Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

127

Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan: In Session

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
In 1983, blues legend Albert King scheduled a TV appearance on In Session, a program produced by CHCH-TV in Hamilton, Ontario. The show matched like-minded musicians in hour-long jam sessions. In advance of the show, the 60-year-old King was only told that he’d be jamming with another guitarist. His collaborator turned out to be 29-year-old Stevie Ray Vaughan, fresh from recording his first album Texas Flood.

This recording of the King-Vaughan summit is not only historic, it's a guitar-lover’s delight. Vaughan counted King as his biggest influence, and he was clearly honored to play with the blues legend that December evening. But Vaughan wasn't intimidated. In fact, his talent seems to take King by surprise in the beginning. But the master eventually counters with an impressive performance of his own. The two legends summon the right balance of competitive fire and mutual respect.

The heavyweights seem to feel each other out on the opening track, "Call It Stormy Monday." But when King suggests they tackle "that fast thing of yours with the heck of a groove to it" – "Pride and Joy" – both guitarists loosen up considerably. By the third tune, B.B. King’s "Ask Me No Questions," the sparks really fly. Other incendiary cuts include Albert’s "Blues At Sunrise, "Overall Junction" and "Match Box Blues." The session ends with a funky cover of "Don’t Lie To Me."

The between-song banter is almost as precious as the music. King remembers Vaughan as a skinny kid – "straight as a popsicle" — who played with him at the Austin Coliseum 10 years earlier. He even pokes fun at Vaughan for stealing his licks on David Bowie’s hit "Let’s Dance."

King also tells Vaughan that lots of guitarists can play fast, but very few have soul. Both of these cats were drenched in soul, and they poured a lot of it out on Canadian TV some 16 years ago.

The duo was backed by King’s outstanding band: Tony Llorens on keys, Gus Thornton on bass and Michael Llorens on drums.

Title: In Session | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read "Formidable" CD/LP/Track Review Formidable
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 24, 2017
Read "East West Daydreams" CD/LP/Track Review East West Daydreams
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Stage 'N Studio" CD/LP/Track Review Stage 'N Studio
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Leap of Faith Orchestra - Possible Universes" CD/LP/Track Review Leap of Faith Orchestra - Possible Universes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 1, 2017
Read "As The Wind" CD/LP/Track Review As The Wind
by John Eyles
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017

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!