Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Kingswood Records artist: The Jim Kweskin Band with Samoa Wilson - I Just Want To Be Horizontal - New Release Review


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, I Just Want To be Horizontal, from Samoa Wilson with The Jim Kweskin Band and it's really strong contemporary looks at 20's and 30's  music. Opening with After You've Gone, a Turner Layton composition with crystal clear vocals by Samoa Wilson, musicologist, Jim Kweskin on vocal and guitar leads a great gang of players including Mike Davis on trumpet, Paloma Ohm on alto sax, Sonny Barbato on piano, Dennis Lichtman on clarinet, Matthew Berlin on bass and Jeff Brown on drums. Excellent opener. Bluesy title track, (I Just Want to Be) Horizontal, really milks Wilson's vocal style with a lot of richness, with strong guitar work by Kweskin and Titus Vollmer. Very nice. Muted trumpet work by Davis sets the track off nicely Barbato's piano work. With a Dixieland style interwoven instrumentation, I Cried For You, is a great track with really cool trumpet and clarinet interplay. Made popular by Billie Holiday, Until The Real Thing Comes Along brushes into the jazz arena with an excellent sax solo by Ohn, clarinet passage by Lichtman and piano solo by Barbato all supporting the perfect vocals or Wilson. Me, Myself and I is a cool rag with emphasis on finger picking by Kweskin and bright singing by Wilson, and soloing by Davis, Barbato and Ohm. Bessie Smith's Kitchen Man is up next and like Smith, the innuendo is thick. Wilson's delivery is perfect and convincing, reviving this classic for todays market with cool clarinet and trumpet interplay. Bing Crosby's I Wished On the Moon really works well with Wilson's vocal style and may be the coolest track on the release with an excellent sax solo by Ohm and piano solo by Barbato. Wrapping the release is Tony Bennett's Someone Turned The Moon Upside Down. A proper 40's ballad, jazz style sax work by Ohm really gives the track a nice warmth and Barbato's piano solo adds a formal crispness. This is a different release but it's merits are strong.

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