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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 Sax Gordon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sax Gordon. Show all posts

Friday, April 22, 2022

Little Village artist: Diunna Greenleaf - I Ain't Playin' New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, I Ain't Playin' (May 20, 2022), from Diunna Greenleaf and it's chocked full of R&B, blues and soul. Opening with Koko Taylor's Never Trust A Man, Diunna Greenleaf on lead vocal slips into a funky blues, Albert King style, With Jerry Jemmott on bass, Jim Pugh on keys, Kid Andersen on guitar and Dmar Martin on drums with Mike Rinta on trombone, Aaron Lington on sax and Jeff Lewis on trumpet. Power opener. In Big James Montgomery's If It Wasn't For The Blues, Greenleaf really shows powerful phrasing and excellent command for that funky blues that we all love so much. With a great bass line by Andersen, Lington on flute, Rinta on trombone and Lewis on trumpet, and Igor prado on lead guitar, this is a really strong track. Original shuffle, Sunny Day Friends has a loose feel and Greenleaf really slides into the pocket. Jemmott's bass line is terrific, Andersen's guitar lead is strong and  Pugh adds some real nice piano as well. A darker, deeper track, Long John Hunter's I Don't Care is one of my favorite tracks on the release with superb guitar soloing by Andersen and warm sax additions by Eric Spaulding and Sax gordon. Really nice. Joe Medwick's, Damned If I Do, R&B track really gest a blues workout by Greenleaf and her vocal richness and again Andersen just smokes the guitar with strong horn backing by Rinta, Lington and Lewis. Gospel track,  I Know I've Been Changed, is another powerful demo for Greenleaf's voice with Alabama mike on additional lead vocal and Nic Clark on guitar. Very nice. Johnny Copeland's Let Me Cry is another terrific track with stellar guitar intro by Andersen, excellent piano contributions by Pugh and some of Greenleaf's best vocals on the release, wrapped in the horn work of Spaulding. This is excellent! Wrapping the release is upbeat R&B style track, Deitra Farr's My Turn, My Time with a driving funky bottom by Dmar, Jemmott and Vicki Randle (percussion) and and the addition of Lisa Leuschner Andersen on backing vocals. Solid closer for a terrific release. 


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Monday, January 11, 2021

Stony Plain Records artist: Duke Robillard & Friends - Blues Bash - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blues Bash, by Duke Robillard & Friends and it may be his best recent release. Opening with Do You Mean It, Chris Cote is up front on lead vocal with Robillard on guitar, Bruce Bears on piano and Hammond, Mark Teixeira on drums and Jesse Williams on bass. With it's up tempo shuffle feel and super lead work by Robillard, super opener. Piano boogie, What Can I Do showcases strong piano by Bears and super sax by Greg Piccolo, Rich Lataille and Doug James and again. With Cote on lead vocal again and some really hot guitar riffs by Robillard, this track spins. With it's bluesy lope, Rock Alley is a great track to show Robillard at his best. His guitar phrasing is terrific and his feel is soulful. A bluesy sax solo by Lataille really adds great spice on this track. Very nice. Michelle Willson steps up on lead vocal on swing track, You Played On My Piano giving it a great feel and a rich, fat, sax solo by James really kicks this track up another notch. On I Ain't Gonna Do It, Mark Braun really sets the pace on piano with Marty Richards on drums, Marty Ballou on bass, Al Basile on cornet and Sax Gordon on sax. Hot track. Robillard handles lead guitar and vocal on Give Me All The Love You Got with it's sturdy blues feel and fat sax bottom. Robillard dances stylistically on the fretboard showing that fluid finger work that he's well known for. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Just Chillin', a cool, instrumental blues jam with a relaxed feel. Piccolo lays in a really nice sax solo, followed by nicely phrased guitar soloing by Robillard. A Hammond solo by Bears adds real texture to the track making this a strong closer for a solid release. 

