Home » Jazz Articles » Multiple Reviews » Montreux Through The Decades: Blues, Soul & Funk Recordi...


Montreux Through The Decades: Blues, Soul & Funk Recordings, Part 1


Sign in to view read count
As part of All About Jazz' tribute to Montreux Jazz Festival, which is celebrating its 50th edition in 2016, and to its founder, the late Claude Nobs, this second batch of live recordings features ten memorable blues, soul and funk concerts captured between 1973 and 2004. The first batch featured ten jazz recordings from concerts between 1968 and 2012, while a third batch will feature rock, folk and pop recordings.

Albert King
Blues at Sunrise: Live at Montreux -1973

This typically lively set from Albert King is arguably one of the best blues recordings from the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival, with the iconic blues guitarist/vocalist in animated form. The seven tracks presented here, however, represent under half of King's actual set that July day in the Congres, Montreux; a definitive, complete recording still waits to see the light of day and given the fire in King's performance such a release would be a welcome posthumous addition to the Mississippi-born guitarist's discography.

Bill Rennie's grooving bass ostinato, Sam King's fat back beat, James Washington on organ and the Stax-style brass of tenor saxophonist Rick Watson and trumpeters Norville Hodge and Wilbur Thompson form a driving backdrop for King to stretch out on a pacey version of "Don't Burn down the Bridge." There's a wonderful balance between lyricism and bite in King's solo, a chemistry that influenced multiple blues and rock guitarists alike, from Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Rory Gallagher to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Cray and Derek Trucks.

King's equally gruffly emotive vocals are to the fore on Ray Charles' slow-burner "I Believe to My Soul" and the up-beat, Otis-Redding-like "Little Brother" but it's the more rhythmically charged numbers that bring the best out of King. The guitarist is measured on "For the Love of a Woman," exhibiting tasteful economy in his singing lines, but let's rip on "Blues at Sunrise," which grows from simmering soul-blues to searing blues, with King and second guitarist Don Kingsey trading back and forth in exhilarating fashion.

Sam King's polyrhythms create beautiful tensions on "Roadhouse Blues," a slow blues with a deft horn arrangement that gathers momentum with all the force and inevitability of looming storm clouds. King draws anguished, crying tones from his Flying-V, passing the baton back and forth with Kingsey in a powerful dialogue that escalates thrillingly.

Passion, soul and grace from the legendary Albert King.

Van Morrison
Live at Montreux -1974/1980
Eagle Rock
2006 (2 DVDs)

This double DVD documents Van Morrison in two appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival recorded six years apart. The 1974 concert lasts a brief forty-minutes while the show from 1980 clocks in at a meatier one hundred. Both find the Belfast troubadour in truly fine form.

The earlier concert, featuring a backing band—albeit a highly experienced one—cobbled together by Claude Nobs—is notable for the inclusion of several tracks from the so-called 'missing' Van Morrison album, Mechanical Bliss, originally scheduled for a 1975 release but which never saw the light of day. Van Morrison shows his acoustic guitar chops on the beautifully meditative "Twilight Zone"; Pianist Pete Wingfield—who had performed with BB King a few years earlier—brings sizzling boogie woogie piano to the bluesy "Foggy Mountain Top" and rocking Scott Joplin-esque animation to "Heathrow Shuffle," with Van Morrison blowing on alto saxophone. The pianist's pounding ostinato also drives the fired-up funk of "Naked in the Jungle."

Van Morrison is in commanding vocal form on the infectious anthem "Bulbs"—the only track from the then recorded but yet-to-be-released Veedon Fleece (Warner Bros, 1974)—and "Street Choir," though his harmonica playing on the upbeat blues "Harmonica Shuffle" is easily upstaged by Wingfield's driving boogie woogie.

Fast-forward to 1980; Van Morrison, backed by an eight-piece band, gives a tremendous performance steeped in soul, R&B and his trademark Celtic lyricism. Highlights include the blues-grained "Satisfied," with saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and trumpeter Mark Isham riffing back and forth and stirring renditions of the classics "Ballerina" and "Tupelo Honey. The bulk of the show, however, is drawn from the much underrated Common One (Warner Bros, 1980), with the leader in rousing form on the celebratory "Summertime in England," the uplifting anthem "Spirit" and the trance-like "Haunts of Ancient Peace."

