This is a not very challenging, but thoroughly charming, summit meeting between a blues guitar master and a jazz guitar legend. Taking four classic swing tunes ("Just Squeeze Me," "Avalon," "Stuffy," and, inevitably, "Flyin' Home"), two Robillard originals, and a jointly composed slow blues, and helped out by bassist Marty Ballou and drummer Marty Richards, Duke Robillard and Herb Ellis deliver a 48-minute swing guitar master class, Conversations in Swing Guitar. Ellis comes from jazz and Robillard from the blues, so their approaches are just distinct enough to keep things interesting; although both play with a clean, fat jazz tone and no one ever really hauls off and shreds, Robillard tends towards bent notes and funky chordal things while Ellis thinks a bit more in terms of long lines and florid ornamentation. Every so often you might find yourself wishing that the edges were just a bit rougher, but both of these guys are clearly having a great old time, and you will too.
‘Golden Days’ is the latest collaboration from Brian May and Kerry Ellis, who have now been working together for nigh on 15 years – ever since Kerry first created the role of Meat in the Queen/Ben Elton musical ‘We Will Rock You’. However, this latest release is actually their first together as a credited duo and also their first under a new deal with Sony Music. ‘Anthems’, released in 2010, was a Kerry Ellis solo album but produced by Brian May, and the hidden gem ‘Acoustic by Candlelight’ live album was a limited release put out on May’s own Duck Productions label.
This new collection is a diverse mix of songs penned by both Brian and, for the first time, Kerry herself. Along with several more well-known tracks that have become favourites of the duo following their numerous live performances together.
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, who both play in the Bad Seeds and Grinderman, score a lot of films together. Their latest endeavor is Hell or High Water, a David Mackenzie-directed film starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Pine. CBS Films will release the movie in theaters August 12, which is the same day the soundtrack comes out via Milan Records. It features several pieces of score from Cave and Ellis, plus songs by Waylon Jennings, Townes Van Zandt, Chris Stapleton, and others.