68

Powder Blues: Blues + Jazz = Blazz!

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Powder Blues: Blues + Jazz = Blazz! Back in 1978, Tom Lavin and a group of friends formed a house band in Vancouver's Gastown. Almost thirty years later, the Canadian band is still chugging along. Time has ensured that they have a more universal presence with, among other international concerts, events at Montreux and in Russia, where Melodiya Records released the live recording. Blazz! boasts blues and jazz and, of course, a ripe dose of rock 'n' roll, all of which go to make a heck of a solid album with groove.

The blues prime up and boogie when the musicians go "Cooking With The Blues, a thumping song that heralds good times. The playing is tight and compact, and the saxophone pegs the earthiness. There are enough Lavin originals like this to show that he continues to write strong material. "Swami Swing is rather aptly named, for while there may not be a swami in sight, it swings on Lavin's guitar, the horns adding a curtain of counterpoint before Mike Kalanj's Hammond organ oozes sweetness.

The band does a welcome cover of the Boz Scaggs tune "Runnin' Blue, with a dry edginess in the vocals and a deep bluesy feel from the guitar. There's jazz, too, when they "Take The 'A' Train. The singing is not classic jazz, but Lavin does have that sense of rhythm, and the inherent feel extends through the light swing of the instrumentation.

Track Listing: Cooking With The Blues; Runnin

Personnel: Tom Lavin: guitar, vocals; Bill Runge: bass, alto and baritone saxophone, clarinet; Bill Hicks: drums; Miles Black: piano; Ron Johnson: piano (6); Mike Kalanj: piano (1,3), Hammond organ; Paul Baron: trumpet; Vincent Mai: trumpet; Rod Murray: trombone; Pat Caird: tenor saxophone; Jerry Cook: tenor saxophone; Ross Taggart: saxophone.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Wave


Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Tyrant Lizard" CD/LP/Track Review Tyrant Lizard
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "In Hollywood, 1971" CD/LP/Track Review In Hollywood, 1971
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Imagine Nation" CD/LP/Track Review Imagine Nation
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 9, 2016
Read "Conversations About Not Eating Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Conversations About Not Eating Meat
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Two Steps from the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Two Steps from the Blues
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 18, 2016
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!