The opening tom hits and fuzzbox riffs that start Indigo Meadow give the indication that this is yet another turn on the Black Angels' merry-go-round of stoner rock and neo-psychedelia. However, the third song, "Don't Play with Guns," takes a decided turn with its big pop single hook, and the follow-ups "Holland" and "The Day" follow suit, as songs that are more carefully structured than the usual two-chord repetition that we've grown to expect. Not that there's anything wrong with the sound of bands like Spacemen 3 and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but after several albums based on repetition, this is a pleasant, unexpected change for the Austinites.
On Blue Day, veteran soul and gospel singer Howard Tate lays down a set so utterly crackling with energy, vitality, and sheer grit one could be forgiven for forgetting that, at the turn of this century, he hadn't recorded in nearly 30 years and had been virtually forgotten and left for dead – a victim of his own excesses. Tate was quite literally rediscovered by his former producer Jerry Ragovoy and brought back into the recording studio to work his vocal magic on tracks written for him by a stellar cast of songwriters in 2003. In 2006, he recorded A Portrait of Howard backed by the Carla Bley Band as well as a host of guests including Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen band vocalist Perla Batalla, and cellist Jane Scarpantoni. But Blue Day leaves that record in the dust, quite literally. At the age of 70, Tate is in absolutely top form as a singer and song interpreter…..
Of the miles of Red Garland sessions recorded in the late '50s, some of the tapes didn't see the light of day until many years later. This session, except for "Crazy Rhythm," first appeared in the early '70s, and is typical of Garland's trio work of the '50s, evoking a mid-century nightclub atmosphere from Rudy Van Gelder's studio with the perfectly gauged help of bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor.
The circumstances surrounding the recording of this album are as important as the music you will hear and enjoy. Inspired by the songbook of Count Basie, tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine and his wife of four years, organist Shirley Scott, planned on recording with a septet, and went into the studio with that band on October 12, 1963, but those sessions were scrapped. On October 14, two tracks were finished and included here, but October 21 saw the band pared down to a quintet, and the results were acceptable. ~ AllMusic
Kenny "Blue" Ray featuring Jackie Payne Soulful Blues Tone King This is one of the best electric Blues record of the year. No kidding. Kenny "Blue" Ray, underrated Texan guitarist, and soul-blues singer Jackie Payne are a dangerous couple. Blue Ray, an Albert Collins' disciple, has been trading licks with virtually everybody around and in "Soulful Blues" ……