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Monday, December 19, 2011

R.I.P. Hubert Sumlin

The music world lost a great musician earlier this month. Chicago blues guitar legend Hubert Sumlin passed away at age 80. Sumlin was an integral part of the Chess Records scene starting in the mid fifties and became Howlin' Wolf's right hand man. After Howlin Wolf passed away in 1976 Hubert Sumlin moved to Texas where he made a huge impression on Jimmy Vaughan and younger brother Stevie Ray Vaughan. He had a very economical approach to the guitar playing with his fingers and thumb which was a style that Jimmie Vaughan adopted. I think anyone who plays electric blues owes a small debt to Hubert Sumlin for sure. Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Keith Richards for sure.

Played a nice blues gig this past weekend with fellow guitar player Jake Chisholm which was a lot of fun. Great responsive audience too. I played my Gibson ES-339 with my new ZT Lunchbox amp which is just killing. Filled the room!

Listened to:

Brad Mehldau Trio "Art of the Trio" Volume 4 Back at the Vanguard.
Larry Grenadier on bass and Jorge Rossy on drums. Man what a great piano trio. They do a burning version of "All The Things You Are" in 7/4. These guys can really play odd time signatures with ease. No easy task. Well worth buying!!
Brad Mehldau has such amazing left hand right hand independence. It's quite astonishing really. He'll be doing a very rhythmic ostinato part with his left hand and a burning solo with the right and the SWITCH!! This guy is not of this world. It's also very musical so it's not a circus act at all.

Elvin Jones - Live at the Village Vanguard Vol. 1
This 1984 live recording of legendary drummer Elvin Jones and his two tenor lineup is full of fire and emotion.
Tenor saxophonists Pat Labarbera and Frank Foster rip it up and Pat especially shows his connection to the late John Coltrane. The bands long and fierce take on Trane's "A Love Supreme" is amazing and Elvin Jones sounds as great on this version as he did on the original. Fumio Karashima on piano and Chip Jackson round out the band nicely. Great record. If you can find it buy it. 

John Scofield's new record A Moments Peace
This is a recording of mostly ballads with a few mid tempo tunes and it's a nice record. Larry Goldings sounds great on organ and piano, Scott Colley is his usual great feel and time on bass and Brian Blade who can not only burn but on this recording his brush work and mallett playing is sublime. Sco sounds great as always and plays very economically on this recording. He's never been a chops with no taste player and is always in the moment but on this record he bends strings to great emotional effect. Buy it too!

I remember going to see Elvin Jones at the Blue Note when I was living in New York in the late 80's and Pat Labarbera was with him along with Chip Jackson on bass and a piano player who's name I can't remember but it didn't matter as he was sick and couldn't make the gig. To my delight , no offence to the ailing piano player, John Scofield came in as a sub on guitar.They just ripped it up. Elvin Jones, Pat Labarbera and Sco! Man what a great night of music.

That's all for now.

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting fellow and beautiful player.
    You can feel him emoting clearly through his guitar.