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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sweetspot Records artist: Al Basile - B's Expression - New release review

I just received the newest release, B's Expression, from Al Basile and it has a nice groove. Opening with Whole Lot of Good Good Lovin', a smooth blues with a laid back cornet and vocal lead from Basile and Duke Robillard setting on a real nice guitar lead. Mark Teixeira on drums, Bruce bears on keys and Brad Hallen on bass hold down the bottom. On swinging, It Wasn't That Good, Bears on keys, Doug James on sax and Carl Querfurth form a warm bed for Basile's vocals. Bears takes a melodic key solo and Robillard lays down a sporty jazz/rock solo of his own. R&B based, Not Like I Do, has a cool bass line from Hallen. With a bit of a funky hitch, Basile steps up with a really nice cornet solo. Very cool. Hi steppin, Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Being Right really rides on the solid trombone work of Querfurth. Soulful vocals from Basile are tops and Bears lays out a nice piano solo. Basile sets in a short cornet solo of his own but this track is really about the vocals. Funky, I'm Runnin' Late, has a great bass line from Hallen and James and Querfurth pump up the middle. I really like Basile's cornet attack/soloing on this track. Very nice! Have I Given My Best has an earth spiritual feel (Will The Circle Be Unbroken) with a soulful twist. Some of Basile's nicest vocals on the release, this track is an easy airplay. Another hi stepper, Never Good Enough, has a distinct Al Green feel. Querfurth and James really do a nice job of punctuating this track throughout and Robillard adds some cleverly placed blues riffs of his own. I particularly like his guitar solo on this track nicely blending the funky R&B feel with definite blues riffs. Excellent! Somethin's Missing has an easy funky jazz feel again nicely punctuated by the horn section. Setting itself up nicely for Basile on cornet, he takes front and center laying down a nicely articulated solo. An easy sway led by Querfurth and James opens Answer Me, with it's Fagen like vocals. Robillard again nicely fuses hot blues riffs into this fusion track and Basile has great tone delivering solo lines of his own. Very nice! Funky, I Didn't Come Here To Lie, has a hot bass line by Hallen and solid horn lines keeping the track grounded. Basile's cornet work is so casual and sweet it fits perfectly. Ballad, Even Jesus Fell, has a soulful feel with a swing. Based mostly on horn base and nicely executed key work from Bears, it's a nice showcase for Basile on vocal and nice melodic guitar soloing by Robillard. Super R&B track, That Ain't Bad, has a nice weave of funky bass, horns and stinging guitar. Basile knows how deliver the goods vocally on this best of show and his cornet work is tight. Sweet! Wrapping the release is You Know - You Don't Know is opened by jazzy riffs by Hallen on upright bass. A quiet soothing track with carefully dabbed brushstrokes of cornet, piano, trombone, sax and guitar make this a masterful conclusion.

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