We are back to the whippin' post with Me And The Devil, the fourth Allman Brothers-inspired release from Long Song Records, and the third by The J&F Band; and while it is far from being a guilty pleasure, the music does beg to be heard at high volume.
In 2016, drummer Tiziano Tononi, bassist Joe Fonda, violinist, Emanuael Parrini and their smoking band recorded an Allman Brothers tribute Trouble No More...All Men Are Brothers (Long Song, 2017). It was followed by the formation of The J&F Band. The 'J' for Jaimoe (Johnny Lee Johnson), a founding member of The Allman Brothers band, and the 'F' for Joe Fonda (Conference Call, Satoko Fujii, The Nu Band, Barry Altschul 3Dom Factor, etc.). The band's previous releases on Long Song were From The Roots To The Sky (2018) and Cajun Blue (2020).
Each new release adds musicians and tweaks the blues/rock/funk/jazz formula, making the band perhaps the (wait for it) out-and-out greatest party band alive. Opening with "Tizville," the music takes its cues from The J.B.'s, with saxophonist Jon Irabagon doing his best Maceo Parker imitation before Parrini's violin and Paolo "Pee Wee" Durante's organ drags the piece into the stratosphere, only to be out-funked by Fonda's electric bass boogie.
The party never stops, moving on with the slow drag of Robert Johnson's "Me And The Devil (Blues)" and Fonda's "Hendrix Lane Long," which shuffles on Fonda's vocals and some David Grissom Texas blues guitar. "Seven Seas Crossing" opens with Tononi's extended drum solo that introduces another Allman Brothers' alumni, guitarist Scott Sharrard and the guitar heaviness of "Spanish Moon," with focuses on Bobby Lee Rodgers' axe. Most of the tracks are accented by grooving lyrics and the percussive attack of Jaimoe, which culminates with the 20-minute "Nothing Matters," a lament for George Floyd. The extended composition snakes about and explores grooves with Irabagon's scintillating tenor solo crowning the session.
Tizville; Me And The Devil Blues ; Hendrix Lane Long; Seven Seas Crossing; Get Some Love; Spanish
Moon; Nothing Matters.