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Little Village Foundation: Junior Watson - Nothin' To It But To Do It - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Nothin' To It But To Do It, by Junior Watson and I really like it. It's become a theme, but I like most of what comes out of Greaseland, Kid Andersen's shop. Opening with Up and Out, an up tempo blazer led by Sax Gordon, Junior Watson opens this release like a showman with horns blazing. Gordon really has it humming with great underpinning by Kedar Roy on bass, Andrew Guterman on drums and Jim Pugh on keys, swinging the door open and letting Junior Watson run on guitar. Excellent! On swing boogie, Louella, Watson has lead vocal and guitar with big time sax work by Gordon. This track really has presence and Gordon shares the spotlight with Watson who shows why he's one of the best loved contemporary guitar players on the circuit. A Shot In The Dark is a terrific slower blues with Alabama Mike really working vocals upfront and giving Watson the space to work over his fretboard and he really does give it a great workout. One of my favorites on the release. Excellent Tex Mex track, Summer Love is a really nice showcase for Watson and his versatile guitar style. Moving quickly from Spanish to jazz, this is an excellent instrumental. Boogie track, That's Tough gives Watson, Gordon and Pugh all good shots upfront with Alabama Mike on lead vocal. Very cool. Gary Smith adds some real nice harmonica work on shuffle track, Well, You Know with Watson on lead vocal and some really cool lower octave guitar soloing. Another real cooker is Space Flight with Roy leading the way with his thumping bass line. Pugh, Watson and Gordon each taking monster solos. Excellent! Wrapping the release is You're Gonna Need Me Before I Need You featuring Lisa Anderson on lead vocal. This is the best showcase of her vocals on the release and with solid blues riffs by Watson and a firm bottom by Roy and Guterman, this is a solid closer. 

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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Eller Soul Records artist: Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones - Complicated Mess - New release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Complicated Mess, from Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones and it's really strong. Opening with title track, Complicated Mess, guitar man and vocalist, Doug Deming sets the table for a blues feast. His vocals are solid as always and using machine gun and trem bend, his riffs are hot! Joining are Andrew Gohman on bass and Marty Dodson on drums. Super opener. Kim Wilson's harp work adds great depth and Demings riffs are rich and jazzy on Sweet Poison, a cool bluesy ballad. Sam Theard's classic, You Rascal You, has great wings with Little Charlie Baty on guitar, joining Deming with clever lyrics and an extremely active rhythm section. Excellent! Shuffle, Need My Baby has a great lope and Madison Slim's harp work is strong giving the track a nice edge. My favorite track on the release is slow blues, Deep Blue Sea, with soulful vocal by Deming and smoldering guitar riffs, playing against Bon Welsh's piano workout. Excellent! Bright jazzy instrumental, Captain's Quarters is bass driven by Gohman and Little Charlie and Deming really give it a strong workout. Very nice! Shuffle track, Cookin' At The Kitchen has a great feel with Welsh on piano, Slim on Harp, and tight trums work by Dodson. Wrapping the release is horn soaked instrumental Rat Killin', with Tino Barker on lush bari sax, Sax Gordon on tenor sax, Gohman getting loose on bass and some terrific flight finger work by Deming. Excellent closer for a really strong release. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Shining Stone Records artist: Anthony Geraci - Why Did You Have To Go - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Why Did You Have To Go, from Anthony Geraci, and it's rich. Opening with R&B title track, Why Did You Have To Go, Sugar Ray Norcia is upfront on lead vocal backed by Michael Mudcat Ward on bass, Marty Richards on drums, Sax Gordon on sax, Doug Woolverton on trumpet and with stellar guitar styling by Monster Mike Welch and piano wizardry by Anthony Geraci. Excellent opener. Bluesy ballad, Angelina, Angelina is really strong with really nice piano work by Geraci and lead vocals by Sugaray Rayford. Welch is back again with signature tone, backed by Willie J Campbell on bass and Jimi Bott on drums. Very nice. Soul track, Two Steps Away From The Blues, features Michelle "Evil Gal" Willson on lead vocal with warm piano and B3 work by Geraci. Norcia is back on vocal and harp on Time's Running Out, an easy shuffle, joined by nice pace piano work by Geraci and the strong guitar accents by Ronnie Earl. One of my favorite tracks on the release is Baptized In The River Yazoo with Willie J Laws on piano duet with Geraci. The piano work here is terrific. Another track with dazzling piano is Too Many Bad Decisions with Dennis Brennan on lead vocal and Welch on guitar. Slow blues, My Last Good-Bye digs in deep with Norcia on vocal and harp. Piano tension and guitar excellence (by Earl) really gives this track edge, making it another of my choices for the release. Wrapping the release is jazzy A Minor, Affair with Troy Gonyea and Geraci leading the foundation of the track which features nice trumpet and sax solos by Wooverton and Beadle and a flight fingered guitar solo by Kid Ramos. Excellent closer for a strong release. 

