Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Taking the Blues Time Machine Back to June 1977

This is my blues column from the June 1977 Buffalo Jazz Report which had Dizzy Gillespie on the cover. I have noted the first 58 issues of Buffalo Jazz Report (now Jazz & Blues Report) have been digitized and can be downloaded from the University of Buffalo Library system. The website for these archived issues is: http://digital.lib.buffalo.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/BuffJazz. This column is devoted to live performances as well as reviews of reissues by John Lee Hooker and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. These albums were reissued by Fantasy I believe and may be available today.
The Belle Starr out in Colden, NY continued to bring blues acts to the Buffalo area. Early May saw Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. I caught their opening act and wasn’tt oo impressed with their new back-up band. When both Philip Guy and Buddy started to take the spotlight things got better and things were going well till Buddy broke a string during Junior Wells stint. Buddy wasn't able to get back in tune and it was a little disappointing. Others told me that other nights went much better.

Son Seals' debut at the Belle Starr, and first Buffalo area appearance in a couple years, was one of the finest blues acts I've seen in awhile. Son is an acidic singer and fiery guitarist and accompanied by a tough and tight band, including the aptly named Harry 'Snapper' Mitchum on bass, Pete Allen on guitar and Tony Gooden on drums, that provided quite a full sound. Son played quite a varied set doing hot versions of I Wonder Why, Sweet Angel Child, Why I Sing the Blues as well as tunes from his two Alligator albums such as Ray Charles' I Believe, Junior Parker's Telephone Angel and his own No, No Baby and Down on My Knees. Your Love is Like a Cancer is my own favorite taken at a rocking tempo with its stinging lyrics and guitar work. Son, on the basis of his records and his live performances deserves to be better known. If you are near where he is playing, do check him out.

As far as records go Fantasy has a twofer series of blues reissues. John Lee Hooker's Black Snake (F-24722) is reissued from two sets on Riverside. Hooker is solo on one record and on the other side bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes accompany on most of the material. There is better John Lee Hooker available, but their is also a lot worse stuff to listen to by him.

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee are one of the blues most celebrated duos delighting audiences for many years. Midnight Special (Fantasy F-24721) captures Sonny's exuberant harp playing and Brownie's fluid guitar. While this isn't down home country music but rather music for a white folk audience these 960 sides show that their professional approach doesn't mean the music lacks warmth or spirit. There mastery of the rural blues tradition shines and this set provides ample testimony to their contribution to American music.

Finally the Belle Starr continues to bring blues acts to the area. June 23-26 blues singer and guitarist Mighty Joe Young will be out at Holland-Glenwood Road. Mighty Joe Young is one of Chicago's finest musicians, a fact readily seen by his being in demand as a session man. He has recorded behind the late Magic Sam, Jimmy Dawkins, Willie Dixon, Koko Taylor, Otis Rush, Jimmy Rogers, Fenton Robinson, Tyrone Davis among others. He has four albums out including the fine Blues With a Touch of Soul on Delmark, an album on GNP-Crescendo and two sets on Ovation. Joe is a mellow singer with a clean fluid guitar attack. This will be my first chance to see him in about six years. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Shawn Holt & the Tear Drops Daddy Told Me

Shawn Holt is the son of the late blues legend, Morris “Magic Slim’ Holt, and after the passing of his father has taken over The Teardrops. Blind Pig has just issued the first CD from Shawn Holt and The Teardrops, Daddy Told Me, and it is a strong recording very much in the vein of his father with driving medium tempo shuffles and slow-drag, bump and grind, blues. In addition to his guitar and vocals, he is joined by Levi William on guitar, Chris Biedron on bass and Brian ‘B.J.’ Jones on drums. On two selections, John Primer, who had a long tenure playing with Magic Slim, replaces William.

The tone is set with the opening Fannie Mae, where the Teardrops groove kicks in with Holt delivering the lyrics playing stinging guitar. The title track is an original, but based on Howlin’ Wolf’s How Many More Years and Baby How Long. Holt is a terrific singer who sings a bit more directly than his late father, as heard on his rendition of A.C. Reed’s Buddy Buddy Friends. This was a staple of Magic Slim’s repertoire which might explain why is is erroneously credit to Holt and not Reed. Other standout tracks include the rollicking rendition of Jimmy Reed’s Down In Virginia, and the Junior Wells, classic Little By Little. Primer handles the vocal and lead on Bo Diddley’s Before You Accuse Me, and which incorporates  the Dust My Broom riff.

