JSP's Shake That Thing: East Coast Blues compiles four CD's of performances by country blues pickers Gabriel Brown, Dan Pickett, and Ralph Willis. It's hard to go wrong with these 105 obscure recordings cut between 1935 and 1953. The tracks have been remastered, making the majority of this material sound great. Unlike other packages of this type, the liner notes are informative; listing personnel, dates, and concise history without going on ad nauseam. As an extra bonus this is a budget-priced set making it highly recommended, for both the collector and the blues novice
Drawing on over 30 years of experience playing the country-blues, complete with tutorials from some of the undisputed masters, it comes as no surprise that Stefan Grossman can so consistently conjure up the authentic spirit of the music with each successive release. His original compositions show Grossman to be the most confident of guitarists in his genre, effortlessly borrowing from the stylings of Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, and Blind Willie McTell among various others. While his playing isn't overly flashy, it need not be. The precision and craftsmanship injected into the fluid, rolling original "Yazoo Strut," the harder blues groove of "Spider Web Blues," and a powerful rendition of Reverend Gary Davis' "Candy Man" are country blues at its very best.
John McNeil had the idea of applying some of Gerry Mulligan's arranging principles to free jazz after arranging some of the late baritone saxophonist's music for a tribute band. Recruiting baritone saxophonist Alan Chase, bassist John Hebert, and the much in-demand drummer Matt Wilson, McNeil's experiment creates some provocative music. "Deadline" features a constantly shifting time signature, changing its mood throughout the piece, contrasting it with the more steady and loping "A Time to Go." McNeil's humorous take of "Bernie's Tune" (long a part of Mulligan's repertoire, though written by Bernie Miller) quickly takes it away from its roots for a wild ride on his horn into the world of free jazz. He also adapts Arnold Schoenberg's 12-tone classical music into his realm with his playful arrangement of "Schoenberg's Piano Concerto." Throughout the session the band is up to the challenges of McNeil's compelling music, producing a provocative CD that should open ears for decades to come.
This 52 disc Ultimate Collection features music from the Delta to the Big Cities. This special first edition also includes a historic puck harmonica. How blue can you get? You will find your favorites here and discover some hidden gems, as the 'ABC of the Blues' brings together the best of the best.