egroj world: Al Smith • Hear My Blues

lunes, 28 de agosto de 2017

Al Smith • Hear My Blues

Review by Alex Henderson
As a rule, people who appreciate the late Jimmy Witherspoon have a very favorable reaction to Al Smith -- that is, if they get a chance to hear him. Neither of the two albums that Smith provided for Bluesville (Hear My Blues in 1959 and Midnight Special in 1960) are well-known. While Witherspoon was a big name in the blues world, Smith was a gospel singer who dabbled in secular music. But when Smith did venture outside the gospel realm, his approach was quite comparable to Witherspoon's -- like Witherspoon, he favored a jazz-influenced approach to blues and R&B. Smith, in fact, is backed by hard-swinging jazz musicians on Midnight Special, including tenor titan Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, organist Shirley Scott, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Arthur Edgehill. Davis and Scott were both well aware of the power of the blues, and they were perfect for a jazz-minded bluesman like Smith -- who soars on original material as well as inspired, passionate performances of the Ray Charles hit "Night Time Is the Right Time" and the sentimental Johnny Ace ballad "Pledging My Love." Was Smith a blues purist? Absolutely not. Although some of the tracks have a 12-bar blues format (including the gutsy "I've Got the Right Kind of Lovin'"), others are really R&B. "Pledging My Love," for example, is a classic '50s R&B ballad -- and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. Besides, Witherspoon was never a blues purist either; although he was primarily a blues singer, the versatile Witherspoon also recorded his share of R&B and got into some jazz-oriented torch singing as well. Both of Smith's Bluesville albums are well worth owning, but if you had to pick one of the two, Hear My Blues would the best starting point.

Smith, whose bold style was greatly influenced by the Gospel tradition, had the earthy quality often found in the best blues artists. His singing ranges from full-voiced and declamatory to intimate and confidential, but it always carried a charge of vitality that jolts the listener into full awareness. Mildred Anderson possesses a very individual Blues style, neither haunting, nor painful and filled with nostalgia, and certainly not the pretty, dressed up Blues then in vogue. Hers is the rough-hewn, pay-youback, swinging blues, direct, forceful and unsentimental.


Traducción Automática:
Por regla general, las personas que aprecian al difunto Jimmy Witherspoon tienen una reacción muy favorable a Al Smith, es decir, si tienen la oportunidad de escucharlo. Ninguno de los dos álbumes que Smith proporcionó para Bluesville (Hear My Blues en 1959 y Midnight Special en 1960) son bien conocidos. Mientras Witherspoon era un gran nombre en el mundo del blues, Smith era un cantante de gospel que se dedicaba a la música secular. Pero cuando Smith se aventuró fuera del reino del evangelio, su enfoque era bastante comparable al de Witherspoon - como Witherspoon, él favoreció un enfoque influenciado por el jazz para blues y R & B. Smith, de hecho, está respaldado por los músicos de jazz de hard-swinging en Midnight Special, incluyendo el tenor titán Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, el organista Shirley Scott, el bajista Wendell Marshall y el baterista Arthur Edgehill. Davis y Scott eran muy conscientes del poder de los blues, y eran perfectos para un bluesman de mentalidad jazzística como Smith - que se eleva en material original, así como inspirado, las actuaciones apasionadas del Ray Charles hit "Night Time Is the Right Time "y la sentimental balada de Johnny Ace" Pledging My Love ". ¿Smith era un purista de blues? Absolutamente no. Aunque algunas de las pistas tienen un formato de blues de 12-bar (incluyendo el valiente "Tengo el tipo correcto de Lovin '"), otros son realmente R & B. "Pledging My Love", por ejemplo, es una clásica balada de R & B de los años 50 - y ciertamente no hay nada malo en eso. Además, Witherspoon nunca fue un blues purista tampoco; Aunque fue principalmente un cantante de blues, el versátil Witherspoon también registró su parte de R & B y se metió en algunos jazz-orientado antorcha cantando también. Ambos de los álbumes de Smith Bluesville valen la pena poseer, pero si tuviera que elegir uno de los dos, Hear My Blues sería el mejor punto de partida.

Smith, cuyo estilo audaz fue influenciado grandemente por la tradición del evangelio, tenía la calidad terrenal encontrada a menudo en los mejores artistas del blues. Sus cantos van desde la voz completa y declamatory a íntimo y confidencial, pero siempre llevaba una carga de vitalidad que sacude al oyente en plena conciencia.

A1 - Night Time Is The Right Time
A2 - Pledging My Love
A3 - I've Got A Girl
A4 - I'll Be Alright
B1 - Come On, Pretty Baby
B2 - Tears In My Eyes
B3 - Never Let Me Go
B4 - I've Got The Right Kind Of Lovin'

    Bass – Wendell Marshall
    Drums – Arthur Edgehill
    Organ – Shirley Scott
    Saxophone – Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis
    Vocals – Al Smith

Recorded By – Rudy Van Gelder
Engineer [Recording] – Rudy Van Gelder
Recording Date: September 20, 1959
Recorded At – Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

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