What does it sound like?:
I didn’t see this coming. No pre-order fanfare, no reviews that I have seen in the British music press. On the face of it strange bedfellows. When you dig deeper not so strange. Charles Loyd the Jazz saxophonist has over the years acted as sideman for Howling Wolf and BB King. Marvels band members Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz have both played with Lucinda. Her touring band Buick 6 often veer into jazzy territory in extended workouts and Lucinda herself often extemporises her vocals. So what do we get for our money? 5 songs with Lucinda vocals alternating with 5 Charles Lloyd instrumentals. Clocking in at around 72 minutes this is a long album but ends too quickly. I want more. The tenor saxophone is my favourite of all saxes and here it sounds absolutely beautiful. Mixed with the Frissell guitar and Leisz pedal steel they weave a wonderful intricate palette. On the Lucinda songs the sax or occasional flute are entirely in tune with her voice offering some delicate sparring at times and rousing almost spiritual call to action on new song We’ve come too far to turn around which puts me in mind of Mavis Staples.
Highlights are the extended title track which is funky, assured and probing withy its duels between the lead instruments. Then Unsuffer me which might be one of my favourite pieces of music that I have heard so far this year. Then finally there is a delightful version of Jimi’s Angel. These musicians are telepathic in their interplay and the Rhythm section of Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums are a vital part of the band that offer drive at times and rock to rely on at others.
A marvellous Bluenote release made all the more remarkable since 5 days ago I was unaware of its existence, Music this good needs to be shouted about from the rafters.
What does it all *mean*?
Musicians this good can defy all genres and don’t recognise no go areas.
Goes well with…
Drink neat, no need to be diluted. It is a potent concoction.
Might suit people who like…
Lucinda, Jazz, Bill Frissell and anything in between.
There is funk, fire and flare.