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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 Rick Wakeman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rick Wakeman. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Etta James - The Montreux Years - New release review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, The Montreux Years, from Etta James and it's dynamite. Opening with Breakin' Up Somebody's Home, Etta James hits like a truck on lead vocal, supported by Herman Roscoe Ernest III on drums, Ronnie Buttacavoli on trumpet, Bobby Murray on guitar, Josh Sklair on guitar, Bobby Vega on bass, Kraig Kilby on trombone, Richard Howell on sax, David Matthew on keyboards, Donto James on percussion and Claude Nobs on harmonica. Great opener. Emotionally charged, A Lover Is Forever, is a quiet contrast to the opener with James wooing the mic over the electro acoustic guitar work of Murray and Sklair. Very nice. Rockin, Tell Mama, has great drive, with hot vocal by James, backed by Klaus Doldinger on sax, Lew Soloff on trumpet, Rick Wakeman on keys, David Fathead Newman on sax, Brian Ray on guitar, Richard Tee on keys, Steve Ferrone on drums and David Lowrey on bass. R&B track, Something's Got A Hold On Me gets an uptempo, gospel like feel with backing by Ernst III, Buttacavoli, Murray. Jim Pugh on keys, Sklair on guitar, Vega on bass, Kirby on trombone, Donoto foster on percussion, Howell and Sametto Dennis on vocal. Excellent! Slinky, high stepper, Come To Mama is really great with a strong under pinning by Vega and Ernest III, a scorching guitar solo by Murray and great horn work by Buttacavoli, Kilby and Howell. A string of ballads including At Last, Trust In Me and Sunday Kind of Love is really nice, with james showcasing the jazz styling that made her famous. Very nice. Rolling the blues out big and strong, I Sing The Blues For You is wide open with a full jam by Murray, Sklair, Matthews and Richard Cousins and solid horn backing by Buttacavoli and Kilby. Closing the forst cd is Baby What You Want Me to Do with Brian Ray with a solid guitar solo , Cash McCall on guitar, Tony Cook on drums, Gene Dinwitty with a potent sax solo, fred Beckmeier on bass, Bobby Martin on keys, Keith Johnson on trumpet and Claude Nobs on harmonica. 

Disc 2 is all recorded in July of '75. Opening with a funky, Respect Yourself, James' vocals are gritty and tight, backed by Brian Ray on guitar, Frank Able on keys, Poindexter on sax, Klaus Doldinger on tenor sax, Johnson on tuba and bass trombone and John Paul Jones on bass. Drown In My Own Tears is an excellent soul track in the lines of Aretha '69 or her work at Muscle Shoals. Excellent! An excellent remake of her original track, I'd Rather Go Blind, is included her and she really works hard on that 9+ minute presentation. Very nice. Slow blues, Baby What You Want Me To Do, gives james a great opportunity to stretch thsi famous blues track to new heights. With her powerful vocals and the guitar work of Ray shining, backed by Poindexter, Doldinger, and Johnson, this is really cool. Wrapping the set is TBone Walker's Stormy Mondy with excellent guitar work by Ray and Albe's delicate key strokes setting the pace. The warm sax work of Poindexter prepares the way and james holds nothing back with a stellar vocal performance that pushes the band even further. Excellent closer for an excellent pair of discs.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Purple Pyramid artists: The Fusion Syndicate - New release review

Now here's something different! I just received the new release from The Fusion Syndicate. This band is made up of jazz, rock and blues superstars and the recording is all you could wish for in this format. Billy Sherwood, writer of all compositions and with a background of top bands as long as your arm played keys, guitars drums, synth and vocals throughout this recording. The opening track, Random Acts Of Science, has strong hints to the Mahavishnu Orchestra featuring Rick Wakeman (Yes) on keys, Jerry Goodman (Flock, Mahavishnu Orchestra) on violin, Nik Turner (Hawkwind) on sax and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets)on bass. This is a terrific track and one that shows not only the virtuosity of all of the instrumentalists and excellent writing skills of Sherwood, but also brings back into the forefront one of my favorite fusion violin players. This is no lightweight composition and all instrumentation is first class. Next up is Stone Cold Infusion, a funky track featuring Steve Stevens ( Billy Idol, Michael Jackson) blistering guitar work, Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) keys, Mel Collins (King Crimson, Camel, Alan Parsons) sax, Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree)bass, and the unmistakable work of Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra) on drums. There is a lot of hot playing on this track! Molecular Breakdown features David Sancious on keys, Jay Beckenstein (Spyro Gyra) sax, Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, Steve Vai)on bass and Gavin Harrison (Porchpine Tree) on drums. Particle Accelerations features Mr. Larry Coryell with his unmistakable style on guitar, Derek Sherinian (Dream Theaterm Black Country Communion) on keys, Eric Marienthal (Chick Corea)sax and Chester Thompson (Zappa, Genesis, Steve Hackett)on drums. Coryell's playing alone on this track is worth the price of admission. At The Edge Of The Middle is a bit more laid back featuring Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple) on guitars, Jimi Beard (Mahavishnu Orchestra) on piano, Randy Brecker (Brecker Brothers) on trumpet and Percy Jones (Brand X , Soft Machine)on bass. Morse and Brecker both play outstanding riffs on this track. Atom Smashing features John Etheridge (Soft Machine) on guitars, Tony Kaye (Circa, Badger, Yes) on Hammond and synth and Chad Wackerman (Zappa)drums. This is a fairly straightforward track but extremely tight musicianship. In The Spirit Of... features Steve Hillage (Gong, Khan) on guitars, Scott Kinsey (Tribal Tech) on keys, Theo Travis(soloist) sax, Justin Chancellor (Tool)on bass and Asaf Sirkis (soloist) who is a prime contributor on this track on drums. This is an excellent recording if you are at all interested in progressive J/R Fusion. The casual listener will enjoy smooth sax solos and the serious musician will feel the heat of hypnotic drums, tight bass riffs, ripping guitar solos and intricate key solos along with great composition. 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 favorites band! ”LIKE”