There are wonderful interventions from Ellis, Isham and guitarist John Platania but this is all about Van Morrison's spellbinding song-writing and performing craft, making this an essential recording—arguably every bit as good as the leader's acclaimed live album It's Too Late to Stop Now (Warner Bros, 1974). It's hard to pin down Van Morrison's magic; to quote "Summertime in England, "It ain't why it just is."

Rory Gallagher
Live at Montreux 1975-1994
Eagle Rock
2006 (CD/ 2DVDs)

It's not quite the definitive Rory Gallagher at MJF collection—for that you'd want Taste's 1970 appearance as well, released as Live Taste (Polydor, 1971)—but this double DVD/CD package comes pretty close, with selections from five Gallagher concerts spanning almost twenty years, from 1975 to 1994, including the entire set from 1994—the last time Gallagher trod the MJF boards.

Listening to the storming versions of "Laundromat" and Sonny Thompson's "I'm Tore Down" from 1975 with the classic line-up of bassist Gerry McAvoy, drummer Rod De'Ath and keyboardist Lou Martin, and bullish renditions of "Shin Kicker" and "Philby" recorded a decade later, you'd be hard pressed to notice any difference in Gallagher's health. However, the DVDs tell a different story.

Gallagher is a veritable tornado on stage in the earlier performances, with the crowd rocking out wildly to an exuberant "Bought and Sold" (1977); the guitarist struts and prowls the stage like a hybrid Chuck Berry and Pete Townsend on "Shinkicker" (1979), even leaping off stage to get up close and personal during an epic "Shadowplay" from the same gig.

Fast forward just half a dozen years to 1985 and Gallagher's physical energy is largely diminished—even if his playing remains captivating—as the years of alcohol and prescription drug abuse had begun to take their toll. A bloated, road-weary-looking Gallagher manfully works his way through the 1994 set, but his vocals don't have the fervour, nor his guitar playing quite the articulation of yesteryear.

That said, the 1994 gig serves up standout moments. Muddy Waters' "I Wonder Who"—a Gallagher live staple—and a slow, smoking interpretation of the traditional blues "I Could've Had Religion" features wailing blues harp from Mark Feltham and equally emotive playing from Gallagher. Guest musician, banjoist Bela Fleck also conjures up a little duo magic with Gallagher on Son House' "Walking Blues." Gallagher was such a great interpreter of the blues cannon, whether on electric or raggedy acoustic—and a wonderful slide guitarist—that his own songwriting has been largely relegated in the on-going narrative. Yet compositions like "Tattoo'd Lady," "Cradle Rock" "Calling Card" and "Off the Handle" make loud claim to Gallagher as being not only an exceptional guitarist, but a songwriter of notable strengths.

This beautifully packaged 2 DVD/CD collection, complete with sixteen-page booklet, is a must for Gallagher's legion fans.

Nina Simone
Live at Montreux 1976
Eagle Rock
2008 (DVD)

Nowhere is the relationship between jazz and racial politics, between art and commerce, more graphically depicted than in this captivating performance from Nina Simone, returning to the Montreux Jazz festival following her first appearance in 1968. Her entrance—where following a very long bow she stands staring at the audience, almost accusingly, for an uncomfortably long period—creates a tense, almost electric atmosphere from the get-go.

Before a note is sung Simone announces: "I have decided that I will do no more jazz festivals. That decision is not changed. I will sing for you, we will do and share with you a few moments after which I will graduate to a higher class and I hope you will come with me." It's one of several enigmatic, and at times obscure comments that pepper the set, though what's clear is that Simone harbours anger and bitterness at the manipulative and abusive treatment she has received down the years as a black woman, and as a black artist.

Before "Be My Husband" she talks of those who "took a chunk out of me." "I wish I could break all the chains still holding me" Simone intones on a remarkable, emotive rendition of "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free," hinting at the suffering and exploitation that had plagued much of her career; Simone hammers the piano keys with a venom that contains the pain and anger of generations of abused and marginalized Afro-Americans. "Jonathon Livingston Seagull ain't got nothing on me" she improvises, in reference to author Richard Bach's famous bird, unwilling to conform.

