Bound to Roll, Julian Sas’ eight studio album, is a record that took time to make. More than two-and-a-half years, tells the Dutch blues man, I had tons of ideas and was writing constantly but a lot of that went straight into the bin. ‘Bound to Roll’ is a very personal record. This album is about pleasure, enjoyment, love, loss, pain and sadness. About real life, about the blues, about experiences that, I hope, made me stronger and a better human being. For me making this album was a way of dealing with my emotions.
Pianist Harold Mabern and bassist Kieran Overs, although from Memphis and Canada, respectively, explore ten songs written by jazz musicians from Philadelphia on this CD, plus Mabern's "Edward Lee." While a few of the tunes are fairly well known in jazz (particularly Lee Morgan's "Ceora" and Benny Golson's "Whisper Not"), most of the others are obscure. Mabern and Overs work quite well together, with the bassist adding stimulating lines to the pianist's solos and having some good solo spots himself. Since Mabern, whose modern chord voicings are fresh and personal while influenced a bit by McCoy Tyner, has not recorded enough during his long career, this set is a valuable addition to his discography.
Starkly printed in black and white with washed-out, grainy photographs, this is one heavy slab of blues by a player who is not as well-known as he should be. Guitarist Jimmy Rogers was usually overshadowed by the leaders he worked for, Muddy Waters particularly. He was also sometimes confused with the hillbilly singer Jimmie Rodgers, and although they might have sounded good together, they don't have anything in common. This reissue collection grabs 14 tracks done at various times in the mostly early '50s which involve practically a who's who of performers associated with the most intense and driving Chicago blues. This includes the aforementioned Waters, leaving behind his role as leader for a few numbers to add some stinging guitar parts. There is also a pair of harmonica players, each of whom could melt vinyl siding with their playing. These are the Walters, big and little, as in Big Walter Horton and Little Walter. Pianist Otis Spann, bassist Willie Dixon, and drummer Fred Belew are also on hand, meaning the rhythm section action is first class.