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November 2021

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Order these featured albums today:

Buffalo Nichols

Hanna PK

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Kerry Kearney

Laura Tate

Gerald McClendon

Polly O'Keary

Brigitte Purdy

John Coltrane


Buffalo NicholsThis one came out of nowhere and it may be one of the more intriguing albums of the year. Buffalo Nichols is a young guitarist / singer from Milwaukee, and has just released the sefl-titled Buffalo Nichols on Fat Possum. Raise your hand if you've heard of Mr. Nichols before. Like with me, I suspect there aren't many hands in the air. According to his website, Nichols "cut his teeth between a Baptist church and bars in Milwaukee," before traveling through West Africa to bring it all home. This background has helped him to become a very good songwriting, covering a range of topics on his debut album.

Nichols is playing an old style of acoustic blues, not slavishly recreating the vintage sounds but instead putting his own heart, soul and life experiences into his music. With only eight cuts Buffalo Nichols is shorter than most albums today, but there's a lot of very fine blues packed into the less than 30 minutes run time.

The title of "Lost & Lonesome" tells us what Nichols is trying to convey on the opening cut, capturing that feeling of loneliness quite well in his voice. It's a mid-tempo blues with only his voice and acoustic guitar telling this story. His voice gets stronger as the song progresses as he's feeling more and more lost.

"Living Hell" kicks off the second cut with nice Piedmont-style fingerpicking on the guitar while Nichols puts a lot of emphasis in lyrics like "....Do I die and go to heaven or living hell ..." His frustration with society comes out when he sings "... Police and crooks, they're the same to me ..." More very strong fingerpicking guitar on "Sick Bed Blues," with his voice here being somewhat reminiscent to a young Bob Dylan. We've all been sick in bed with no one to come see us, so we can feel the emotions here.

"These Things" brings a violin into the mix on this pleasant folk/blues tune, and it's very effective. Nichols sounds like Dylan again, perhaps even more so than on other cuts, with urgent vocals on "How To Love." The fingerpicking slide guitar work is outstanding here, and later there's a thumping bass beat (his foot, perhaps) that drives the song.

"Another Man" takes the blues into a darker side of the soul, with an intro sounding a bit like that on Muddy Waters' "Baby Please Don't Go." But it's Nichols' vocals that dominate this one, with the anger coming out on lyrics like "... It's hard to write a song, while folks get murdered every day, I  know it ain't so simple, I know I'm mad as hell, why should we choose between a noose and dying in the cell ..." This one gets my nomination for blues song of the year.

Nichols sounds happier on "Back On Top," with drum and tambourine accompanying the vocals as he sings about celebrating and living like a king. His use of the slide is especially effective here. The pace picks up on the closing number, "Sorry It Was You," with steady drumming pushing the beat along while Nichols lays down a mean slide guitar solo.

Buffalo Nichols is quite the revelation of a young artist going back to the early blues, but in a way that will appeal to modern audiences. I'm expecting this one to get some crossover airplay as Fat Possum has always been good about getting its artists in front of diverse audiences and not just confining them to the regular blues circuit. Right now, Nichols is on tour as the opening act for Drive-By Truckers. I expect even bigger things from Nichols in the future, but this superb album is a good place to start. Highly recommended!

--- Bill Mitchell

Hanna PKI love a good story when I discover a new blues artist, and Hanna PK certainly has one to tell. This young woman was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea before winding up in Rochester, New York sometime in the preceding decade. It was there that she discovered a love for the blues, and she put her strong vocal and piano talent into the music. She's now a regular on the Rochester blues circuit, and cut albums in 2016 and 2018. For her latest, Blues All Over My Shoes, Hanna PK hooked on with Booga Music and VizzTone, which gets her a much, much wider distribution than before.

Hanna is a very accomplished piano player, seamlessly able to switch styles from slow blues to jazz to barrelhouse and to boogie woogie, accompanying her somewhat husky voice, and she wrote every song here except for one. Showing her diversity in styles of music, she heads straight to New Orleans for the opening cut, "Mirror Mirror," with harmonica from Kenny Neal who also produced the session. "Bad Woman" is a straight Chicago blues shuffle as Hanna sings about what has been a common blues theme. Yeah, talking about her being a bad woman. That leads into the first slow blues, featuring really nice piano playing from Hanna as she sings about the "Insomnia Blues."