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Soars High productions: JP Soars - Southbound I-95 - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Southbound I-95, from JP Soars and it's really cool. Opening with Ain't No Dania Beach, there's a country flavor but still folky/rock along the lines of the Band...you know...just right. Joined by Travis Colby on organ, Paul DesLauries on ultra cool slide, Greg Morency on bass, and Sam Harrison on percussion, this is a stylin' opener. Swamp funky, Sure As Hell Ain't Foolin' Me, is a great track with a solid bass line and vocal delivery by Soars. His guitar playing is really nice as well, backed by Teresa James on vocals, Oscar Santiago on percussion and Scott Ankrom on trumpet, this is my favorite track on the release.  Title track, Southbound I-95 has great Dale/surf feel with dancing guitar work and a great rocking bass line by Jason Newstead. Excellent! Rock n Roller, The Grass Ain't Always Greener, will really get you moving with a tight piano solo by Colby and a ripping sax solo by Sax Gordon. Very hot! Born In California is another of my favorites with a cool back beat courtesy of Chris Peet on drums and Soars on guitar and bass and his vocals are edgy and cool. Straight up slow blues number, When You Walk Out That Door, features blues masters Jimmy Thackery and JP Soars trading guitar solo's in paced, masterful style. Ouch! With a strong dose of southern R&B, Deep Down In Florida is another great number with blazing guitar work by Albert Castiglia and Soars and a tight beat by Peet and sax work by Ankrom. Spanish flavor on Across The Desert really gives it just the right spice. Soars guitar work in duet with Lee Oskar further cements this release as one of the year's best. Another Latin flavored track, Dog Catcher, this time wide open, has great percussion by Santiago and flavorful guitar work by Soars. Very nice. Heavy tom tom work by Jeremy Staska and a flurry of guitar riffs over a driving bass line by Soars and real nice clarinet soloing by Ankron really sets this track off. Excellent! Wrapping the release is a radio edit of Sure As Hell Ain't Foolin' Me with strong vocals and rich funk. This is one of the must hear releases of the year! Check it out!

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Delmark Records artist: Mississippi Heat - Cab Driving Man - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Cab Driving Man, from Mississippi Heat and it's a cornucopia of blues. Opening with R&B track, Cupid Bound, Pierre Lacocque is on the harp with sweet tone. Inetta Visor has the lead vocals. Chris "Hambone" Cameron sets up the keys backed by Brian Quinn on bass, Kenny Smith on drums with excellent guitar riffs by Michael Dotson and Sax Gordon on sax. Nice opener. Title track, Cab Driving Man, has great pace with Terrence Williams on drums and sweltering bari sax by Gordon. Visor's vocals are solid and Ruben Alvarez's percussion is tight. Boogie track, That Late Night Stuff features Dotson on lead vocal and his lead guitar work really hits the spot. On delta style blues, Flowers On My Tombstone, Visor lays in some of the best vocals on the release, backed by Sumito Aruyo on piano, Lacocque on harp and Dotson on guitar. Very nice. Icy Blue has a real nice funky bottom to it thanks to Quinn and Williams. Giles Corey lays down some real nice slide work on this track and Lacocque ices the track with always cool harp riffs. Cool boogie guitar riffs by Dotson open The Last Go Round and he stays at the mic on lead vocal. Punched along by Lacocque, this track has a Chicago twist. Bass driven, Rosalie, has a Latin flavor with Visor back on the mic and excellent percussion work by Alvarez. With slick guitar soloing by Corey, nice electric keys by Cameron, a hot bass solo by Quinn and an extended harp solo by Lacocque, this is a stand out track. Slinky, blues rocker, Luck Of The Draw is one of my favorites on the release with a great complex bass line and flaming guitar riffs by Dave Specter. Lacocque sits down nicely on the track delivering really smooth phrasing. Mama Kalia is a real nice blues ballad featuring Visor's vocals and really sweet guitar lead soloing by Dotson. With a light jazz edge, this track is smooth as silk. Smooth Operator has R&B roots but a New Orleans flavor with Gordon anchoring on bari, Alvarez adding vital percussion and Vison's vocals leading the way. Lacocque's harp solo is melodic and Gordon rips a real nice sax solo. Excellent! With a Morganfield feel, Can't Get Me No Traction, Dotson takes the lead on vocal and guitar. Lacocque rides the top on harp and Williams' drumming is tight. With the bluesiest instrumental work on the release, Lacocque sets up his harp for the run and Dotson cleans the plate. Very cool. Wrapping the release is Hey Pipo!, a real cool boogie track. Featuring nice lead lines by Lacocque and Cameron this is a real nice closer for a real cool release.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Delmark artist: Dave Weld & the Imperial Flames - Slip Into A Dream - New Release review

