miércoles, 22 de septiembre de 2010

Jimmy Witherspoon - WithThe Duke Robillard Band

With The Duke Robillard Band

The material on this album was recorded in concert shortly before Jimmy Witherspoon's death at age 74, and it appears that this was his last recording. The significance of that fact cuts both ways on this attractive but sometimes frustrating album. On the one hand, fans will welcome it as a last document of Witherspoon's undeniable talent and presence. On the other hand, it's hard to overlook the fact that by this point he was no longer at the peak of his powers. Although he tries gamely to generate the energy of his past work -- and occasionally succeeds, as on the electrifying "I'll Always Be in Love With You" -- for the most part his voice is phlegmy and weak, his intonation approximate at best. Duke Robillard works well with Witherspoon, goosing his band to a level of energy intended to invigorate the aging singer without overpowering him, and delivering sharp and witty solos that keep things lively and interesting. There is also a fine cameo appearance by the British blues singer Long John Baldry, whose presence also seems to give Witherspoon a shot in the arm. Overall, though, this is an album that will appeal primarily to diehard fans of the singer and to Robillard completists.

1-Glide On
2-Going Down Slow
3-Big Boss Man
4-Ain't Nobody's Business
5-I'll Always Be in Love With You
6-Stormy Monday Blues
7-Time's Getting Tougher Than Tough

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