It's back to New Orleans on the Memphis Slim cover, "I'm Lost Without You," but getting funkier on this excursion, before Hanna launches into a slow ballad blues, "Love Keeps Walking In." One of my faves is the up-tempo "It's Alright Baby," still sounding like we're in New Orleans but with heavy winds blowing in from the Gulf. We're then heading for church on the slow, soulful "No One Will Ever Know," with Brandon Adams coming in on organ to complement Hanna's tasteful piano playing . She sings words of encouragement to someone "born out of wedlock" as this individual picks up a guitar and hits the road.

More gospel-style piano on the pleasant, lilting "Ain't Gonna Be Looking  Back No More," as Hanna sings about picking herself up and moving on to better days. Very nice piano solo midway through, perhaps her best work yet on the 88s. That leads into what just may be my favorite song, as Hanna shows she can sing some serious blues on the slow number that starts with nice jazzy piano. Now that I've listened to it again, I'll confirm that this slow blues is the highlight of the album. I just shouted out a big "Wow!"

The jazzy "Bad Habit" almost sounds like something that Lambert, Hendricks & Ross would have done, with enough echo in Hanna's vocals that make it sound like there are two of her at the mic. The two Hannas sing about the evils and the addiction of smoking, and her staccato notes on the piano are very effective. Wrapping up this exciting new collection of tunes is "Two And Four," a boogie woogie dance number that has Hanna pounding away on the keys. It's a great ending to an absolutely fun album.

Hanna PK is an artist with plenty of growth ahead of her, so I can't wait to hear what's next. Blues All Over My Shoes is a good introduction to the wider blues audience base, and hopefully the next step is to get this young woman on tour. If she hits my town, I'll certainly be there.

--- Bill Mitchell

Patricia SilverbergPatricia Silverberg is somewhat of a regular on the Arizona folk scene, and I had the chance to review an earlier album by her nearly a decade ago. When she reached out to me recently to tell me about her latest six-song EP (or maybe we just call it a shorter album), the self-released Just the Way You See It, I encouraged her to send it my way, especially when she said that she was doing more blues on this one. What I remember from that earlier disc was that Ms. Silverberg possessed a deep, dark, foreboding voice that suited the chosen material, and that still applies on this album, perhaps even more so. It's not a voice that will sooth your soul, but will instead haunt your inner demons.

Silverberg is accompanied by a rotating group of solid musicians on each cut, while she sings and plays a very nice guitar. Five of the six songs are originals, with the album opener being the old Leadbelly blues number, "Midnight Special." Anne James contributes harmonica accompaniment on this one to contrast with Silverberg's voice, which sounds even deeper here. "Just the Way You See It" starts with pleasant guitar picking before Silverberg's commanding vocals come in to tell someone not to waste her time because she's got better things to do. Ms. James' mandolin playing is a nice touch.

"What Were You Thinking" is a more gentle tune with Silverberg's voice lightening up quite a bit, although I still prefer her darker side. Her voice fits much better into the the mid-tempo blues, "Working Class Blues," with David Searle on lead guitar. While "Gift of Pure Light" isn't as much of a blues, it's a pleasant tune with nice guitar work and strong emotive vocals. Closing the album is "Lullaby Moon," and it's pretty much what the title says about it. Silverberg's voice handles the heartfelt lyrics quite well, with the highlight on this number being Bea Graves' cello accompaniment. Very nice.

If you follow the Arizona folk scene, be sure to watch when Ms. Silverberg is playing somewhere near you. She'll be glad you came.

--- Bill Mitchell

Tedeschi TrucksI’m writing this review on November 9th, which happened to be the release date for Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs in 1970. That particular album has a special place in my heart, as it served to expose me to several things, the guitar prowess of Duane Allman for starters. It was also some of the first blues rock that I heard back in the early ’80s, and it’s still one of my favorite albums from Derek and the Dominos,  and one of my favorite albums ever.

November 9th in 1970 also happens to be Susan Tedeschi’s birthday. As most blues fans are aware, Tedeschi is married to guitarist Derek Trucks, who was actually named after the “Derek” in Derek and the Dominos. Their band, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, has incorporated several Derek and the Dominos songs into their live shows over the years. Trucks himself enjoyed a 15-year stint with the Allman Brothers Band and has toured with and as part of Eric Clapton’s band. It really made sense for the band to pay tribute to Derek and the Dominos in a big way, and what better way than to perform the Layla album live in its entirety.

