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Beck, Bogert, Appice – s/t
On the whole, the supergroups of the Seventies didn’t last very long, but for that – all the more notably. This certainly applies to the Anglo-American trio made up of the extremely talented though narcissistic guitarist Jeff Beck, the bass-player Tim Bogert, and the drummer Carmine Appice. As early as 1970, the British Beck wanted to engage the two American musicians for a joint project. This plan however had to be postponed for two years because the speed-mad Beck had had a serious car accident and needed time to recover. 1973 saw the release of the trio’s first and only studio album, which not only demonstrated Beck’s powerful-hectic style of guitar playing but also allowed his musical companions to show off their prowess.
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Big Maybelle : The Okeh Sessions
With her bold, gritty sound, she comes off like nothing so much as a female Howlin' Wolf, and one can't imagine her not being an influence on the full-throttle blues of Etta James, Aretha, Janis Joplin and countless others. "So Good to My Baby" features typically microphone-distorting belting from the singer, and an appropriately blazing horn section. "Gabbin' Blues", her 1952 Okeh debut smash, is a humorous dialogue between Maybelle and gossiping rival Rose Marie McCoy, the tune's co-writer. One of the most stirring cuts here is "Ocean Of Tears", a percolating, minor-key tune in which Maybelle bemoans her sorrowful state with an unforgettably cathartic angst. Also impressive, though, are ballads such as "You'll Never Know", "Ain't No Use", and "You'll Be Sorry", which show a pleasant, softer side to Maybelle's craft. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" - a song that she took to the top of the R&B charts before Jerry Lee Lewis turned it into a rock & roll anthem -, her 1955 single "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" and 1954's "I'm Getting 'Long Alright", are also standouts. New York session wizards such as tenor saxophonist Sam 'The Man' Taylor and guitarist Mickey Baker provide great support throughout. The tracks contained on this album showcase one of the greatest blues singers of all time, at her prime.
Keb Mo : Suitcase
On Suitcase, his eighth studio release, Keb' Mo' (Kevin Moore) reunites with John Porter, the producer of Moore's critically lauded first album, and the result is a pleasant, mid-tempo suite of songs dedicated to the emotional baggage everyone carries with them as they plow through increasingly complicated lives in search of peace, love, and some measure of personal redemption. Moore covers this ground with a wink and a grin in his voice, though, and Suitcase emerges as a wry commentary on modern life that still manages to sound bright and positive, beginning with the effervescent, sprung reggae rhythm of the opening track, "Your Love," one of the best cuts here.
Phil Woods & Gene Quill : Phil Talks with Quill
Phil Talks with Quill begins and ends with the same theme, "Doxie,' by Sonny Rollins, although the second time the topic comes up the conversation takes a very different turn. The quintet has adopted this tune for its signature and is capable of ringing innumerable changes on it.