Little about Simone's performance conforms to performance norms. "I insist upon being not one of your clowns but one of you," she tells the audience before Janis Ian's "Stars." Shen then interrupts the song and shouts "Girl, sit down,"—three times no less—at someone attempting to leave the hall. Once her composure is restored Simone bewitches with incredibly delicate singing and impassioned playing—the contrast encapsulating the extremes of her musical personality.

The histrionics, slightly haughty lecturing and Simone's evident emotional fragility cannot detract from a spellbinding performance, accompanied throughout by drummer Leopoldo Fleming. Her technical proficiency on the keys is never less than dazzling, with her classical training and gospel roots spiced up by her activist fervour, notably on captivating versions of "Little Girl Blue" and the politically-charged, Langton Hughes-inspired "Backlash Blues," where she sings: "You raise my taxes and freeze my wages and send my son to Vietnam. You give me second-class houses and second-class schools, do you think all the colored folk are just second-class fools? Mr. Backlash, I'm going to leave you with the backlash blues."

A meandering monologue, which again centres on Simone's sense of injustice and hints at her inner turmoil, precedes an improvised African dance—Simone had just returned from several years of exile in Liberia—to the rhythms of Fleming and an unidentified Senegalese conga player. It's a fairly low-key ending to an otherwise unforgettable performance.

Earlier in the set, Simone had spoken of the Swiss people's "terrible, wonderful peacefulness." Simone's own lack of peace and her yearning to achieve it is powerfully and movingly portrayed in her music, in what ranks as a classic concert of the first decade of the Monteux jazz Festival.

Bonnie Raitt
Live at Montreux 1977
Eagle Rock
2005 (DVD)

Although this concert represents Bonnie Raitt's first performance in Europe, the singer-songwriter/guitarist already had a large cult following in the US, with six albums under her belt since her eponymous debut in 1971. A blues musician at heart, Raitt had learned the ropes opening for the likes of Mississippi Fred McDowell, John Hammond Jr. and Muddy Waters and the blues runs like a vein through most of this Montreux set. Raitt, supported by her band of four years, presents material from across her career to date, covering blues, country-rock and country-blues balladry.

A little of all these elements colors an arresting version of "Under the Falling Sky," one of two Jackson Browne songs in the set. "Come and be my lover, it's only for one stolen moment, we will live forever," Raitt intones, with her utterly distinctive, smoky vocals over Mart Grebb's boogying piano lines. Wil McFarland's rocking guitar solo sets the seal on a storming opening number. The other Browne tune, "I Thought I was a Child," is a more laid-back affair, and a showcase for Raitt's measured, soulful guitar playing. Raitt's affinity for a good ballad is highlighted on the self-penned "Nothing Seems to Matter," during which Grebb takes a short saxophone solo.

There's something of Little Feat's country-infused funk on mid-tempo rockers like the groove-driven "Walk out the Front Door" and "Good Enough." Elsewhere, the blues weighs in heavily, with Muddy Water's harp player Jerry Portnoy guesting gutsily on the easy-rocking blues of "Love Me like a Man," one of Raitt's signature tunes. Raitt turns to bottleneck slide on the feel-good country-blues flavored "Give it Up or Let it Go," with long-standing bassist Freebo adding deep bottom end grooves on tuba. The slow blues-waltz of "Women Be Wise," pays tribute to blues singer Sippie Wallace, a contemporary of Bessie Smith and a friend and influence on Raitt.

The energy levels go up a notch or two on "Sugar Mama," where slide guitar and three-way vocal harmonies blend to elegant effect. The crowd demands an encore and Raitt and band oblige with a buoyant, bluesy take on the old Del Shannon/Max Crook number "Runaway." It's a powerful conclusion to an engaging set, one that announces Raitt as a star in the making.

James Brown
Live at Montreux 1981
Eagle Rock
2005 (DVD)

James Brown's first appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival sees the funk legend strutting his stuff with immense energy. With footwork faster than Muhammad Ali and slicker than Michael Jackson—and splits as dramatic as a gymnast—Brown belies his forty-eight years. His voice is also in very good tune on these live staples from across his career. As ever, Brown leads an Ark-like ensemble, with two of just about everything -drummers, bassists, guitarists, plus a four-part horn section and three backing vocalists. The stage, in fact, is so crowded that Montreux's usually penetrative multiple cameras struggle to deliver interesting angles and the guitarists are almost completely hidden from view. However, this is a minor quibble and does not seriously detract from the experience of watching the progenitor of soul-funk close up and hard at work.