Layla Revisited (Live at Lockn’) (Fantasy Records) was recorded on August 24, 2019 at the LOCKN’ Festival in Arrington, Virginia. The band was joined onstage by Trey Anastasio and Doyle Bramhall II. Anastasio joins Tedeschi and backup singer Mike Mattison, with their vocals blending perfectly. The album is played in sequence, beginning with “I Looked Away,” which features all three singers. Their collaborative efforts leave goosebumps time after time. Tedeschi is simply one of the finest singers currently practicing, and she and Mattison have worked together seamlessly for over a decade now. Anastasio’s presence makes the performance even better.

The performances are by no means note-for-note recreations, but when they are, as on “Bell Bottom Blues” or “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad,” it’s still dynamite. The alterations, really more like adjustments made to the songs, work just fine. For “Keep On Growing” (one that the band has played before as part of their live show), there’s an extended jam to open the song. Hey, there’s four great guitarists here, why not?

“Anyday,” a staple of the Derek Trucks Band’s live sets in the early 2000s. also allows for plenty of guitar work, as does “Key To The Highway” and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman.” The band’s read on “Tell The Truth” is pretty righteous, too, and the title track, known and loved by so many, is just as powerful and heart-rending in the TTB’s version as it was on the original.

The band opted not to do the original album closer, “Thorn Tree In The Garden,” on stage, preferring to close things out with the title track, so Tedeschi and Trucks recorded a lovely studio version that wraps the album up perfectly, just like on the original Layla.

When you think about it, it’s only appropriate that one of the finest bands of the current era should recreate one of the finest albums of the last half-century. Layla Revisited will by no means replace the original Layla, but it serves as a wonderful companion piece, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing at all if it were to lead some new listeners to the original.

--- Graham Clarke

Blind FictionMilwaukee-based Blind Fiction is a blues-rock trio (Tim Wright – lead guitar/vocals, Eric Madunic – bass/backing vocals, Nick Lang – drums) that produces a unique, original musical approach while drawing from musical influences Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers Band, John Mayer, and the Grateful Dead. Overlook is their second release, a tasty set of 11 original tracks.

The disc opens with the upbeat “Better Man,” a lively rocker with a bit of a country flavor. “Old News” is a bit smoother, adding a little funk to the mix, and “Deal With You Later” mixes in some pop qualities with the harmony vocals, featuring some standout fretwork from Wright. “Ignorance Is Bliss” effectively mixes R&B with blues and rock, and “Mean Old Jack” is a tough blues rocker punctuated by slide guitar from Wright.

The edgy “Ugly Side” is a powerful rock-edged workout, the upbeat “Better Than New” is a tight pop rocker, and “Waiting On A Tragedy” is a strong mid-tempo ballad. Meanwhile, “Breaking Me Down” is an energetic blues rocker, and “Haunt You” is a soulful slow burner that works really well. The album closer, the reflective “You Never Know,” deftly mixes blues and R&B.

Blind Fiction also gets some noteworthy contributions from Joe Howard (keyboards), Eric Schoor (tenor sax), Jamie Breiwick and Andrew Riehle (trumpets), and Tim Preuss (bass). Overlook should appeal to any blues fan who also digs a variety of musical genres, powerful guitar work, and catchy rhythms.

--- Graham Clarke

Kerry KearneyKerry Kearney is a slide guitarist extraordinaire who’s been honing his craft for over 40 years. We reviewed his excellent Smokehouse Serenade release in late 2019. Tales From the Psychedelta (Highlander Records) consists of previously released material from several of Kearney’s previous albums, making it a “Best of” set of sorts. The 12 tracks mix contemporary blues rock with more traditional Delta blues fare, making for a tremendously well-rounded set capturing Kearney at his very best. Since some of his previous releases are out of print, this is a great opportunity to hear tunes that you’d otherwise miss.

The opener, “Five Time Man,” is a pretty intense blues rocker, followed by “Fatherless Boy,” which is a more sedate number with a southern rock flavor as Kearney plays dobro. There’s also a rollicking “Mississippi River Stomp,” featuring searing slide guitar that brings to mind Sonny Landreth, and an up-tempo version of the old standard “Trouble In Mind” that really kicks. Sam “Bluzman” Taylor joins Kearney on vocals for the country blues/gospel “Thank You Jesus,” and the funky and energetic “Memphis High” sets the bar pretty high for the second half of the disc with Kearney’s scorching slide.

