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B.B. King: Blues 'n' Jazz

Album Notes

Recorded at M & I Recording, New York, and Rivendale Recorders, Pasadena, Texas.

While the liner notes indicate that this release incorporates jazz influences, it still sounds like a B.B. King record. He hasn't traded in his bluesmobile for a jazzmobile, but he has customized his vehicle with jazzy touches, such as on "Sell My Monkey," which features a tinkling piano, vibraphone accompaniment and muted trumpet fills. His voice is a little deeper and rougher here, but King's spirit is undiminished by time.

King is such a master that he makes whatever he does sound classic. On "Heed My Warning" he sings cliches like "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" and still manages to sound fresh and alive. "Inflation Blues" is rare for B.B.: a blues that isn't about a woman. He tinkers slightly with the tried-and-true on "Teardrops From My Eye," using an atypically effects-laden guitar tone on his first solo before returning to a brighter, clearer sound when he takes it home. On "Make Love to Me" King delivers an impassioned entreaty to his love, with vocal phrasing that is as dramatic, off-the-cuff and elegant as his guitar playing.


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