Besides his strong singing and guitar playing, Shawn Holt also contributed several originals including the title track and the powerful Love Got Me Walkin’. The music here never sounds hurried or frantic and the medium tempos will undoubtedly appeal to dancers. Shawn Holt and the Teardrops may be perpetuating Magic Slim’s legacy with the performances on this first-rate recording, but he also shows that he is himself a promising, significant voice for today’s blues.

I received my review copy from Blind Pig Records.  Shawn will be appearing at the Pennsylvania Blues Festival in July. Here is a video clip of Shawn at Kingston Mines in Chicago with Eddie Shaw making guest appearance.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Taking the Blues Time Machine Back to May 1977

This is my blues column from the May 1977 Buffalo Jazz Report which had the great Roy Haynes  on the cover. My column was relatively lengthy, and included a Blues On EP segment which I will post next week. have noted the first 58 issues of Buffalo Jazz Report (now Jazz & Blues Report) have been digitized and can be downloaded from the University of Buffalo Library system. The website for these archived issues is: http://digital.lib.buffalo.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/BuffJazz. Note that Southern Record sales from which I obtained some releases no longer exists, and of course Living Blues is no longer published in Chicago. Some of the recordings I reviewed are not easily found these days, but the Carey Bell, Johnny Shines and Phillip Walker should be available in some form.

March and April have been good months for live blues in Buffalo. Muddy Waters came to town with Johnny Winter and James Cotton for an entertaining show at the Shea's though Winter's contribution was strictly his name as he sang terribly and his guitar playing characterized by the typical excesses of rock guitarists. The following weeks concert of B.B. King and Bobby Bland has each do nice sets of their hits and then dueted together to close a fine evening of blues.

Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton and the Rhythm Rockers were at the Belle Starr in Colden. The Rhythm Rockers are an excellent white blues band led by John Nicholas on vocals and guitar and Ron Levy on piano (He played with B.B. for several years). They played some fine West Coast styled blues mostly and did provide strong support for Horton and Shines. Horton proved himself the greatest living harp player alive with his warm fluid style of playing and his fat tone. Shines played some electric slide guitar and sand with his gut-tearing vibrato. The highlight of the night I saw them was the duets of Horton and John Nichols which was great stuff.

I missed Muddy's appearance at the Belle Starr with his regular group though I'm told they did well. Finally Robert Jr. Lockwood's appearance at the folk festival was marred by the sound at the Clark Hall. Robert's guitar work suffered as he and his band's other vocalist Otis Trotter sang well. Robert's white guitarist Mike Hahn did much of the soloing and displayed considerable mastery. "Hold Everything" was Robert's best number as the sound was sorted well enough for Robert's dazzling chord-work to shine. It was nice, but Robert and his band should be booked into a club where they can get a better feel. Robert is playing weekends (Thursday through Sunday) in Cleveland.

For those who caught Walter Horton and Johnny Shines at the Belle Starr I would suggest you check up on their recordings. Big Walter's album on Alligator (4702) features his fluid work backed by Eddie Taylor. Carey Bell, one of Walter's pupils on harp, also duets with his teacher on a nice set ranging from Having a Good Time, Little Boy Blue to Trouble in Mind. Johnny Shines has several fine albums out. His Advent album (2803) is stunning featuring six solo performances in the Mississippi Delta tradition and five tracks where he is backed by guitarist Philip Walker's band. One of the band tracks My Love Can't Hide is done over a smoldering band with Shine's vibrato singing creating an intensity matched only by Otis Rush. I agree with Living Blues that this is not to be missed. Both of these albums have been available for some time now but as many may be unfamiliar with these, do try to pick up on them.

Philip Walker incidentally has a solid new album, Someday You’ll Have These Blues (Joliet 6001). Philip had a now out of pr!nt album on Playboy and has done much session work (Johnny Shines and Eddie Taylor for Advent) and is a fleet guitarist and a grainy singer who comes through with strong performances. Particularly fine are Mama's Gone, EI Paso Blues and a gospel number When It Needs Gettin' Done. Definitely one to check out. If you can't find it at stores try Southern Record Sales, 42 North Lake Ave., Pasadena, Cal. 91101. Stores interested in carrying this album night write Joliet Record Co P.0. Box 67201, Los Angeles, Ca. 90067 or Southern Record Sales for information on where they might be able to acquire copies for sale.