Arthur Crudup’s “Mean Old Frisco” is the album’s second cover, with Kearney’s mid-tempo, country blues approach very effective. “Voodoo Down The River” has a nice swampy feel with Kearney and Tony Campo going back and forth on slide and organ, respectively, while “Lawdy Mama,” the last of three covers, positively burns in a terrific fast-paced read. “Runnin’, Weepin’, Tremblin’” is as close to a slow burner as you’re going to get on this collection, with Kearney getting ample opportunity to ply his craft on the smoking six-minute track.

The jaunty “World Train” marries the blues and bluegrass, with Kearney on dobro along with guests “Papa Jim” Fleming on mandolin and Charlie Wolfe on harmonica. The closer, “Schaefer Time/Duck House,” is a wonderful wrap-up to the collection, with Kearney doing a masterful job with this acoustic medley.

Tales From The Psychedelta is the perfect introduction to the music of Kerry Kearney, one of the finest slide guitar masters currently practicing.

--- Graham Clarke

Laura TateLive from El Paso (811 Gold Records LLC) is the latest release from Laura Tate, a fine set recorded at the McKelligon Canyon Amplitheatre, located in the singer’s home base. Tate is backed a superb band, which includes Terry Wilson (bass, vocals), Doug Hamblin (guitar), Tony Braunagel (drums), Jeff Paris (piano, vocals), Teresa James (backing vocals), Joe Sublett (sax), Lee Thornburg (trombone), and Darrell Leonard (trumpet). The 12-song set mixes blues, soul, R&B, jazz, and Americana, reprising several songs from Tate’s previous releases.

The jazzy mid-tempo “No Place To Hide” opens the set with nice work from the horns in support of Ms. Tate’s sultry vocal. “I’ll Find Someone Who Will,” written by James and Wilson for Coco Montoya, is a solid rocker that provides a great showcase for both Tate’s vocals and the horns. It’s followed by a dynamite read of the Thin Lizzy(!) hit “The Boys Are Back In Town” --- definitely not the usual approach to the hard rock classic, but Tate’s version is most impressive. The smoky “I Need A Man” is a slow burn blues, “Hittin’ On Nothin’,” from Allen Toussaint (credited to Naomi Neville), is a nice Crescent City-flavored number, and “Can’t Say No” is a Latin-tinged ballad.

The pensive “Still Got The Blues” keeps the pace on the mellow side (nice guitar solo from Hamblin at the midpoint), and the mid-tempo “Nobody Gets Hurt” has a smooth country feel. The upbeat shuffle “What A Way To Go” picks up the pace a bit, before seguing into “Cowboy Jazz,” a ballad featuring a cushy horn chart backing Tate’s superb vocal. “Big Top Hat” is a horn-fueled Texas rocker, followed by the soulful “If That Ain’t Love” that closes the set.

Proceeds from the concert went to the El Paso Community Foundation’s Laura Tate Fund for the Arts, and there’s no doubt that everyone in attendance got their money’s worth. If you missed Tate’s earlier releases, this is a great opportunity to get a taste of what you missed, but those albums are definitely worth a listen as well.

--- Graham Clarke

Gerald McClendonGerald McClendon, a.k.a. “The Soul Keeper,” returns with Let’s Have a Party! (Delta Roots Records), and his sophomore effort is even better than his wonderful 2020 release, Can’t Nobody Stop Me Now. Like its predecessor, the new release teams McClendon and songwriter/drummer/producer Twist Turner with a stellar group of musicians, including guitarists Rico McFarland, Melvin Taylor, Joe Burba, and Rusty Zinn, bassist Johnny B. Gayden, keyboardists Tony Llorens, Sumito Ariyoshi, Brian James, and Jim Pugh, and the Delta Roots Horns.

Turner wrote all 12 tracks, and they deftly walk the line between blues and soul. The opener, “Keep On Keepin’ On,” is a gospel-flavored message of inspiration for these tough times, while “If It Ain’t The Blues” checks all the boxes as Turner’s song reflects on hard times, McFarland contributes stinging lead guitar, and McClendon testifies with gritty fervor. Meanwhile, the enthusiastic title track is a good-time tune driven by Gayden’s rumbling bass and the horn section, notably Skinny Williams’ sax, and McClendon does a fine job on the sweet old school soul ballad “Pretty Girl.”

