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SUNRISE by Robben Ford

Now this will open your eyes. Before he joined the Yellowjackets, Robben Ford was a blistering bluesman, with a tangy rock-inspired tone. Herein are three club dates, including a set with Jimmy Witherspoon. The band does simple boogie riffs but not Robben: he'll march with a crunchy distortion, slide greasy steps, or float like Kenny Burrell. Best are his vocals: no affected voice or rock-star posing -- he sings it plain, and means every word. "Red Rooster" 's a thrill, especially when the pace tightens up - the rocking won't stop, and that is good.

If you're more into jazz, try "Eighty-One"; Robben, on alto, starts with a strut and moves in cataclysmic fury. (Also good is Paul Nagle, chiming on the Fender Rhodes.) When Spoon steps in, the band defers - and easy lope, and good rhythm from Ford. On "Everyday" they both sing, and disparate styles blend as you hardly expected. That also describes the album: blues, rock, and jazz, all at once and all good.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Robben Ford
  • CD Title: SUNRISE
  • Year Released: 1999
  • Record Label: Avenue Jazz
  • Rating: Five Stars
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