How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Guitarist David Frazier offersA Touch of Blues, as well as touches of many related genres, in a nicely balanced program of half originals, half covers. Some tunes, such as the opener "Apache" and the Santana/Coster standard "Europa" exhibit the touch of blues, with soulful, yearning guitar explorations. "Blues for Joe (Pass)" is more oriented towards the gospel-flavored, down home traditional blues. Others tend more towards good contemporary jazz. "Metro Groove," as the name suggests, sports a more up-tempo contemporary groove. Of the covers, "Europa" is always a welcome listen, and Ben Tucker and Bob Dorough's "Comin' Home" (sometimes titled "Comin' Home Baby") is an interesting choice. Frazier takes a slight edge off the tempo and adds a slightly relaxed, middle-of-the-road background, which provides a nice framework for solos from him and pianist Tyrone Jackson. Neil Larson's "Grand Larceny" provides a lengthier, more laid-back vehicle for extended organ, guitar, and piano soloing.
Frazier's band, while not featuring any "big name" talent, provides competent, sympatico support. The spotlight is mostly on Frazier, who proves to be an adept melodist and soloist, with occasional solo inputs from keyboarding Tyrone Jackson.
Tracks: Apache; My Baby Loves Me; Miles Away; Spirit Dance; Blues for Joe; Loves Lights the Night; Europa; Metro Groove; Comin' Home; Grand Larceny; Fragile.
David Frazier, guitar; Tyrone Jackson, Matt Doran, keyboards; Nelson Blanchard, bass synth and drum programming; Tom Larson, percussion; Lindsey Spiller, drums; Russ Wasson, bass.