Having performed live to over 1.2m people, the UK's hardest working comedian Jimmy Carr, is back with his brand new stand-up DVD.
Star of hit TV shows 8 Out of 10 Cats and 10 O'clock Live, Jimmy is well known for his slick one liners and non-stop gags, but his acerbic wit and fast-paced comedy style are at their brilliant best when he has the stage to himself.
Guitarist-singer Jimmy Thackery's 1998 set stretches beyond the blues. A ferocious rockish guitarist with a vocal style that ranges from shouting to mellow, Thackery is easily the main star of his disc. However the other members of his Drivers are strong (Al Gamble on organ and piano, bassist Michael Patrick and drummer Mark Stutso), and there are features for guest accordionist Chubby Carrier on "Take Me With You When You Go" (a zydeco romp) and singer Reba Russell ("Dancing on Broken Glass") plus a helpful appearance apiece by Lonnie Brooks and Joe Louis Walker. From blues to rock with touches of zydeco, country, pop and folk, Thackery constantly stretches himself and gives the music his best.
Ex-Nighthawks guitarist Jimmy Thackery has been playing his own brand of blues-tinged rock as a solo artist for some twenty years now (he left the Nighthawks in 1987) and there's no denying that he's a first-class guitarist with a sharp ear for tone and a knack for perfectly placed fills and evocative leads. His quavering, shaky voice is a problem, though, and while he conjures up the feel of an old veteran country singer on some of his slower numbers, his singing often lacks the punch, power and sass of his guitar playing on the more upbeat material. You don't buy a Jimmy Thackery album for the vocals, though, and fans of his crisp guitar work won't be disappointed at all with Solid Ice, which comes packed with wonderful riffs and multi-tracked leads…
On his eighth album, Jimmy Thackery churns out rugged, no-nonsense, authoritative rock, with a passion and commitment that seep through every track. Thackery's grinding guitar and growling voice pound out each song as if he's playing for thousands of people. He is produced once again by the experienced Jim Gaines who, through his work with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins, Tommy Castro, and Santana, knows his way around a blues-rock record. The uncut, Stonesy chug of "Never Enough" and "Lovin' My Money" is offset by the harder-edged funk of "Grab the Rafters" and the easier jazz shuffle of "Bad News"…
Between 1976 and 1979, Jimmy McGriff was often featured in the disco-style productions of Groove Merchant house arranger Brad Baker. The records usually surrounded the great organist with a huge army of studio musicians, big horn sections, string parts and often heard McGriff playing keyboards other than organ. THE MEAN MACHINE, from 1976, was the first of these productions and McGriff doesn't even play organ here.
The 40 tracks compiled on this two-disc set represent the entire span of pianist and singer Leroy Carr's recording career that spanned a brief seven years, from 1928-1935. The material represented here – all but one of these tracks were recorded for the Vocalion label – features accompaniment by guitarist Scrapper Blackwell on all but one selection, and Josh White on a handful as well. Carr's material here ranges from the classic piano blues of the era that spawned Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to vaudeville and hokum tunes made popular by artists like Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. Carr's voice is the haunting thing here; it's higher and very clear, sweet almost, as evidenced by most of these sides. But there was an edge, too; one that belied a kind of pathos underneath even the most cheery material – check "Mean Mistreater Blues" or "Bread Baker." But the darker material such as "Suicide Blues" (one of six previously unissued performances), "Straight Alky Blues," or "Shinin' Pistol," is strange and eerie given Carr's smooth approach. Carr may not be the most well-known bluesman of the era, but his contribution is profound and lasting. This collection puts to shame almost all others with the exception of the multi-volume complete recordings on Document.
Another masterpiece of British jazz reissued on Universal's outstanding Impressed Re-pressed series, where it joins other long unavailable classics such as Amancio D'Silva's Integration , reviewed last month. Recorded in '69, Greek Variations & Other Aegean Exercises is irresistible on two counts. First, for its daringly conceived and brilliantly performed music, inspired by Greek folk songs and instrumental textures and deep enough to reveal all its treasures only after many repeated listenings. Second, for being recorded at the moment when the Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet, a major force in British straight-ahead jazz since '62, had broken up and Carr's equally influential jazz-rock band Nucleus was rising from the ashes.