I just received the newest release, Slip Into A Dream, from Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames and it's nothing short of outrageous! Opening with title track, Slip Into A Dream, Weld leads with solid vocals and confident guitar work. Backed by Monica Myhre on vocal, Dave Kaye on bass, Jeff Taylor on drums, Graham Guest on organ and Harry Yaseen on piano, this track is slinky and pendulous. Dave doesn't wait too long to unleash the dogs and his guitar work is off the hook. Simply terrific! Sweet Rockin' Soul is a rock n' roller with Yaseen driving the train. Weld and Myhre harmonize on this track but yes... he's hammering on the guitar again. Yaseen plays a cool piano solo illiciting a hot drum response from Taylor. Cool! Lookin' For A Man features Myhre on lead vocals and Weld slips on the slide. Joined by Bobby Rush on extended harp this shuffle track lets Dave get into full slide mode...right off the fret board. Very nice! Add a little funk and some horns and you get Take Me Back. Parris Fleming (trumpet), Rajiv Hamlin (tenor sax) and Bryant Smith (trombone) really give this track that JB punch. Weld really gets it would up on this one feeding the guitar all it can take. Excellent! Boogie track, May Be Right, May Be Wrong has a real nice groove with Greg McDaniel on bass. With it's Texas guitar swagger and Graham Guest on piano, this track rips! R&B based Sweet Love (Dulce Amor), has more mellow feel with Myhre on lead and tight trumpet accents by Kenny Anderson. Nicely stylized guitar work by Weld and a super sweet solo from Hank Ford gives this pop track some real traction. Rock n' roller, Louise, has a real grinding feel with Myhre on lead vocal and Weld slides in giving it real fire. Sax Gordon steps up with hot bari and tenor sax work making this a track to be reckoned with. Shifting back to a real Texas style driver, Weld takes the lead vocal back on Tremble and the track swings a bit bat. Sax Gordon's horn work is thick and meaty and Weld never shy's away from total destruction. His guitar work is wild and feverous making this a smoking hot track. Bringing things way down, slow blues, Walk On Down, lead by Myhre on lead vocal, gives Weld to build slowly. This shows a totally different side of his playing style but still riveting. Yaseen plays a really nice piano solo on this track and Kaye's bass work is tight. Drummer Jeff Taylor penned, Dorothy Mae, features Taylor on lead vocal and some of the snappiest drumming I've heard in a while. With full horn compliment by The Heard Horns this track gets funky. Hamlin sings on sax and Weld belts out another nice guitar solo. Weld breaks down the door on the intro to Too Bad, So Sad, a driving rocker. When he cuts loose he's an absolute beast held in check by Taylor and Kaye. Swinging rocker, 20% Alcohol finds Weld back on lead vocal. He's really winding up the slide and lets it rip. Rush in back with a sweet harp solo and with Kay's walking bass line, nicely balanced. Wrapping the release is a reprise of Slip Into A Dream. This track is a crusher and Weld really applies the pressure. A monster of a guitar player, it's good to see him let the dog off of the leash again. Excellent!

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Goin' Back To California - Doug James and Sax Gordon


Doug James had for over 25 years been one of the key ingredients in "Roomful of Blues". Nicknamed Mr. Low (Baritone Sax), Doug was the anchorman of their great horn section which included Greg Piccolo, Porky Cohen, Rich Latille, Bob Enos, and others. Doug James can be heard on "Roomful of Blues" many albums beginning with "Roomful of Blues: The First Album".

When Greg Piccolo left "Roomful of Blues" in 1995, he was replaced with Gordon Beadle (Tenor Sax). Doug James and Gordon Beadle appear together on the 1996 release "Porky Cohen (with Roomful of Blues): Rhythm and Bones". Gordon's stay was short however as he left to join "The Duke Robillard Band", Duke being the original founder of "Roomful of Blues". Two years later Doug James also left "Roomful", he and Sax Gordon are together again on "The Duke Robillard Band: Explorer". Doug James has since become Gordon's replacement in Duke's Band as Gordon often performs as part of "The Love Dogs".

Gordon Beadle can be heard on his own release "Sax Gordon: You Knock Me Out" which features Doug James. Doug also has his own, "Doug James: Blow Mr. Low", which includes Sax Gordon. They both are part of the "Providence Horns" and appear on "Sugar Ray Norcia: Hands Across The Table". As a result of their projects they have numerous Handy and Grammy nominations.

This album, independently produced, includes twelve original instrumentals. The band features themselves and Matt McCabe, piano; Marty Ballou, bass; and Mark Teixeira, drums. Guitar chores are divided between Duke Robillard, Ricky "King" Russell and Mike DiBari. The album swings through fifty minutes of raunchy rhythm and blues as these two guys prove they are the best "Two Horn" section in the business.

The co-written "Can't Stand Up" starts out like a duel between saxophones, then on the chorus these two blend as one. Matt McCabe is perfect pounding on the eighty eights. "Cool Dude" written by Sax Gordon squeals and squawks. Doug James's "Goin Back to California" is like film noir. The "Bump" feels like an old dance craze. An additional eight wild instrumentals follow. The album, recorded at Duke's Mood Room in Pawtuckett, RI is an infectious display of an era gone-by when the saxophone was "king". For those who are fans this album is a must have.
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