The opening fifteen minutes of unrelenting funk intensity is worth the price of the DVD alone, as Brown leads his tight-ensemble through adrenaline-charged versions of "Payback," "It's Too Funky In Here" and "Gonna Have a Funky Good Time." Unrelenting bass grooves, pounding interlocking rhythms and driving funk guitar riffs are the order of the day, with vocal harmonies sweetening the deal. Well-oiled choreography from horns and vocalists adds to the sense of collective energy coming off the stage, with Brown centre-stage a veritable force of nature.

There is no let-up as Brown leads the band into "Try Me," a slow, soul number featuring wonderful harmonies between Brown and his all-female backing singers. Brown recites all the signs of the zodiac mid-song before finding the right gear once again. The leader's vocals are almost unintelligible on "Get on the Good Foot," and it's the band's tight interplay and enthusiasm carries the song. Unfortunately, "It's a Man's Man's Man's World"—perhaps Brown's greatest soul song—careers off the rails as the leader indulges in a lengthy spoken eulogy to a host of departed legends, including Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Sam Cook, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix.

The endless cajoling of the crowd to cheer as though these legends were actually about to join the band on stage wears a little thin after a while and rather deflates the hitherto electric atmosphere. To make matters worse, when Ron Lassen steps to the front of the stage to solo no sound comes out of his guitar, to the amusement of some of his colleagues, including Brown, who remarks: "Let's give him another big round of applause; you can't control everything."

There then follows a medley of some of Brown's signature tunes, although the mere thirty seconds accorded "Prisoner of Love" and the twenty or so seconds of "I Feel Good" seem almost pointless, despite the continual energy of the band. Brown exits the stage, returns in a sparkling new suit and then launches into the super-charged funk "Jam," which sends the crowd into funk heaven. The camera operators below the stage are engulfed by dancing fans, with the MJF volunteers squeezed uncomfortably against the stage by the scrum.

Brown's dazzling footwork and lightning gyrations, and the band's pulsating rhythms, send the crowd wild on the inevitable "Sex Machine." The band call out the leader's name, inviting a call—and-response exchange with the crowd, and although the man himself has already left the stage, the spell of his mesmerizing persona is still working its magic.

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Live at Montreux 1982 and 1985
Sony Legacy
2004 (2 CDs)

Two concerts by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble document the Texan blues guitarist either side of the release of his first record. Music industry legend Jerry Wexler helped get Vaughan the first Montreux slot on the festival's blues night, which turned out to be a curiously bitter-sweet experience for the guitarist. All the way through the set, at songs' end, sections of the crowd inexplicably boo, a response that hurt the musicians, though you wouldn't know it listening to this scintillating performance. On the upside, David Bowie, present in the audience that night, was so impressed by Vaughan that he invited him to record on the multi-million selling Let's Dance (EMI, 1983), and only the last-minute financial demands of Vaughan's representatives stopped the guitarist joining Bowie—a blues aficionado—on the subsequent massive world tour.

In addition, Jackson Browne—also playing MJF in 1982—jammed with Vaughan later that night and offered him free use of his recording studio, where Vaughan and Double Trouble cut the demo that eventually led to the Grammy-nominated Texas Flood (Epic, 1983).

The chugging blues-funk and rock 'n' roll take on Freddie King's Hideaway is followed by the thumping Vaughan-penned instrumental "Rude Mood," which gives early warning of the guitarist's blistering technique—part Albert King, part Jimi Hendrix. A smoking "Pride and Joy" and "Love Struck Baby" hint at the rock 'n' roll influence in Vaughan's playing. "Dirty Pool" and "Texas Flood"—a 1958 song by fellow Texas bluesman Larry Davis—underline Vaughan's ability to seduce at slower tempos, his fiery soloing in striking contrast to bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton's slow-churning grooves.

