Sunday, May 15, 2016

Jonn Del Toro Richardson Tengo Blues

Jonn Del Toro Richardson is likely best known as guitarist with the terrific singer, Diunna Greenleaf. He also collaborated with Rich DelGrosso for a warmly received recording. "Tengo Blues" is a solid new self-produced recording by him that is distributed by VizzTone. This was recorded in Austin and produced by Jonn and Anson Funderburgh, who also plays on three selections. The band backing Jonn includes Nick Connolly on keyboards, Nathan Rowe on bass, Wes Starr on drums and the Texas Horns with Kaz Kazanoff. The leader wrote all 13 songs, with Gary Vincent and Anson Funderburgh each contributing to two songs.

Ax expected from both Del Toro Richardson's playing and the band assembled here, one has some nicely played songs that cover a variety of musical textures and flavors. He comes across as quite an appealing vocalist. A good singer, Del Toro Richardson sings honestly and with heart while laying down plenty of strong guitar. There is an almost Koko Taylor groove for "I'm Her Man," which is a celebration of his guitar as he sings he can make her laugh, cry, moan and sigh. "Love If You Want It," is not the Slim Harpo number but an original that is built on a lazy Jimmy Reed shuffle groove. "Triple Lindig" is a jazzy instrumental (very nice guitar) with Connolly on organ and horns adding to the flavor of this performance and followed by the Tex-Mex flavor of "The Moment" with the Texas Horns adding a mariachi feel along with some superb trumpet.

A Memphis funk groove is present on "Can't Run From Love," with a catchy lyric that "you don't find love, love finds you." "Get Me Back To Texas," one of the songs which Anson Funderburgh is present has a groove that evokes Hound Dog Taylor. "This I Know" is a swamp pop ballad the performance of which sounds like a Gulf Coast adaptation of a Charles Brown number and has a nicely played and paced guitar solo, while "Tell Me Pretty Baby" is updated T-Bone Walker styled jump blues with terrific guitars from both and "Wild Ride" is bluesy rock and roll with Connolly's rollicking piano coming off like Johnnie Johnson.

The title track, "Tengo Blues" is a splendid organ-guitar instrumental with a latin groove that displays Del Toro Richardson's inventive, fiery playing as Rowe and Starr provide a crisp groove with a touch of a latin accent. With solid production and marvelous Performances, "Tengo Blues" is a fine showcase for Jonn Del Toro Richardson's considerable talent.

I received my copy from the record company. This review originally appeared in the March-April 2016  Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 365) on page 16 (you can download the issue at, although I have made a few stylistic changes from that review. Here is Jonn Jonn Del Toro Richardson in performance, and if this doesn't knock you out, I do not know what will.

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