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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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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Blackgold Productions artist: Ebony Jo-Ann - Please Save Your Love For Me - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Please Save Your Love For Me, from Ebony Jo-Ann and it's super. Opening with Ashford and Simpson's, Just Rain, a driving R&B track, Jo-Ann on lead vocal, enlists a super lineup of backing artists including Danny Kean on Keys, Phil Bloom on drums, Tinkr on bass, Gerald Rampersad on sax Forrest "Frosty" Lawson on trumpet and trombone and Azza Miller on backing vocals. Mark Bowers really lays some nice guitar riffs out there perfectly accenting Jo-Ann's lead vocals. Great opener! On Sly Johnson's, Is It Because I'm Black, Jo-Ann takes you on a beautiful soul tour with woven sax, trumpet, Rhodes, and plucky bass. Mario Staiano adds congas and Bowers again steps up with a really hot solo. Excellent...I mean Really Excellent! Easy slung blues track, Yo Love, has a smooth Steeley Dan feel with Kean's Rhodes work Jo-Ann's solid vocals. Guy Davis steps up with an interesting harmonica solo giving it an earthier feel and Bowers work is clean as a whistle. Very nice! Tinkr's rhythmic bass work sets the pace for Nosybody. Thuli Dumakude, Danny Kean and Aiza Miller set up some really warm backing vocals complimented by Bill Easley on sax with a real nice solo. Kean lays in rhythm guitar, piano, B3 and tambourine adding quite a bit of texture. Cool! Percy Mayfield's Send Me Someone To Love gets the straight nightclub ballad treatment and Jo-Ann shows her beautiful vocal range. Kean on acoustic piano is perfect on this track, backed by Phil Bloom on drums and Larry Ross on upright. Bowers gets special credit for his beautiful guitar soloing on this track. Excellent! Glad I Waited For Love, penned by Aziza Miller, has a contemporary neo-soul feel. Tinkr's bass appointments on this track are quite cool, and Jo-Ann's vocals, supported by Kean on keys, Staiano on congas, Easley on on sax and Bloom on drums plus Kean and Miller on backing vocal make this the natural radio track on the release. Burnin' World has a funky, rock feel with Kean leading the instrumentation on keys. Melodic guitar work from Bowers stands out nicely with Ross on bass and Bloom on drums. Excellent Buddy Johnson track, Please Save Your Love For Me, has been one of my favorites for a long time. Jo-Ann does a real nice job on lead vocal backed by Kean, Bloom, Tinkr, Rampersad and Lawson. Very smooth! Bumble Bee Slim's hot swing track, Muddy Water really works nicely with Jo-Ann's vocal style. Bowers takes a real nice strolling guitar solo on this one with solid reinforcement from Bloom, Kean and Ross. Easley hits the solo road as well on tenor sax, and Kean rolls the keys as well, all backed by Dumakude, Kean, Deborah Johnson, Aziza Miller, Renee Miller and Ross on backing vocal. Excellent! Wrapping the release is Walter Vinson's traditional blues track, Sittin' On Top Of The World. Backed by Guy Davis on acoustic guitar, Slide, Banjo, Harp and Foot stomps, this is a cool blusey ending to a really great release!

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