Another West Coast bluesman is Sleepy Jim Berry who I had acquired a 45 of a few years back. That single Long Time Blues is included on his album The Berry Patch (Consolidated BR-103) an album which is mixed in material and quality but does Include some good strong slow blues notably Long Time and Dehydrated Love. Southern Record Sales can supply this.

It is great to have James Peterson back in Buffalo playing the blues weekends at the Sunset Inn on Main Street. Buddy Guy and Junior Wells are scheduled at the Belle Starr May 4-8 and of course the great Big Joe Turner and Lloyd Glenn at the Tralfamadore at the end of May (the 27-29) as a benefit for WBFO and part of Listener Support Week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Trudy Lynn - Royal Oaks Blues Café

Has it really been over seven years since Trudy Lynn had a new recording out. Connor Ray Music issued Royal Oaks Blues Café, her first recordings since she recorded I’m Still Here (Sawdust Alley 2006) with the late Calvin Owens and his Blues Orchestra. The Houston based Lynn was among a number of artists who first came to folks attention on the Ichiban label and then for Ruf, Jus Blues and Sawdust Alley before this new recording.

The album cover bills this as Trudy Lynn featuring Steve Krase, and Krase’s harmonica is featured throughout. The studio band on most of this is guitarist John Del Toro Richardson, pianist Randy Wall, bassist Eugene ‘Spare Time’ Murray, and drummer Carl Owens. Its a solid small combo that contrasts with the Owens Blues Orchestra that supported her on her last album, and while the backing lends some difference in the mood perhaps, Trudy Lynn comes off as sassy and powerful as before.

She certainly benefits from a good mix of material from her strong rendition of the Jay McShann-Walter Brown blues standard Confessin’ The Blues, on which Krase and Richardson impress with their strong playing behind Lynn whose vocals display a clarity in phrasing and an expressive range (from a whisper to a shout). Wall’s piano kicks off the cover of a Bobby Bland recording, Play the Honky Tonks. Street Walkin’ Daddy benefits from the laid back backing with Richardson evoking the likes of Clarence Holliman and Pete Mayes behind Lynn’s soulful vocal. The tempo is boosted a few notches on the jump blues Red Light, while Lynn caresses the lyric of I’m Gonna Put You Down (“Did you ever wake up in the morning with your mind running two different ways”). Then she changes her attack for the jubilant celebration of Beale Street and the blues on the rollicking shuffle Down in Memphis.

There is fine Richardson guitar on the relaxed Effervescent Daddy with a choice harmonica solo as well. The closing Whip it To A Jelly further displays how nuanced a singer Lynn is as she brings out humor and wit of Clara Smith’s lyrics, Many blue singers today would come across as emotive or heavy-handed singing this. Her ability to convincingly deliver so many shades of blues makes Royal Oaks Blues Café such a terrific recording.

I purchased this. Here is a short video of the making of Royal Oaks Blues Café.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Janine Gilbert-Carter At Last

I was at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival performance by Janine Gilbert-Carter which was recorded and released under the title “At Last." Carter is among a number of wonderful vocalists that can be heard in the Mid-Atlantic region, regularly performing around Washington DC and its suburbs. Carter, has toured internationally and as I write this, about to appear at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. She was mentored by the late Washington vocal legend Ronnie Wells. and brings a background in gospel, blues and jazz together with singing that is full of heart and passion delivered with humor or pathos and with her wonderful intonation and timing. On this self-produced recording, before a packed audience of friends and fans, she is backed by pianist Eric Byrd, bassist Wes ‘Sugah’ Biles, drummer Jeff Neal and saxophonist Brian Lee Settles.

