We're back, following a brief interruption for no particular reason.
I have a few new CD releases on the pile for this week, and a few more recent ones that I want to talk about, and even recommend.
One little side note -- I seem to get more and more albums these days that lean away from the blues in many directions. And I read more and more reviews around the interwebs that don't seem to mind talking about music that's got only the loosest of connections to blues.
With that in mind, I offer up today a new double album package from a former member of Roomful of Blues, who I know is very popular around the Burgh, and lots of other places, for its traditional approach to old R&B, blues and jump blues styles.
Al Basile played cornet with Roomful, and has also fronted his own groups, and also created some solo albums. His latest is "At Home, Next Door" (Sweetspot Records, released this week), is an interesting project that combines a CD (Disc One- "I'm At Home With the Blues") full of previously released material with a heavy blues slant.
The second disc, with all new tunes -- "Next Door to the Blues" -- is a little heavier on the horn-driven, soulful riffs of classic soul, gospel, R&B, swing and similar great styles.
Basile has sort of a laid-back approach here, if that's the right description -- you won't find any heavy Delta styles, for example. But you will find a lot of finely crafted blues styles from ballads to jump to swing. Basile's vocals always reflect the mood without being over-or-understated.
I hate to say it's easy-listening blues, because that implies it might be lightweight matierial. It's not. But it's awfully easy to listen to and enjoy. You should give it a try.
I couldn't find a video from this CD, but here's something that has a similar sound: