Beverly Lewis: All Shades of Blues (2010)
Right out of the chute, Lewis goes on the prowl with Denise LaSalle's warning shot, "Someone Else is Steppin' In," fueled by Fifield's slinky, full-throated slide guitar. Having established her blues bona fides, Lewis moves on to Joe Zawinul's soul-jazz standard "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," singing at full throttle. Bobby Charles' "The Jealous Kind" is played with a slight country tinge, Fifield's solid slide guitar tempering the piece as a country-blues hybrid.
The pairing of "Every Day I have The Blues" and "Fine and Mellow" is as inspired as its slick arrangement, burning intensely and scorching all behind it, making it a great set closer. The Miles Davis/Oscar Brown Jr. "All Blues" provides Lewis an excellent jazz vehicle with a blues subtext, as the singer negotiates the piece with precision and class, never overdoing it in the technical department. Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell for You," provides an Etta James vibe, taking the edge off the disc's hard blues.
But that is only for a second, because "It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day)" follows, and is a barnburner that takes full example of Randy Singer's Little Walter Jacobs-informed harmonica playing. All Shades of Blues should bring Lewis some much deserved attention: her forceful singing and robust delivery have genuine soul; her band is tight; and her repertoire solid.
Track Listing: Someone Else Steppin' In; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; The Jealous Kind; Everyday I Have the Blues/Fine and Mellow; All Blues; Since I Fell for You; It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day); Mad About Him , Sad Without Him Blues; Love Me Like a Man; Howlin' Dog Blues.
Personnel: Beverly Lewis: vocals; John Fifield: guitars; Gabriel Vivas: electric and acoustic bass; Goran Rista: drums (2, 3, 6, 7,9) Lee Levin: drums (1, 4, 5, 8); Paul Banman: keyboards (1-7); Doug Emery: keyboards (9); Sammy Figueroa: percussion (2); Randy Singer: harmonica (1, 6, 7); Teddy Mulet: brass (5, 8); David Fernandez: reeds (2, 4, 7, 9) Gabe Vales: bass (3).
Record Label: TMB Records