She gets the audience involved in a call and response on a lively “Let the Good Times Roll,” while captures the indigo mood of the Ellington classic, “Don’t Get Around Much More,” with  tenor sax from Settles. This is a set list of favorite songs including a nice “Stormy Monday” (Byrd is outstanding on piano); a  reworking of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”; lovely ballad renditions of “Since I Fell For You” and “My Family Valentine”; and some strong scatting on “How High the Moon.” Much of her interpretation of “Fever” is a duet with bassist Biles followed by a rocking “I Don’t Hurt No More,” (with more outstanding playing from Settles) before closing with “At Last,”  a song that is always being requested by those attending her performances. Eric Byrd takes us to church during his solo here.

The performances that evening were marvelously recorded, mixed and mastered by Bluehouse Productions. Some folk might question the inclusion of so many well-known and familiar songs, but these are the songs that are her bread and butter and favorites of those who came for to see her that night. In her voice, these are not tired standards, but heartfelt renditions of classic songs. All that were at that show received this recording that stands up as more than a souvenir. This is available at cd.baby.com. Her website is http://www.janinecarter.com.

Here is Janine Gilbrt-Carter singing "Stormy Monday" at Westminster Church in Washington DC as part of their weekly Friday night Jazz series.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Taking the Blues Time Machine To May 1977 with Big Joe Turner

This is from the May 1977 Buffalo Jazz Report which had the great Big Joe Turner on the cover to help promote the show he did at the Tralfmadore Cafe. I believe I wrote the bio of Joe to promote the sbhow he and Lloyd Glenn did and I was privileged to emcee. While some of the specific albums may be out of print, most, if not all, of Big Joe Turner's recorded output that is listed is available today, although perhaps in different form. I will post my column from that issue next week. I have  noted the first 58 issues of Buffalo Jazz Report (now Jazz & Blues Report) have been digitized and can be downloaded from the University of Buffalo Library system. The website for these archived issues is: http://digital.lib.buffalo.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/BuffJazz

"Joe Turner can take the most innocuous song:and invest it with tremendous significance. He has a big, commanding voice which has served as the inspiration for many singers, from Jimmy Witherspoon downwards, and it is interesting to ob- serve that when rock-'n'-roll became popular during the nineteen-fifties Joe was able to stage a come-back without any alteration to his basic singing style." -Alun Morgan in Jazz on Record

The legendary blues shouter, Big Joe Turner, will be com- ing to the Tralfamadore Cafe Friday through Sunday May 27 through 29 along with pianist Lloyd Glenn. Big Joe is perhaps the premier blues shouter and a major figure in the histories of blues, jazz and popular music. Lloyd Glenn, if less known than Joe, is a fine pianist whose association with T-Bone Walker and Lowell Fulson as well as his own recordings insure a place in blues and jazz history.

Joe Turner was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1911. He started singing professionally at the age of 14 and in the 1930s was associated with the late Pete Johnson, who spend his last years in Buffalo, at the Sunset Inn where Joe tended bar and sang and Pete tinkled on the ivories. In 1938 they were participants at the famed "Spirituals to Swing Concert" that John Hammond organized at Carnegie Hall. Later in 1938 Pete and Joe joined pianists Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons at Cafe Society. Besides Joe's great singing the Cafe Society was headquarters of the three greatest boogie woogie piano players.

Joe also started a recording career, that is still going strong, recording with Pete Hot Lips Page, Art Tatum and others. Joe sang with Count Basie, Any Kirk's Twelve Clouds of Joy with whom Mary Lou Williams was playing piano, Duke Ellington, and Joe remembers that "I sang with Benny Goodman on the air when he had the Camel Hour, with Lionel Hampton and Teddy Wilson, and I sang with their trio."

Joe continued to record in the forties and made sides for a variety of labels including National, Savoy, Swing Time, Aladdin and Imperial. People he worked with on those records include Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons, Russell Jacquet, Don Byas, Art Farmer and Fats Domino.

In 1951 Joe was signed to Atlantic where his first session produced "Chains of Love" which earned Joe a gold record. With Atlantic Joe was a monster hit maker on the R'n'B charts with "Sweet Sixteen", "Honey Hush" “Shake Rattle & Roll" (which Bill Haley would later cover). "Flip Flop & Fly" (with Elmore James' band) and "Corrine, Corrina" which Joe first did with Art Tatum. 1956 produced a reunion album with Pete Johnson Boss of the Blues which was aptly titled as they produced a great album of Kansas City Jazz and did new versions of "Roll 'Em Pete", "Cherry Red" amongst the tunes associated with Joe. Joe has continued to record and perform.

