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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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Showing posts with label 33 Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 33 Records. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

33 Records artist: Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion - The Blues And I Should Have A Party - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Blues And I Should Have A  Party, from Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion and it a cool blues rocker. Opening with Please Don't Cheat On Me, lead singer and band leader Schwarz continues where she left off on This Is The Life I Choose, with strong guitar riffs by Rob Koral, Pete Whittaker on Hammond and Paul Robinson on drums. Title track, The Blues And I Should Have A Party, has a super slow pace with excellent guitar riffs by Koral under the melody. Rich Hammond organ work by Whittaker really sets a soothing stage for an excellent solo line by Koral and the soulful vocals of Schwarz. Excellent! Don't Worry Blues is another 12 bar entry with a cool groove. A firm bass line and Hammond work establishes the mood and Schwarz and Koral trading the lead is the standard. Whittaker lays down a nice organ solo and Koral is back with firm soloing of his own. Very nice. An up tempo jazz fused track, My Handsome Man, changes the pace up nicely and with a catchy melody and snappy beat making it the likely radio track for the release.  Another of my favorites on the release is Don't Hold Back with a strong melody, and some of Schwarz's strongest vocals on the release. I also really like the attack of both Whittaker and Koral on this track giving it a bit of edge. Wrapping the release is Thank You a cool soul jazz feel. Light and breezy, yet with stinging guitar riffs from Koral, Robinson mixing up the rhythms and solid organ work from Whittaker making this a super closer for a solid release.



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Friday, March 3, 2017

33 Records/Proper Note artist: Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion - This Is The Life I Choose - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, This Is The Life I Choose, by Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion and it's quite interesting. Opening with Hold On, a driving rocker with a definite British flavor, ZSBC starts where they left off on their last release with solid vocals and well executed tracks. Featuring Zoe Schwarz on lead vocal, Rob Koral on guitar, Pete Whittaker on Hammond and Paul Robinson on drums, these guys have their own sound. Slower ballad, Broken, has a really nice melody nicely highlighting Schwarz's voice as well as tasty riffs by Koral. Rolling jazz track, I Want To Get Something Started With You, has a super bottom with a nice bass line and adventurous guitar lead by Koral. One of my favorite tracks on the release is title track, This Is The Life I Choose, with it's sensitive melody, supple vocals and throaty guitar work. Wrapping the official release is another ballad, Call Of The Night, another really nice ballad with an inviting melody. A really nice way to complete a solid release. Added as a bonus Jack Bruce's haunting track, We're Going Wrong, is an extremely super idea. I've always loved this track, one of Bruce's best and nicely done by Schwarz with heavy tom tom by Robinson and eccentric guitar work by Koral which makes this track a must hear. Another bonus track is Feeling Good, made popular by Nina Simone. With it's "Summertime" blue feel and frantic guitar work by Koral, this is another track that really makes the release special. Very nice!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

33 Records artist: Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion - I'll Be Yours Tonight LIVE - New Release review

I just received the newest release, I'll Be Yours Tonight LIVE, from Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion and it's quite good! Opening with a rocker, Your Sun Shines Rain, Schwarz reminds me a lot of early Yeah Yeah Yeahs but done in San Francisco in 1968. Interesting. Fine & Mellow is a perfect title for this track. Schwarz really uses nice phrasing vocally and I particularly like the guitar work of Rob Koral. Pete Whittaker on Hammond and Paul Robinson round this band out nicely, Whittaker even taking a really nice expressive solo of his own. Very cool! High energy rocker (think My Generation), Let Me Sing The Blues with a light country twist gets the crowd moving. Si Genaro joins on harp and Andy Urquhart on trumpet adding even more dimensionality. Koral is not afraid to step out at all and his work on this track is cool and blistering. Smile has a really distinctive San Francisco sound. Vocal tension, instrumentation and backing vocals. Angel Of Mercy for some reason puts me in mind of Annie Haslam, lead singer of Renaissance. The song has a cool awkwardness and sophisticated composition, carried mostly on the backs of Whittaker and Schwarz. Liberated Woman is almost straight out rock with a dose of blues. With it's simple rhythm, quick pace and country style riffs it gets the crowd breathing hard. We'll Find A Way is an emotional ballad. Whittaker brings the heat on Hammond to allow Schwarz to deliver the word. Koral steps up with a really nice guitar solo on this one as well showing just how much can be said with only a few notes. R&B kicker, Say It Isn't So, has a bit of that old style Janis feel (Move Over) with it's constant drive. Whittaker gives the Hammond an aggressive ride and Urquhart punctuates the sound. I Believe In You is one of my favorites on the release with a modern blues theme. Koral really rips a nice solo on this track and his tone is spot on for my taste. Very nice! I'll Do Anything is instrumentally so 60's UK it's amazing. The vocals by Schwarz have a Grace Slick freedom that really works with this well. I like the simple complexity of Beatitudes, a slower blues ballad with a jazz dimensionality. Schwarz vocals are strong and Whittaker lays down some really nice keystrokes on this track. I have listened to this release a number of times and I continue to be surprised by the chord changes and I like it better each time. Koral again steps up with clean and interesting guitar riffs making this one of my favorites. Wrapping the release is the freewheeling Take Me Back. With it's simple, driving rhythm (think Radar Love)and eccentric soloing from Koral capped off by funky Hammond work by Whittaker this track is a good closer for this live endeavor.
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