Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers 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!

198

James Kinds: Love You From The Top

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist/vocalist James Kinds was hailed as a promising young bluesman back in 1977, but since then success that might have promised has eluded him. Indeed, it's not unfair to say that he hasn't even managed to maintain a profile of the likes of Billy Branch and Lurrie Bell, with whom he toured Germany back in the late 1970s, which makes the title of this disc, Love You From The Top, a matter of righting a wrong, especially as it's his first widely distributed title in a career which has never faded away so much as operated at a level which falls beneath the media radar.

Much is made of Kinds' voice in the accompanying booklet, although it could be argued that its slight wavering in places is not only evidence of a diminution in power but also of a man who's lived the blues life. It's effective enough on "Mason Dixon Line Blues," but his guitar playing is equally telling.

There's more than a little soul in his work, so considering Curtis Mayfield as an influence on Kinds' rhythm guitar work doesn't stretch a point. It would, however, be wrong to infer that Kinds shows a similar preoccupation with social issues as Mayfield on "Crack Headed Woman," which is lyrically concerned merely with a woman's contrary behavior—a time-honored theme which, on this occasion, hardly receives an original treatment.

"Take A Look At Yourself" takes the pace down a few notches, and in so doing allows Kinds a better chance to show off his vocal prowess. While he does so with interest, his tendency to make too much of some syllables makes the lyrics slightly unintelligible. This is, however, compensated by the band's instrumental prowess, which ensures that its slinky groove is nailed. The boogie of "Body Slam" finds Kinds and his pals right at home. Vocally Kinds turns in one of his best performances of the program, and the band gets lowdown without striving for effect.

Saxophonist Eddie Shaw brings his wealth of playing to experience to the table on "Johnny Mae," and, while his contribution is minimal, it has the effect of nicely counteracting Kinds' emotive delivery. In the course of his solo, Shaw lays on the grease, and thus enlivens proceedings which, while they might lose some of their immediacy on record, can easily be imagined to work like a dream in a club—which is, of course, where this entire program would come into its own.

Track Listing: Love You From The Top; If You Need It; I Got A Woman; Mason Dixon Line Blues; Crack Headed Woman; Oo Wee Baby; Peggy Sue; Take A Look At Yourself; Katie; Body Slam; I Didn't Go Home; Johnny Mae; I Can't Take It; My Mama Told Me; High Heel Shoes.

Personnel: James Kinds: vocals, guitar; Anthony Dotson: bass; Claude L. Thomas: drums; Al Pool: guitar (1, 4, 8, 10, 11, 13) Eddie Shaw tenor sax (1, 5, 9, 12).

Title: Love You From The Top | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Serenity Knolls" CD/LP/Track Review Serenity Knolls
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "In Stride" CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Roll On" CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Baby It's Cold Outside" CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Marseille" CD/LP/Track Review Marseille
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 28, 2017