The last few years he has sung with the Johnny Otis Show and recorded several .excellent albums on Pablo. His late 1976 engagement at New York's Cookery with Lloyd Glenn was a critical and popular smash.

Big Joe Turner and Lloyd Glenn are being brought to the Tralfamadore by PubIic Radio Station WBFO-FM as a benefit for the station. The concerts wiII launch Iistener support week at WBFO al)d besides great music you wi II be helping WBFO to expand its service to the community and to continue imto expand its service to the community and to continue improving its programming. As Benny Green has written "Joe Turner is one of the very few who sing the blues as though born to it.”

(Joe Turner quote from Paul Clinco's interview with him, Living Blues, Autumn, 1972)

Partial Joe Turner Discography
Rock in' the Blues .~ Atlantic Big Joe is Here - Atlantic
Big Joe Rides Again- Atlantic Boss of the Blues - Atlantic Best of Joe Turner - Atlantic
Joe Turner: His Greatest Recordings - Atlantic
BIues - Savoy
Careless Love - Savoy
Jump in' the Blues - Arhoolie (with Pete Johnson)
Roll 'Em- Bluesway
Super Black Blues - BluesTime (with T-Bone Walker and Otis Spann) 
The Bosses - Pablo (with Count Basie)
Meets the Trumpet Kings - Pablo (with Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry and Roy Eldridge '
Nobody in Mind -Pablo (with Milt Jackson and Roy Eldridge)

Monday, May 05, 2014

Toby Walker - What You See Is What You Get

Toby Walker is amongst the finest living solo blues guitarists alive today and he has a new self-produced recording which displays his considerable talents, What You See Is What You Get. It is a marvelous recording with Walker employing a variety of guitars and even playing slide on an electric as he plays in a variety of older blues styles covering songs from Big Joe Williams, Rube Lacy, Louisiana Red, Mississippi John Hurt, Rube Lacy, Blind Willie Johnson, Sonny Boy Williamson and Blind Willie McTell as well as performs several originals.

Walker’s gravelly vocal style does strain sometime and is less convincing to these ears on the opening Baby Please Don’t Go Do and Blind Willie Johnson’s God Moves On The Water, than it is on the able interpretation of Louisiana Red’s Dead Stray Dog, with some lively picking and slide. There is a jaunty Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, and a nice interpretation of Statesboro Blues, with splendid twelve-string playing. It is a delight to hear someone revive Rube Lacy’s Ham Hound Crave, with some guitar in the manner of such folks as Charlie McCoy and others. The rendition of John Hurt’s Got the Blues, Can't Be Satisfied is delightful.

Originals include a terrific finger style guitar feature dedicated to the legendary Blind Blake Putting On the Blakes, which cleverly mixes together pieces from various Blake recordings into a marvelous whole. I am unfamiliar with his previously recording but his playing is stunning here. Similar styled guitar is heard on the humorous Everything I Want, where he sings about chewing off more than he can financially handle. This has a fun lyric with marvelous playing. There is more wonderful playing on “Highway,” with a bit of country-folk flavor, while  driving slide playing on the amusing Put Something Stupid On The Tube, suggests it could be a vehicle for a group playing southern rock or country-rock.

The strong performances on What You See Is What You Get, make this a release to appeal to anyone who enjoys acoustic blues. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone playing better solo guitar today. In addition to music on the CD, a link is provided that gives access for three more downloads, 4 videos of interviews; stories and songs; 3 video guitar lessons; and more. More information on Toby Walker and this CD can be found on www.littletobywalker.com/.

I received my review copy from Toby Walker. Here is a video of Toby providing a bit of instruction on Mississippi John Hurt’s Got the Blues, Can't Be Satisfied.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Cathy Lemons Black Crow

Bay area singer Cathy Lemons brings a rich plate of musical gems including blues and blues-infused rock in a fashion that might suggest Bonnie Raitt. She perhaps a bit more grit in her vocal textures than Raitt, but communicates with perhaps a bit more understated approach and than Raitt. Her no album Black Crow (VizzTone) is a wonderful recording comprised mostly of her thoughtful originals ranging from rocking shuffles Texas Shuffle, strutting funk of I’m a Good Woman to soulful country-laced laments as on Kiernan Kane’s Ain’t Gonna Do It.

