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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Blue Kitty Music artist: Liz Mandeville - Heart 'O' Chicago - New Release Review

I just received the newest release. Heart 'O' Chicago from Liz Mandeville and it's quite cool! Opening with Cloud Of Love, a blend of soul, R&B, funk and gospel; I really like the feel! Featuring sax solo's from Oz Landessberg and Eddie Campbell as well as a cool trombone work from Eric Campbell and hot bass from Darryl Wright, this smokes. On These Blues, the band falls back into a calm swing and Mandeville goes from a hot spiritual vocal style to more of a club jazz style. Minoru Wright on guitar and Joan Gand share the instrumental spotlight backed by Wade baker on trumpet, Eric campbell on trombone and Oz Landessberg on sax and the slick stick work of Jeremiah Thomas on drums. Don't Doubt My Love finds Charlie Love in a vocal duet with Mandeville on an easy R&B track. Maruyama lays down a nicely stylized guitar solo on this track which nicely dresses it. So Called Best Friend has a cool groove set by Wright and Thomas and featuring Mandeville on vocal. Billy Branch lays down some real nice harp on this one as does Maruyama with his stinging guitar riffs. Quit Me On Voice Mail has a real nice slow sensibility. Eddie Shaw digs in on this track showing some of his best chops on anything I've heard in a while. Mandeville shows real comfort moving from the slow ballad to the moving R&B and high energy spiritual. Maruyama again steps up with sweet sweet blues riffs. Very nice! Shuffle track, Party At The End Of Time, lead by a rolling bass line from Wright, features Branch back on harp and a cool solo line from Maruyama. Silver Lining (Shirley's Blues) is a cool R&B track again with gospel energy. I have always liked this style of track and mandeville's voice is nicely suited for this. I really dig Wright's bass work on this track and well articulated guitar work from Maruyama is tops. Baker, Campbell, Landessberg and Gand really get this track swinging! Tic Tok has more of a Rock/R&B feel with strong horn backing and nice B3 work from Gand. Why Would A Woman Sing The Blues is a high stepping track with a super nice groove. Mandeville takes one of the most aggressive, raw guitar solos on the release immediately elevating it to one of my favorites. Smart Women Foolish Choices again features a vocal duet with Charlie Love and Mandeville. A slick modern shuffle, features really nice bass work again from Wright and a cool trumpet solo from Wade Baker. (Life Is Like A) Wave takes standard 12 bar format and features Dizzy Bolinski on harp. Mandeville steps up with a little blues swagger of her own on guitar in tandem with Bolinski for a simple conclusion to a very cool release.

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