In every city, in every music scene, there’s a musician or a band who always seems to be on the cusp of greatness. Sometimes they make it, and some of them make a big noise for a while and then fade away, but what unites all of them is that they seem too big to fit in to what is always, no matter how big the city, a small scene…
Chris Robinson Brotherhood has detailed the latest installment in their Betty’s Blends live album series. The 3-LP/2-CD Volume 3: Self-Rising, Southern Blends features recordings mixed live from the soundboard by renowned Grateful Dead engineer Betty Cantor-Jackson and comes out on Silver Arrow Records on May 5.
Legendary pianist, producer, singer and songwriter Allen Toussaint released his new jazz album on the Captivating Recording Technologies label. "Going Places" marks Toussaint's first foray into the jazz idiom in a career spanning more than 50 years. "It was my son Reginald's idea. He pointed out that I had not recorded a jazz album and I felt it was time. I've played jazz since I was a kid starting out in the business. The new album is a personal exploration. I'm pleased with it." says Allen Toussaint.
Allen's a decent though hardly extraordinary mainstream drummer who here leads an all-star neo-bop contingent in a set of standards and originals. Nothing surprising about the general conservatism of the date, given the personnel – Vincent Herring on alto sax, Nicholas Payton on trumpet, and Cyrus Chestnut on organ, to name a few. There's also nothing in particular wrong with the music, which is heartily played and deeply felt. Nothing, that is, except for the fact that it's covering ground that's been pretty much trampled into dust. It's a pleasant-enough listen, however, and since Cannonball Adderley isn't around to make albums like this anymore, maybe it's a good thing that musicians like these are. On the other hand, as long as guys like Johnny Griffin, Joe Henderson, and Phil Woods still walk the planet, the need is somewhat diminished.