Audience boo-boys aside, this is a highly satisfying set that announces a major talent. Bowie described Vaughan as the most exciting guitarist he'd heard since Jeff Beck. The proof is here in spades. 1985 Three years later, Vaughan returns to Montreux with his rhythm section augmented by organist Reese Wynans, who brings textural depth and wider sonic palette to the music. Apart from "Pride and Joy"—an MTV favorite—and "Texas Flood," from his multi-platinum debut, which featured in the 1982 MJF performance, the set draws largely from Couldn't Stand the Weather (Epic, 1984) and the as then unreleased Soul to Soul (Epic, 1985)

Vaughan's six-string lyricism is underscored by shimmering Hammond waves on "Ain't Gone 'n Give up on Love" and the Jimmy Reed tune "Tin Pan Alley," with Vaughan's hushed vocals and spare playing revealing the subtler side of his craft; on the latter, veteran Texas blues singer-guitarist Johnny Copeland strikes up a sympathetic partnership with Vaughan. On the up-tempo rocker "Say What!," Vaughan's wah-wah-edged playing filters Jimi Hendrix by way of Lonnie Mack and there's more direct homage to Hendrix on the turbo-charged Delta blues of "Voodoo Child."

There's a soulful, Otis Redding quality to Vaughan's singing on the slow blues "Life without You" and a measured quality to his solo on the laid-back Hammond-bathed "Gone Home." For the encore, Vaughan and band unleash the belting rocker "Couldn't Stand the Weather," setting an emphatic seal on one of the finest electric-blues concerts in MJF's history.

Otis Rush
Live at Montreux 1986
Eagle Rock
2006 (DVD)

Left-handed blues guitarist and singer Otis Rush makes his first MJF appearance and a welcome return to recording after some years of low-key activity. Rush first come to Europe in the 1960s with the American Folk Blues Festival—a traveling smorgasbord of blues giants featuring John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Junior Wells, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon—where his utterly distinctive guitar style was influential on the up-and-coming wave of British blues musicians such as Peter Green and Eric Clapton. Rush's influence on Clapton—who guests on five tracks—was seemingly as much for the American guitarist's strong yet soulful vocal delivery as it was for his guitar playing.

Rush is brilliantly backed by Professor Eddie Lusk's band and they begin with a couple of instrumentals, the lively opener "Tops" followed by a slow and sultry "I Wonder Why," with Rush sculpting a beautifully serpentine, emotive solo. There may have been more dramatic blues guitarists over the years, but Rush eschews theatrics and cheap sentimentality, making every note count. Whether at faster tempos, as on the feel-good "Natural Ball" or on slow blues such as "Right Place Wrong Time," Rush's piercing lyricism hits home every time.

Clapton brings his own considerable chops to Willie Cobbss' breezy "You Don't Love Me" and a funky version of the Delta blues classic "Crosscut Saw," which sees a spirited call and response between Clapton and Rush. Most satisfying is the duo's empathetic play on Rush's slow-burning "Double Trouble." Clapton and Rush share vocals on this classic, minor key blues released on the Cobra label in 1958, a song, incidentally, which inspired the name of Stevie Ray Vaughan's band.

Rush is content to play second fiddle to Clapton on "All Your Love," another Rush original released on Cobra in 1958. It's a tune Clapton knows well and rises to, having played a stonking version with John Mayall's Blues Breakers on the singer's 1966 Decca release—an indispensable album from the British blues boom of that decade that has stood the test of time.

For the finale, Rush and Clapton are joined by Luther Allison, who like Rush, moved to Chicago at a young age. Alison sends sparks flying, though you get the feeling that neither Clapton nor Rush wish to get into a masturbatory chops fest and their soling is more measured, by comparison. Still, it's an enjoyable conclusion to a vintage performance of Chicago blues at its soulful, rocking best.

BB King
Live at Montreux 1993
Eagle Rock
2009 (DVD)

A familiar figure to Montreux Jazz Festival audiences over the years—this concert is BB King's nineteenth performance at MJF—blues legend BB King leads an eight-piece band through a typical set of songs old and new alike. Trumpeter James Bolden and saxophonists Melvin Jackson and Walter King—BB's nephew and musical director—bring soulful, rhythmically punchy imp big-band. King, sixty-eight years old here, isn't in the greatest vocal form early on—though his voice grows in power as the concert goes on—but his guitar playing is as vibrant and as moving as ever.

