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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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Friday, December 19, 2014

Robin Banks - Modern Classic - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Modern Classic, from Robin Banks and it has an appeal all it's own. I've listened to this a number of times now and it has a clearness and clarity that is rarely heard in today's music. Opening with A Man Is Just A Man, Banks demonstrates the clarity of her voice and also her intentions of making a album of music that came out of a '57 Chevy. It has that kind of simple human quality. Superhero is a easy bop with really nice guitar work from Duke Robillard. Again the sound is early sixties pop. I Really Dig You goes back even a bit further to possibly Dinah Washington and that early pop jazz sound. Bruce Bears on keys and Robillard spice up the track with clarity and swing and Mark Early lays out a real nice sax solo as well. Crazy has some really cool guitar effects and Doug James really lays in some nice Bari sax. Mark Teixeira keeps the rhythm tight giving it a nice sparkle and again Early steps up and kicks it! My Baby Loves Me has a real nice easy swing and Doug Woolverton hits the muted trumpet. The bluesiest track on the release is also my favorite and possibly the best demonstration of Banks vocal style. Robillard lays down some really nicely articulated guitar solos and Doug James bottom supplied sax is tops. A Little Bit Of Heaven has a Latin feel with Teixeira coaxing pure rhythm out of the track. Bruce Bears riffs sound like they were born in Cuba and Banks is spot on vocally. Robillard lays in a light fingered Latin guitar solo and Brad Hallen takes on the lead instrumentally with Bears as the track steps up to full swing. I'll Meet You There has an Al Green R&B feel but with more southern soul vocals. Early again steps up with a hot sax solo and Banks vocal duet and Woolverton on trumpet gives it that Memphis sound. Bears opens Tonight with spy piano riffs and Banks gets into that pop jazz swing. Bears and Robillard trade instrumental lead on this track and even Hallen and Teixeira get into the action. Cool! Bite Your Tongue has that good southern funky soul with horn punctuation. Bears takes a hot organ solo and Robillard throws down as well. A sassier vocal style on this track really lends itself nicely to the styling. On boogie track, You Boogie Too Fast For Me, Bears and Hallen give the boogie a ride. A slick piano interlude by Bears adds significantly to the overall feel. Ballad, A Place In The City, finds Bears delivering a gospel or Robbins if you will, piano style giving the track a country sound. Robillard lays down some double stop guitar work that even more enforces the overall country sound. Wrapping the release is Some Day Soon, another pop jazz track with Banks swinging out. Bears is light and bright on the keys and Teixeira on brushes allows the warmth of Hallen to come through having the feel of a true jazz trio (quartet with vocal). This is a different kind oof blues for a lighter listen but I believe that there is a strong audience out there for exactly this.

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1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it's the old Duke Robillard Band circa 2010 featuring Robin Banks on vocals. That has to be worth a listen!

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