McClendon shows his lady the door on the feisty “Pack Your Bags and Go,” when he finds a pair of dirty drawers on the floor, and he provides timely commentary on “Ghetto Child,” a poignant picture that hits home far too often in today’s world. “You Got To Be Strong” is another message of inspiration and determination with a strong vocal from McClendon and sublime support from Ariyoshi on piano and John “Boom” Brumbach on sax. McFarland teams with Burba on guitar for the slow blues “Throw This Dog a Bone,” and “Start All Over Again” is a superb bit of country soul that sounds like a long-lost Muscle Shoals track.

“I Just Can’t Help Myself” is another terrific slow burner with more great fretwork from McFarland and Burba, with the latter really shining with a potent solo on the somber “I Just Can’t Take Anymore” . The mood picks up considerably with the album closer, “Funky Stuff,” which features Taylor’s skittering guitar work and Brian James on keyboards.

For fans of vintage soul, blues, and R&B, Let’s Have a Party! is what you’ve been looking for. Gerald McClendon effortlessly works through these 12 excellent songs with support from some of the Windy City’s best musicians, resulting in one of the best releases of the year to these ears.

--- Graham Clarke

Corey LedetCorey Ledet’s latest album, Corey Ledet Zydeco (Nouveau Electric Records), pays tribute to Ledet’s family and his musical heritage. His great-grandfather, Gabriel Ledet, played upright bass with jazz legend Bunk Johnson, his grandfather, Buchanon Ledet, played drums with Clifton Chenier and Rockin’ Dopsie (inventing “double clutchin’” rhythm in the process), and others played with B.B. King and Bobby Bland.

Ledet himself has enjoyed a successful career as a zydeco artist over the past couple of decades, with Corey Ledet Zydeco his 14th album overall. Like its predecessors, it incorporates blues, gospel, rock n’ roll into the zydeco mix with exciting results.

Ledet began recording in early 2020, but was forced to cut the sessions off due to pandemic concerns. He ended up recording some of it by himself, playing drums and washboards on several tracks, but he receives fine support on other tracks from an excellent group. Cecil Green (Hammond B3), Lee Allen Zeno (bass), Grant Dermody (harmonica), Julian Primeaux (guitar/background vocals), and Gerard Delafose (drums/washboard).

The opening track, the rollicking “This Is All I Want,” serves as a mission statement of sorts for Ledet, as he proclaims that wants to play his zydeco music and spend time with his family. “Buchanon Ledet Special” is a hard-charging tribute to his grandfather, and Delafose gives it his all behind the drum kit. The lively “Mon Marche” is actually Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin’” sung in Ledet’s native dialect Kouri-Vini. “Pel Mo (Call Me)” is also in Kouri-Vini, and is more blues-based, with Dermody contributing on harmonica. The exuberant “On A Roll” has a bit of a reggae feel in the rhythm.

The enthusiastic cover of Big Joe Turner’s “Flip, Flop, and Fly” is first-rate and bound to get dancing feet on the floor, and the reassuring “It’s Gonna Be Alright” is a dandy combination of zydeco and swamp pop.

Ledet cut the last three tracks by himself, due to the pandemic. The first is the instrumental two-step “Nina’s Hot Step,” that demonstrates his prowess on the accordion. Next is “Mon Make (I Miss),” a beautiful old school waltz, and the closer, “Arét Tu Trin (Stop Your Noise),” is a lot of fun with Ledet playing accordion, drums, and washboard.

Corey Ledet Zydeco is a fine tribute to the music that inspired Corey Ledet over the years. While it is a tribute, it’s not derivative at all, paying respects to the predecessors of the genre but also showing that music still has a lot of life and energy left. LOADS of life and energy. If you’ve never listened to zydeco, this is a perfect place to get on board.

--- Graham Clarke

Polly O'KearyFor Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method, 2021 was a pivotal year. All of the band members turned 50, hence the title of their new release, 50. The band (O’Keary – bass/vocals, Dave Miller – guitar/vocals, Tommy Cook – drums/vocals) spent all of 2020 working on this release, taking advantage of the downtime incurred by the pandemic to work on what turns out to be their best release to date, crafting 11 fine original tunes written by the band that mix blues, rock, R&B, funk, and Americana.

The opener is a strong, optimistic blues rocker, “Brand New Day,” which features the band’s long-time friend Lady A (the REAL one) on guest vocals with O’Keary. The feisty “Too Much Like I Care” is a hard-driving shuffle with some nice fretwork from Miller, and he mixes in some Santana-esque fills on the Latin-flavored anti-drug number “Can’t Catch Me.”

