While walking the fine line between blues and jazz, this blues infused gem confirms Robillard's place as one of the finest working guitarists in the business today. There is some question as to where to conveniently place Robillard. Is Duke Robillard a blues guitarist that can play with incredible jazz sensibilities or is he a jazz guitarist with an innate feel for the blues infused soul that has earned him legendary status working with Roomful Of Blues and The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
The correct answer is yes!
While very much a jazz based released the heart and soul of the blues are always six strings away with perhaps the finest portion of this release being what Robillard does not do here - sing. Robillard has had several releases with less than stellar vocals that potentially made otherwise solid records stiff faster than "Hope and Change." Robillard is similar to the smooth jazz legend Paul Brown in that his proficiency with the guitar is never in doubt while his vocal ability is. Robillard is joined by bassist Brad Hallen and drummer Mark Teixeira on a release of Robillard originals and blues based standards that are sure to please. Hallen's lyrical walking bass lines add texture and groove while drummer Teixeira owns the pocket with finesse and a subtle rhythmic fire power that allows him to swing like a beast. Backing vocalist Mickey Freeman steps up to the microphone for the only vocal track being "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You" with no harm done. Standards like "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and "All Of Me" are done with typical Robbilard flair and that blues infusion that penetrates the musical soul of the listener. While taste is of course subjective and experiences will vary, if you can not find the groove here then you may be waiting on your autopsy report to come back.
Duke Robillard's finest release in over a decade and an absolute must for the collector!
Track Listing: Wobble Walkin'; I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me; They Can't Take That Away From Me; Sunday Mornin; Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You; Skippy's Dream; All Of Me; Things Ain't What They Used To Be; You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; Hi-Heel Sneakers; If I Had You; Back Home Again, In Indiana; Jesse's Blues.
Personnel: Duke Robillard: guitar; Brad Hallen: acoustic bass; Mark Teixeira: drums; Mickey Freeman: vocals (5).