The band warms up the audience with a couple of tasty instrumental blues numbers on which Bolden, with a jazz-tinged solo, and guitarist Leon Warren impress. The mood well and truly set, BB King enters to a rousing reception from the packed auditorium and instantly delivers a gutsy, biting solo, which bleeds into a strangely pacey version of "Let the Good Times Roll." The mid-tempo groover "When It All Comes Down"—one of King's better latter-day compositions—sees King in sparkling form on Lucille—his guitar and true partner of a lifetime.

The band rocks out on Louis Jordan's 1945 hit "Caldonia"; Jordan, a progenitor of rock 'n' roll, was a significant influence on King who limits himself to singing duties as his dual saxophonists stretch out on this lively jump-blues number. Slower blues tunes like "Chains of Love," where King re-strings while singing, and "Since I Met You Baby" are showcases for the emotional depth of King's playing, where his uniquely shimmering vibrato, crying notes and sustain evoke mournful, tender and sensuous moods in turn; King's vocals are particularly powerful on the latter number. The leader is fired-up on Robert Cray's "Playing with my Friends," delivering a joyously up-beat solo. On the instrumental "All Over Again," King's playing is more spacious as he dovetails with the brass section. The gentler rhythms and sweet melody of Jerry Ragovoy's "Ain't Nobody Home" and "Please Accept my Love" bring out the soul-man in King though "While I Sing The Blues" is little more than a conveyor belt of solos that drags a tad.

Rick Darnell and Roy Hawkins' 1951 tune "The Thrill is Gone"—which King first recorded in 1969—closes the show amid a lengthy jam-cum-band intro and the mood both on stage and in the auditorium is festive and celebratory. How could it be any other way when BB King's in town?

George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic
Live at Montreux 2004
Eagle Rock

George Clinton, the man behind the storied Parliament/Funkadelic phenomenon since the late 1960s, may well be the funkiest man on the planet after James Brown, judging by this energized performance in the Miles Davis Hall. A large ensemble comprised of nine revolving vocalists, three guitarists and two of just about everything else (drums, bass, keyboards, horns) rips through the classic Parliament/Funkadelic back catalogue, mixing up funk, soul, R&B and rock in an irresistibly rich, booty-shaking stew.

Infectious guitar riffs that don't let up and a fat back beat propel "Bop Gun" and "Flashlight." On the latter—a million-selling single in 1977—trumpeter Bennie Cowan and saxophonist Greg Thomas tear it up, but it's their melodic unison riff over a killer groove that really gets the blood flowing. Clinton's granddaughter Sativa takes centre-stage on "Something Stank," a mantra to the joys—and benefits—of weed, followed by "Hard as Steel," a sexually graphic rap.

The set has little of the socio-political commentary that Clinton's music has sporadically embraced over the years, instead, band and audience unite in a non-stop feel-good celebration. Clinton's vocals aren't in best shape on the soul-inflected, sing-along "Not Just Knee Deep," and although it sounds like someone's strangling him, his gruff rasp is still an essential part of the collective sound. Belita Woods, with nice harmonic support, takes lead on a lovely, funk-lite version of Les Brown/Ben Homer/Bud Green's "Sentimental Journey" penned in 1944, with a ballsy electric guitar intervention and free-wheeling comping from violinist Lili Hadyn.

The slow-burning groover "Up For the Downstroke"—the title track of Parliament's second album, from 1974—owes an obvious debt to James Brown, and moves seamlessly, and a little anti-climactically into the gospel-cum-soul vocal harmonies of "Bounce 2 This"—featuring vocalist Kendra Foster—which overstays its welcome a tad. More satisfyingly intense grooves and grungy guitar riffs color the wonderfully wacky, Frank Zappa-esque "Atomic Dog," a number one R&B hit for Clinton in 1982, and heavily sampled by subsequent hip-hoppers.

A raucous version of Dave "Curlee" Williams/James Faye "Roy" Hall's rockabilly hit "Whole Lotta Shakin,'" with boogie woogie piano and soaring electric guitar cutting through the sonic melee plants a bold exclamation mark at the end of a seriously entertaining performance that puts the fun in funky.