The slow burner “Smiling” is one of three tracks featuring Miller’s vocals, and he does a fine job on this track as well as on the Americana number, “People On The Corner,” and the country-flavored rocker, “American Highways,” which closes the disc.

O’Keary takes the mic again for the stomping rock n’ roller “You Better Think,” tears into the moody blues “Strange Way Of Showing Love,” ably handles the urban blues of “ABC’s,” and pulls out all the stops on the shimmering blues rock ballad “I’m Not Guilty” (the best overall track on the disc, to these ears). Meanwhile, her exuberant performance on the funky pop-soul number “Love In Waiting” is a genuine pleasure.

Polly O’Keary and the Rhythm Method is a band that deserves to be heard with two excellent vocalists in the mix, some of the best songwriting around days, and their versatility in a number of styles (always wrapped up in the blues). 50 should appeal to a variety of music fans, and hopefully, it will lead to even better things for this fine band.

--- Graham Clarke

Brigitte PurdySoulful singer and songwriter Brigitte Purdy recently issued the single “Stylin’.” This joyous, upbeat track mixes blues, soul, and R&B and is bound to put a hop in your step. Ms. Purdy has a voice that’s a comfortable fit in a number of genres. Thankfully, she’s devoted to blues and soul.

The musical support is perfect and it’s impossible to sit still while you’re listening, trust me. We’re hoping that “Stylin’” is just the start of more great recordings to come from Ms. Purdy.

--- Graham Clarke

John ColtraneAny previously unheard recording by John Coltrane is cause for celebration, so the 1965 live recording A Love Supreme: Live In Seattle (Impulse!) is a welcome release for Coltrane fans.

Good stereo balance of McCoy Tyner’s piano, bass and drums. Horns off-microphones seemingly in between the channels, but audible enough to take in. (Had to have been a lengthy reel of tape not recorded at high speed? How else could a consumer recording engineer in 1965 capture the entire hour and 15 seamlessly? Pure audio, not a dropout or splice detectable). Performance quite inspired, ‘Trane must’ve felt better about this night than the only other known live recording of this work at Antibes (sometimes credited to Paris, on which has been documented that he felt he “played badly”).

Vibe in the Penthouse room feels good, more people there than the LP set of other stuff (which was a Thursday and this was a Saturday). Idle musicians got carried away with percussion toys when they weren’t playing. Trane throws quotes of “Cosmos” and “Evolution” (things he’d gone way out with the previous Thursday) into places of this Love Supreme. The two-bass sections are nice in a couple places through the work.

Joe Brazil’s or Carlos Ward’s alto solo in one movement is compatible, Pharaoh Sanders’ tenor solos might work for his hardcore fans, but I was disappointed when Coltrane gave the entire third movement sax solo space to Sanders. Just doesn’t do it for me. The audience thinks the work is over after three movements, a rousing lengthy round of crowd applause approval, perhaps a standing ovation. A voice, I hope not one of the newest musicians just joining the group for this gig, asks “Is that it?” (Go to your room, listen to the studio album repeatedly! A hot seller by the time of the Penthouse gig). Jimmy Garrison does his usual exemplary single note and chordal bass solo before the final movement, even if on recordings after all these years he can get quite lengthy.

When the fourth movement, “Psalm,” hits, one can feel the favorable spiritual state Coltrane must have been in at that moment. For a while it sounds like he may be “reciting” the prayer on his horn which was printed inside the original album foldout. An attempt to follow those words during this Penthouse version proves this was not the case, he was simply improvising close to the meaning behind the prayer. His sax tone is purer than the hi-register places he’d gone during this same movement back in July ’65 at Antibes, and the length of the sax solo is actually a little shorter than the original studio record.

One more bias of mine against Pharaoh Sanders: If he’d been familiar with the LP recording of Love Supreme by the time of this gig (again it had been out maybe nine months), he would have joined Trane for the two-sax effect on the “Amen” final note of Psalm’s prayer. Where was Sanders when we needed him? Instead of Elvin Jones getting the last word on a drum, which was usually the case on many studio and live recordings, one of the bassists lingers, wishing to keep expressing how he felt. The room sounds after everything is over are interesting. Voices, apparently of those other than the original Quartet, loosely discuss a post-mortem of the work just experienced.

--- Tom Coulson


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