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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, September 19, 2017

Tone Center Records artist: Jing Chi - Supremo - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the to be released (October 27, 2017) recording, Supremo, by Jing Chi. After a 13 year break Jing Chi, featuring Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip and Vinnie Colaiuta is delivering their 4th record for Tone Center Records and it's a doozy. Opening with The Majestic, this band is off the hook with a fusion sound made in heaven. Ford has incredible chops and Colaiuta (who coincidentally grew up only a few miles from my childhood home) is one of the best drummers on the planet. On a who's who list of drummers, it's easier to list who he hasn't played with... even Jeff Beck! Haslip sets a great bottom, doing what most great bassists do... setting a great foundation for the track while playing incredible lines that would blow you away if you just listened to them without the band. Mike Haynes on trumpet adds tight trumpet work as well. Powerful opener. Showtime is a super track with a strong bass line and various time changes. With clean guitar lead and punchy horn work by Jeff Coffin and Haynes, this track has great texture. Secrets has a strong underlying R&B feel supported by soulful horns but with contemporary lines and powerful bluesy guitar lead by Ford. One of the nicest tracks on the release is easy going, Casablanca, with it's almost waltz like flow. Warm chords by Ford, with light percussion and bass set the stage and as the track opens Ford lays out some beautiful improvisation lead perfectly appointed by Colaiuta's remarkable sense of drum rhythm.  Excellent! Vegas has a country feel with a tight bass line and twangy jazz guitar riffs by Ford. At The Apollo has a real nice groove with a power horn feel.  Coffin and Haynes carry the melody set by Haslip and Ford takes the front as the track develops with more adventurous exploration of the theme. Fat rich guitar tones and powerful drum rhythm by Colaiuta anchor this track. Wrapping the release is title track, Jing Xi with a jagged rhythm pattern giving Colaiuta a real opportunity to show his stuff. Anyone who has seen him play would immediately recognize his sound and with masters like Ford and Haslip to work with, this blues infused track is a great closer. If you want to hear something that isn't mainstream but really hits... this is it! 

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