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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 Raphael Wressnig. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raphael Wressnig. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

ZYX Music artist: Raphael Wressnig & Igor Prado - The Soul Connection - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Soul Connection, from Raphael Wressnig & Igor Prado and it blows me away. Opening with Otis Clay's hit, Trying To Live My Life Without You, features Willie Walker on lead vocal surrounded by lush organ work of Wressnig and stinging guitar work of Igor Prado and backed by Rodrigo Mantovani on bass, Yuri Prado on drums, Sax Gordon Beadle on sax, Sidmar Vieira on trumpet and Lisa Andersen on backing vocals. Super soulful opener. Jazzy instrumental Young Girl has a great groove giving Prado and Wressnig wide open space to dig into solid solos. This is a super track that will get into your seat. Willie Walker is back on Little Willie John's soulful, Suffering With The Blues. With easy club styling, Prado really sit's down on his solo, squeezing out each drop of blues. Mantovani's bass work is spot on and Wressnig's organ work carrying the weight under beautifully crushing vocals by Walker. Tyrone Davis' R&B track, Turning Point, has a great feel featuring David Hudson on lead vocal. Mantovani's bass line really accentuates the track nicely with punchy key work from Wressnig and snappy drum work from Yuri. With cool lead organ work on original track, No-La-Fun-Ky, Mantovani and Yuri really hit the groove. This is a hot track and Igor's guitar work is smokin! Little Willie John's Home At Last has just the right feel featuring Willie Walker on some of the best lead vocals on the release, really nice key work by Wressnig, and excellent guitar phrasing and I do mean excellent phrasing from Prado. R&B instrumental, Turnip Greens has just the right bass lines to make this a super track with warm organ lead and Albert King like blues guitar riffs. Very cool. Willie Walker has the lead on Billy Myles' My Love Is, with a cool airy backing featuring mostly hand claps, finger snaps, a super cool bass line and keys. Very cool. Igor Prado's excellent jump track, The Face Slap Swing No 5, is absolutely off the hook with outrageous soloing from both Wressnig and Prado. My favorite track on the release...excellent! Instrumental, Grazing In The Grass, made popular by Hugh Masekela has solid orchestration and clean solos on an "easy" arrangement. Leon Beale takes the lead vocal role on Don Robey's Don't Cry No More, made popular by Wilson Pickett. With it's high energy spilling over and pushed to the sky by Wressnig and Igor, this track almost hits gospel heights. Willie Walker really raises the bar on Jon Thomas' Heartbreak and the driving bass line of Mantovani really gets this track stomping. Igor and Wressnig slip in really tasty riffs on this super stepping track. Wow! Wrapping the release is Wayne Rainey's country western hit, Why Don't You Haul Off And Love Me. Wressnig takes the lead and with a blend of country and gospel styling, wraps up one of the best releases that I've heard in a long time.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Enrico Crivellaro-Raphael Wressnig-Silvio Berger

It is hardly a surprise that his two latest albums, "Freewheelin" and "Mojo Zone", are often found in music stores next to Chet Atkins and Eric Clapton on the "guitar hero" shelf. Showcasing a mighty sounding guitar that manages to be at the same time refined and explosive, the two Electro-Fi releases have propelled Enrico Crivellaro into the upper echelons of blues-and-beyond guitar royalty. The definition of Guitar Hero might not be in harmony with Enrico's unassuming nature and with his genuine and humble devotion to music, but it serves to thoroughly depict the status of a guitarist who has earned international fame, and who is now considered to be one of the most influential of his generation, thanks to a style that bridges Blues with Jazz and American Roots Music. Among dozens of rave reviews of "Freewheelin" and "Mojo Zone", it might as well be Downbeat's 4-star lead review--which is in itself every musician's aspiration--the one that sums it all up. The world's most prestigious Jazz and Blues magazine, Downbeat notes how "inspiration, hypnotic feeling and emotional delicacy" permeates "the gold standard for blues instrumental albums" and predicts that Enrico's "stellar technique" will allow him to "conquer blues America". Born in Padova, Italy, but later relocating to Los Angeles, and now literally living in a suitcase and taking his music all around the world, Enrico Crivellaro has been able to prove that passion and talent can transcend political and cultural borders. In his quest to refine a guitar style that he developed in his teen years, Enrico flew to Connecticut to study with blues masters of the caliber of Ronnie Earl, Duke Robillard, Roy Bookbinder and Kenny Neal at the National Guitar Workshop. Some years later, while a student at the University of California, he embarked on a journey to the very essence of American music thanks to the courses taught by the director of the Jazz Department, guitar legend Kenny Burrell. Learning jazz from one of the men who invented it was a life-changing experience, which could only reinforce his already developed mindset of digging deeper and looking far beyond notes, scales, chords, where music becomes meaningful. He was always aware that books and lectures do not make a musician. After all, music is akin to an oral tradition, which is passed on from a generation to the next. The road and some sleazy club at 2am is where it's at, where everything comes together, where those notes finally make sense, where the old cats show how it's done. And that's exactly where Enrico could be found most of the time--whether in California, in Mississippi or in Chicago. He has learned his trade, in fact, the old way--by playing, literally, thousands of gigs everywhere, with some of the best artists in the contemporary blues scene. His touring, gigging and recording credits include an impressive array of internationally renowned artists, among them James Harman, Lester Butler of the Red Devils, Canadian icon Jeff Healey, Janiva Magness, Finis Tasby, Brian Templeton, Bruce Katz, the Royal Crown Revue (the band from "The Mask" movie), and legendary harmonica player Lee Oskar of WAR fame. Enrico's strength lies in his extraordinary versatility in different musical genres, which has allowed him to build an extraordinary experience playing with bands and artists of all extractions--soul jazz, country, funk and even zydeco--while keeping his playing firmly rooted in the blues language. His reputation is growing all over the world as he tours regularly from the Americas to Europe, to Australia, to Asia and even Polynesia, playing the most renowned clubs and festivals (among them: Livid Festival, Brisbane, Australia; 2000 Paralympics Games, Sydney, Australia; Philips Dubai International Jazz Festival, Dubai, UAE; Belgium Rhythm'n'Blues Festival; Lucerne Blues Festival, Switzerland; Southside Shuffle, Toronto, Canada; Montreal International Jazz Festival, Canada; Calgary International Blues Festival, Canada: Boston Blues Festival; Sacramento Heritage Festival, California; Tucson Blues Festival, Arizona; Moulin Blues Festival, Holland; Universal Blues Festival, Singapore; Manly Jazz Festival, Australia; and many, many more!) and having often shared the bill with the likes of John Lee Hooker, B.B.King, Mose Allison, and so forth. With good ears for good music, Enrico makes a valued producer. Besides his own albums, he has produced the fantastic "Right On Time" by Singaporean virtuoso Paul Ponnudorai, by many hailed as one of the best-sounding and most soulful solo guitar/vocals records ever made. Signed by the excellent Canadian-US label Electro-Fi Records in 2002, Enrico has debuted with a well-arranged CD, "Key To My Kingdom". His affiliation with Electro-Fi has opened the way to several opportunities--in fact Enrico has co-produced Finis Tasby's 2005 release "What My Blues Are All About" and has appeared at the Lucerne Blues Festival in 2003 with label-mate, the late great Mel Brown and his band, which then comprised Bob Stroger and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith of the Muddy Waters Band. "Mojo Zone" is a 2009 Electro-Fi release which features 70 minutes of genre expanding blues guitar instrumentals, and the very recent "Freewheelin" goes even further, showcasing the incredible sonic range of one of the most gifted young guitarists working on the blues scene today.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!