Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Dave Gross Took The Gamble
Opening with a nice take of Gatemouth Brown’s She Walks Right In, he also covers Hot Lips Page, T-Bone Walker and the old standard After You’ve Gone, as well writes songs that reflect his inspirations. I’m So Hungry Blues, is a tribute to T-Bone Walker with some fine playing and the instrumental Swingin’ on All Six with some strong harp from Dennis Gruenling is really nicely delivered.
Doug James adds some sax on a number of selections including Hot Lips Page’s Walkin’ in a Daze, which also sports a nice cornet solo by Al Basile. Gross is a very accomplished player and eschews the hard rock approach of many ‘contemporary’ blues artists. He also varies things with the rockabilly romp, Once Had a Girl. Unfortunately his vocals do not come across as well. His phrasing sounds awkward and forced at times (like on the T-Bone styled I’m So Hungry Blues as well as his Moving On Down the Line).
Hopefully he will become a more natural and convincing singer as he continues to perform. He writes interesting songs and is a wonderful player with this disc showing more than simply potential, but his vocals prevent this from receiving a high recommendation.
This review appeared originally in the March 2008 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 302), although I have made minor edits. I likely received a review copy from the label or a publicist. I posted a review of Gross’ Crawlin The Walls on January 11 2012. Here is a video of Dave doing "She Walks Right In."