Track Listings/Personnel

Albert King Don't Burn down the Bridge; I Believe to my Soul; For The Love of a Woman; Blues at Sunrise; I'll Play The Blues For You; Little Brother (Make a Way); Roadhouse Blues.

Albert King: guitar, vocals; Ella Tate: vocals; Rick Watson: tenor saxophone; Norville Hodges: trumpet; Wilbur Thompson: trumpet; James Washington: organ; Don Kingsey; guitar; Bill Rennie: bass; Sam King: drums.

Van Morrison: 1974 Track Listing: Twilight Zone; I Like it Like That; Foggy Mountain Top; Bulbs; Swiss Cheese; Heathrow Shuffle; Naked in the Jungle; Street Choir; Harmonica Boogie.

Personnel: Van Morrison: vocals, guitars, alto saxophone, harmonica; Pete Wingfield: piano, electric piano; Jerome Rimson; bass; Dallas Taylor: drums.

Van Morrison: 1980

Track Listing: Wavelength; Kingdom Hall; And it Stoned Me; Troubadours; Spirit; Joyous Sound; Satisfied; Ballerina; Summertime in England; Moondance; Haunts of Ancient Peace; Wild Night; Listen to the Lion; Tupelo Honey; Angelou.

Personnel: Van Morrison: vocals, guitar; Pee Wee Ellis: tenor, baritone, alto and soprano sax; Mark Isham: trumpet, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn; John Allair: Hammond and synthesizer; Jeff Labes: piano/Fender Rhodes; John Platania: electric guitar; David Hayes: bass; David Shaw: drums/percussion; Peter Van Hooke; drums/percussion.

CD: Track listing: Laundromat (1975); I'm Tore Down (1975); I Take What I Want (1977); Bought and Sold (1977); Do You Read Me (1977); The Last of the Independents (1979); Off the Handle (1979); The Mississippi Sheiks (1979); Out on the Western Plain (1979); Too Much Alcohol (1979); Shin Kicker (1985); Philby (1985).

DVD 1: Track listing: Tattoo'd Lady (1975); Garbage Man (1975); I'm Torn Down (1975); Laundromat: (1975); I Take What I Want: (1977); Calling Card (1977); Secret Agent; Bought and Sold (1977); A Million Miles Away; Do You Read Me (1977); Pistol Slapper Blues (1977); Shin Kicker (1979); The Last of the Independents (1979); The Mississippi Sheiks (1979); Too Much Alcohol (1979); Shadow Play (1979); Bad Penny (1985); Moonchild (1985); Banker's Blues (1985); Philby (1985); Bug Guns. DVD 2: Track Listing: Continental Op; Moonchild; I Wonder Who; The Loop; Tattoo'd Lady; I Could've Had Religion; Ghost Blues: Out on the Western Plain; Medley: Amazing Grace, Walking Blues, Blue Moon of Kentucky; Off the Handle; Messin' With the Kid; I'm Ready. Bonus Tracks: Pistol Slapper Blues (1975); Too Much Alcohol (1975); Out on the Western Plain (1977); Medley—Barley and Grape Rag, Pistol Slapper Blues, Going to my Hometown (1977); Walking Blues (1985). Personnel: 1975 & 1977—Rory Gallagher: guitars, vocals; Gerry McAvoy: bass; Rod De'Ath: drums; Lou Martin: keyboards. 1979—Rory Gallagher: guitars, vocals; Gerry McAvoy: bass; Ted McKenna: drums. 1985—Rory Gallagher: guitars, vocals; Gerry McAvoy: bass; Brendan O'Neil: drums; Mark Feltham: harmonica. 1994—Rory Gallagher: guitars, vocals; David Levy: bass; Richard Newman: drums; John Cook: keyboards; Mark Feltham: harmonica. Nina Simone: Track Listing: Little Girl Blue; Backlash Blues; Be My Husband; I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free); Stars/Feelings; African Mailman Personnel: Nina Simone: piano, vocals; Leopoldo Fleming: drums; unidentified percussionist: congas.

Bonnie Raitt:

Track Listing: Under the Falling Sky; Walk Out the Front Door; Good Enough; Nothing Seems to Matter; Love Me like a Man; Give it Up, Or Let Me Go; Women Be Wise; I Thought I Was a Child; Home; Sugar Mama; Runaway.

