It seems like yesterday when this writer placed Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett’s Home
on the turntable, but reality tells me it was at least 35 years ago. Bonnie Bramlett is back now and, like a few other performers of her vintage, her voice matured along the way.
Bramlett has visited a number of styles in her career. From her start as a member of Ike & Tina Turner’s "Ikettes," she went on to perform with the likes of Eric Clapton, Little Milton and Blind Faith. Her partnership with Delaney Bramlett ended in the early seventies and she entered into a solo contract with Columbia Records.
Bonnie Bramlett returns with the aptly titled Roots, Blues & Jazz
and a fine outfit called the Mr. Groove Band. This delightful combination glides through a dozen songs from writes like Steve Stills, Chuck Berry, Joe Zawinul, Sam Cooke and Nat Adderley. Three originals are included in the form of "Gotcha," "Carefree" and "I Can Laugh About It Now." The latter was jointly penned with her daughter Bekka.
Bramlett and the band don’t forget about folks of my vintage and include up to date versions of "I’m Confessin’," "Harlem Nocturne" and a knockout take on "That Lucky Old Sun." In fact, it’s the first reading of "Lucky Old Sun" that we’ve ever enjoyed.
Bramlett’s voice has deepened over the years and lends itself nicely to the album’s diverse material. We enjoyed Joe Zawinul’s "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and Nat Adderley’s "Work Song." The Mr. Groove band led by brothers Tim and Roddy Smith is the perfect match for Bramlett’s entry into a jazz / blues act. Drummer Donnie Marshall must be acknowledged for his tasteful and exciting performance on this CD.
It’s great to see the return of Bonnie Bramlett and you can listen to sample tracks at Amazon.