-known performers. The self-proclaimed “King of Zydeco” won a Grammy for his 1983 album I’m Here, was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship, and played at the White House for President Ronald Reagan. Born June 25, 1925, near Opelousas, Chenier learned to play the accordion from his father Joseph, who worked as a sharecropper. Chenier came from an extended family of musicians who played in the older Creole “la la” style, which was closely related in sound to early Cajun music. He was influenced by the recordings and live performances of the celebrated Creole accordionist Amédé Ardoin and the almost-forgotten Sidney Babineaux, who was one of the earliest Creoles to play the larger piano accordion, which Chenier made famous. Scholars have debated whether Chenier ever publicly played the smaller diatonic accordion associated with Cajun music, but evidence seems to suggest that he at least learned to play that instrument from his father. During the 1940s, Chenier absorbed the “jump blues” style of Louis Jordan and was soon fusing rhythm and blues (R&B) with Creole music. Out of this potent mixture came modern zydeco. Chenier and his brother Cleveland started playing dances in the 1940s in Louisiana and, by the early 1950s were operating along the Texas border. After losing a job at an oil refinery in Beaumont, Texas, Chenier entered the music profession full time. He designed the vest-style frottoir, based on the washboard that his brother used to provide a rhythmic accompaniment to the accordion, thus giving birth to the basic percussive sound identified with zydeco. The Cheniers worked on the “chitlin circuit,” a loose network of juke joints and dance halls in the southern United States that catered to an African American clientele. On the circuit he met fellow Louisianan Clarence “Bon Ton” Garlow, an R&B guitarist, club owner, and disc jockey in Beaumont. Garlow linked Chenier to the California producer J. R. Fulbright, who signed the zydeco performer to a recording contract. Chenier made his first recordings in Lake Charles in 1954. In 1955 Chenier released his first major hit, “Ay Tete Fee,” on the Speciality label. With this recording, Chenier emerged onto the national R&B scene and shared the stage with major headliners such as Joe Turner. Chenier further refined his music by adding a trumpets and saxophones to his lineup of accordion, frottoir, drums, and guitars. Chenier’s music was highly danceable, hard driving, and propulsive in nature, as demonstrated by his cover of Jordan’s “Let the Good Times Roll” (written by Louisianan Sam Theard). He also demonstrated a great ability with blues material, including songs like “I’m a Hog for You,” which became major parts of his repertoire. Like that of many artists, Chenier’s career waned in the wake of rock ‘n’ roll. He returned to Louisiana and recorded for the Crowley label Zynn during the late 1950s, but his career seemed to stall. Then blues musician Lightnin’ Hopkins (a relative by marriage) introduced Chenier to Chris Strachwitz, the owner of Arhoolie Records. Strachwitz signed Chenier to a recording contract and gave the accordion master nearly free rein in the studio. In 1964 Arhoolie released its first Chenier single, “Ay Ai Ai.” The record enjoyed great popularity and restarted Chenier’s career. He toured widely throughout the United States and Europe from the mid-1960s until his death. He regularly drew large crowds at the Montreaux Jazz Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. While he recorded with many labels, including Jin and Maison de Soul, his best recordings were with Arhoolie. During this time he proclaimed himself the “King of Zydeco” and took to the stage wearing either a crown or diadem. Chenier suffered numerous health problems in his later years. Diabetes plagued him and he lost part of a foot, but he still took to the stage as often as possible. He died December 13, 1987, in Lafayette. Chenier left a powerful legacy in Louisiana music, transforming the old rural la la sound into a modern R&B style that garnered acceptance around the world. He was also an emotional singer and a deeply beautiful accordionist whose performances crossed genre lines.(~Kevin Fontenot)
In New Orleans was recorded in the late '70s with one of Clifton Chenier's classic bands, which featured his brother on washboard, saxophonist John Hart, and guitarist Paul Senegal, among others. The album is textbook Chenier -- it rocks & rolls, wails and shouts. It's may be a typical record for the king of zydeco, but that means it's very, very enjoyable.(~Thom Owens)