viernes, 29 de octubre de 2010

Eddie Boyd and His Blues Band - Featuring Peter Green

Featuring Peter Green

This album from the late 60's features eddie Boyd backed by some of the best British blues musicians of the time. Peter Green and Tony McPhee on guitar;John Mayall on harp;John McVie on bass; and Ansley Dunbar on the drums.Basically the Mayall band of the time. Boyd later went on to cut some tunes with Fleetwood Mac. A solid set of chicago blues!
In 1967, producer Mike Vernon put Chicago pianist Eddie Boyd into the studio with John Mayall and the then current version of The Bluesbreakers: Peter Green on guitar, John McVie on bass and Aynsely Dunbar on drums - there were also horn players for one track and T.S. McPhee taking over for Green on two others. In three days they cut a whopping eighteen songs, sixteen of which make up this album. Boyd preferred a slower paced style of playing, with even his faster numbers having a more swinging feel rather than really rocking. Dunbar was probably not the best choice for a player like Boyd and it's here that John McVie really earns his reputation. Compare "Steakhouse Rock" with "Rack 'Em Back". Both of these are swinging instrumentals - the former just piano and drums. Dunbar starts off way too busy and one can only imagine the look on Boyd's face that got him to finally ease up before the number mercifully ends. The second has McVie beautifully controlling and containing Dunbar's excesses through an even faster number and the resulting tension as the players race to the finish make this a highlight. Peter Green shines in his too few moments. His still strong Clapton influence is clearly heard in the opening track "Too Bad - Part One" as he darts between the heavy piano chords with perfect, stinging fills and in his too brief solo. There is a second version of this song, titled "Too Bad - Part Two" which is really more like an alternate take, but Green's playing and slightly more expansive solo shows the style of playing he would soon begin developing further with his own band. Boyd's heavy hand and preference for short arrangements don't leave Green much room, but he offers strong support on the numbers he plays on and gets to stretch a bit in the closer "Night Time is the Right Time". Special word should be granted to T.S. McPhee for his slide playing on "Save Her Doctor" and "Dust My Broom". He runs some nice variations on the all too familiar riff of the latter, making it one of the album' s stronger numbers.
Mayall's early work as a sideman on sessions such as these is a sadly overlooked aspect of his career. On his three numbers here, each a piano / harmonica duet, he truly shines; his playing perfectly capturing the feel and tonality of his idols like the second Sonny Boy Williamson.
These tracks all rate as highlights.
Over all, this is a very enjoyable set, not as strong as Fleetwood Mac's recording with Otis Spann a few years later, "The Biggest Thing Since Colossus"
but recommended for fans of traditional blues with a spot of British flavor.

Eddie Boyd - Piano
Tony McPhee - Guitar
John Mayall - Harmonica
Harry Klein - Baritone Saxophone
Albert Hall - Trumpet
Rex Morris, Bob Efford - Tenor Horn
John McVie - Bass Guitar
Aynsley Dunbar - Drums
Peter Green - Guitar

01. Too Bad, Pt. 1
02. Dust My Broom
03. Unfair Lovers
04. Key to the Highway
05. Vacation from the Blues
06. Steakhouse Rock
07. Letter Missin' Blues
08. Ain't Doin' Too Bad
09. Blue Coat Man
10. Train Is Coming
11. Save Her Doctor
12. Rack 'Em Back
13. Too Bad, Pt. 2
14. Big Bell
15. Pinetop's Boogie Woogie
16. Night Time Is the Right Time

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