Her vocals strike the listener with their natural, relaxed and soulful quality. She is backed by a fine band with co-producer Steve Gurr on guitar, Paul Olguin on bass, D’Mar or Robbie Bean on drums, and Kevin Zufti on keyboards on three tracks. Doug James adds sax on three selections, Volker Strifler plays guitar on two, while Kid Andersen, another co-producer (who also recorded mixed and mastered this), adds organ to one selection and sound effects to another.

The title track is a country-rock number with a evocative lyric and her moving, smokey vocal supported by understated atmospheric backing as she weaves a lyric if a maimed black crow with her relationship to her man with the lament, “You’re my maimed black crow; All I ever wanted was your wings around me; I swear we both got to burn; But I’ll take you with me.” The laid back feel of this performance is followed by the Hip Check Man with  nifty guitar and harmonica from Gurr on a rocker with a driving groove and an understated, almost spoken, vocal. You’re in My Town, a slow blues, has echoes of Boz Scaggs in Gurr's guitar and the backing, as Lemons warns her man to take that woman from out of his eyes, or it will be the last thing he ever does. A gem is her cover of Earl King’s It All Went Down the Drain with the restraint of her vocal and Volker Strifler’s guitar adding to the atmosphere. There is a pleasant cover of James Brown’s The Big Payback with James  on baritone sax followed by another slow blues lament I’m Gonna Try.

Strifler adds a bit muscle to his guitar backing on the rocking Texas Shuffle as Lemons sings about give her an old time Texas Shuffle as she tries to get out of town. The album closes with The Devil Has Blue Eyes, with Gurr’s acoustic guitar and harmonica, is her reworking of Skip James’ Devil Got My Woman. It is a lament about how the devil took her man away, “Heart has no say; The heart has no say; This devil has taken my love away,” It has an austere and haunting quality and completes what is a memorable and recommended recording.

I received my review copy from VizzTone. Here Cathy performs Black Crow.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Oran Etkin - Gathering Light

Israeli born Oran Etkin is among a number of distinctive voices (others include Chicago’s Jason Stein and Baltimore’s Todd Marcus) specializing on the bass clarinet. Etkin’s music has long incorporated elements from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere and his new recording Gathering Light (Motéma Music) continues in this vein taking inspiration in part by tours the past few years in Indonesia, China, Japan, Israel and Europe. On this he is supported by his trio of bassist Ben Allison and drummer Nasheet Waits along with Curtis Fowlkes on trombone and long-time collaborator Lionel Loueke on guitar and vocals.

The compositions range from an Indonesian folk song to Louis Armstrong’s theme song and indicate the range of musical flavors heard here. The opening Gambang Suling is the Indonesian folk song referred to with just the trio as Etkin displays his mastery of the bass clarinet's full range from the deep woody low reaches to  saxophone like horn lines as the rhythm duo of Allison and Waits provide the groove and complement Etkin’s serpentine playing that sugests a klezmer clarinet. Taxi Dance has an African flair with Loueke’s guitar contributing with his chords and single run accents while Fowlkes adds color behind the leader’s clarinet. Loueke also solos with his mix of distorted staccato runs and rhythmic accenting before the three take off with some collective improvisation. The lovely Israeli song Shirim Ad Kan has lovely clarinet and a brief bass interlude from Allison.

African flavor characterizes the joyous, Gratitude, with the quintet that opens with Etkin's’s woody tone punctuated with squeaks while Loueke adds some prickly guitar and a vocal as the ensemble gets into an energetic groove. Takeda (Homesick Blues) has a more subued feel with Etkin’s clarinet (with Fowlkes’ trombone’s embellishments) casting a melancholic flavor on a composition based on a traditional Japanese song.

Tony’s Dance with its unusual structure is a performance in the spirit of some of Eric Dolphy, while Guangzhou Taxi is a fascinating  performance with changes in tempo and temperature of the performance as Loueke sets off some fireworks during his solo. Louis Armstrong was Etkin’s first inspiration and a rendition of When it’s Sleepy Time Down South is full of lyricism It is a marvelous performance that concludes a superb recording.

I received my review copy from a publicist. His website is www.oranetkin.com. Here is a video of Gambang Suling.