I just received the newest release, Blue Skies, from Jordan Officer and it's actually quite amazing. I recall being quite taken by Officer's earlier release, I'm Free and this album, totally different, shows what a complete artist Officer is.Opening with the title track, Blue Skies, penned by Tom Waits, Officer slips right into a gypsy jazz mode blowing out absolutely incredibly beautiful riffs on his guitar in a very subdued studio like setting, backed by Alain Berge' on drums and Sage Reynolds on bass. Big Three Trio's Got You On My Mind has an easy blues feel. Officers guitar riffs are tight and spectacular. Fats Domino's It's You Love has trace New Orleans rhythms but subdued with light vocals over sparkling guitar riffs. Arthur Alexander's Shot Of Rhythm and Blues has a pure 60's beat feel and Officer really revs up the playful nature of the rhythm. Clever double stops, vocal harmonies and slick runs give this track a unique feel. Big Joe Turner's Chains Of Love maintains it's traditional blues base with simple vocals and articulate guitar riffs. Sensuous and mature. Instrumental, Night Flight has a Tex Mex rhythm featuring Augie Meyers on keys. Office shows fluid runs and lush chords making this one of my favorite tracks on the release. Leroy Carr's How Long Blues is somber and savory. Maintaining it's rhythmic guitar strum and jazz chords, this track has some of the cleanest blues phrasing that I have heard in a while. Beautiful! Louis Armstrong's That's For Me, is a quiet ballad with strong jazz style picking. Officer is really quite amazing. Phil Spector's Then She Kissed Me maintains Spector's original timing on the melody but double times the guitar work. With the band picking up the bottom almost making it into a country track, Officer maintains his stellar guitar work with my best comparisons being to a young Les Paul. Literally spectacular! Bob Dylan's When The Deal Goes Down, in 3/4 time maintains a quiet composure but Officers incredible elaboration on the fretboard is impossible to ignore. Wrapping the release is another Tex Mex style instrumental, Takin' Off. With Meyers on organ and Tony Albino on drums, this track has a great beat. Office flashes his teeth a few times but keeps his guitar contained for this quiet closer. This release may not be for everyone, but I recommend that everyone check it out. It is really quite different...and amazing!
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