All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Craig Horton is one of the great well-kept secrets of the modern blues. A Chicago-bred veteran of gigs with Little Walter, The Dells, Sam Myers & the Mississippi Delta Blues Band, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, The Inkspots and many other top acts, Horton has until now suffered from too little name recognition. He is an unacknowledged master of the electric blues, shoutin’ and twangin’ in the spirit of Freddie King and Luther Allison. This is Horton’s first solo effort, and it’s enough to make a body yell, “Where ya been all my life?!”
Horton and his passel of Bay Area bluesmen wail and holler through a dozen sweaty blues gems, mostly originals by the frontman or his band members. Nothing too cerebral here, just musings on the nature and interactions of man and woman which are, after all, at the root of all good blues tunes. Influences here range from New Orleans grooves to Ray Charles and Paul Butterfield, all addressed with passion and love. One unexpected cover is Mose Allison’s “Nightclub”, a cheery up-tempo number that’s guaranteed to cause rampant foot-stompin’. Horton’s blue conviction is especially evident on slower numbers like “Spellbound”, with Jim Pugh’s organ subtly coaxing him along.
Two 1962-vintage tunes by Horton’s old cohort Jump Jackson are covered here. “Ridin’ In My Jaguar” features some especially blistering guitar and Bob Welsh’s rollicking Chicago-style piano, while “Midnight Shuffle” backs up an interview clip with Horton reminiscing about the good ol’ days. Standout tracks include the boogiein’ opener, “Chest Pain Blues”, and the more relaxed “3 Days and 3 Nights”. In an era when many blues musicians feel obligated to modernize the genre for the new century, Craig Horton gives us reason to believe in the old school of electrified blues. Tell it, brother!
Track Listing: Chest Pain Blues; 3 Days And 3 Nights; One More Time; Is It True; Nightclub; That
Personnel: Craig Horton, vocals, lead guitar; Rusty Zinn, Franck Goldwasser (#3,6), rhythm guitar; Randey Hernandez, Henry Oden (#3,6), bass; Bob Welsh, rhythm guitar, keyboards; Chris Burns (#3,6), keyboards; Jim Pugh, organ; Scott Silveira, John Hanes (#3,6), drums; Chris Whynaught (#8), tenor sax; Greg Riley, tenor and baritone sax; Will Miller, trumpet; Duane Benjamin, trombone.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach
I was first exposed to jazz when I was studying at the University of Puerto Rico. Nearby, I found a little record shop where the music coming from the store (Taller de Jazz Don Pedro) made me stop. I walked down the short stairs and towards the music and learned that the music playing was Clifford Brown and Max Roach. I fell in love with it. I wondered around until the owner (Pedro Soto) asked if I needed help. He then introduced me to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan and the rest is history. I walked out of the store with my first jazz recording: Clifford Brown and Max Roach at Basin Street.