Personnel: Bonnie Raitt: guitar, vocals; Freebo: bass, tuba, vocals; Marty Grebb: keyboards, saxophone, vocals; Will McFarlane: guitar, vocals; Dennis Whitted: drums; Jerry Portnoy: harmonica (5).

James Brown:

Track Listing: Payback; It's Too Funky in Here; Gonna Have a Funky Good Time; Try Me; Get on the Good Foot; It's a Man's Man's Man's World; Prisoner of Love; I Gt the Feelin'; Hustle (Dead on It); Papa's Got a Brand New Bag; I Got You (I Feel Good); Please, Please, Please; Jam; Sex machine.

Personnel: James Brown: vocals; Ann Beeding, Martha McCrady, Kathy Jordan (vocals), Hollie Farris, Jason Sanford, Joe Collier (trumpets), St Clair Pinckney: saxophone; Jerry Poindexter: keyboards; Ronald Laster, Jimmy Nolan: guitar; David Weston, Fred Thomas: bass; Tony Cook, Arthur Dixon; drums. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Troube Track listing, CD 1: Hide Away; Rude Mood; Pride and Joy; Texas Flood; Love Struck Baby; Dirty Pool; Give me Back My Wig; Collins Shuffle. Personnel: Stevie Ray Vaughan: guitar, vocals; Tommy Shannon: bass; Chris Layton: drums. Track listing, CD 2: Scuttle Buttin'; Say What!; Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up On Love; Pride and Joy; Mary Had a Little Lamb; Tin Pan Alley; Voodoo Child; Texas Flood; Life Without You; Gone Home; Couldn't Stand The Weather. Personnel: Stevie Ray Vaughan: guitar, vocals, Tommy Shannon: bass; Chris Layton: drums; Reese Wynans: organ; Johnny Copeland: guitar, vocals (6).

Otis Rush:

Tack Listing: Tops; I Wonder Why (Will My Man Be Home Tonight); Lonely Man; Gambler's Blues; Natural Ball; Right Place, Wrong Time; Mean Old World; You Don't Love Me; Crosscut Saw; Double Trouble; All Your Love (I Miss Loving); Every Day I Have the Blues; If I Had Any Sense. I'd Go Back Home. Personnel: Otis Rush: guitar, vocals; Professor Eddie Lusk: keyboards, vocals; Anthony Palmer: guitar; Fred Barnes: bass; Eddie Turner: drums; Eric Clapton: guitar, vocals; Luther Alison: guitar, vocals.

B.B. King:

Track Listing: Let the Good Times Roll; When It All Comes Down (I'll Still Be Around); Chains of Love; Caldonia; All Over Again; Since I Met You Baby; Playing With My Friends; Ain't Nobody Home; Why I Sing The Blues; Blues Man; Rock Me Baby; Please Accept My Love; The Thrill is Gone.

Personnel: BB King: guitar, vocal; Walter King: saxophone; Melvin Jackson: saxophone; James Bolden: trumpet; Leon Warren: guitar; James Toney; keyboards; Michael Doster: bass; Calep Emphrey Jr.: drums; Tony Coleman: percussion.

George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic:

Track Listing: Bop Gun; Flashlight; Something Stank; Hard as Steel; Yank my Doodle; Flashlight (reprise); Not Just Knee Deep; Sentimental Journey; Not Just Knee Deep (reprise); Up for the Downstroke; Bounce 2 This; Atomic Dog; Whole Lotta Shakin.'

Personnel: George Clinton: lead vocals; Gene 'Poo Poo Man' Anderson, Steve Boyd, Shonda 'Sativa' Clinton, Kendra Foster, Robert 'P-Nut' Johnson, Kimberly Manning, Michael 'Clip' Payne, Ron 'Ronkat' Spearman, Belita Woods: vocals; Michael 'Kid Funkadelic' Hampton, Dewayne 'Blackbyrd' McKnight, Chris 'Citrus' Sauthoff: guitars; Bernie Worrell, Daniel Bedrosian: keyboards; Bennie Cowan: trumpet; Greg Thomas: saxophone; Lili Haydn: violin; William 'Billy Bass' Nelson, Cardell ''Boogie' Mosson: bass; Frankie Kash Waddy, Rico Lewis, Richie 'Shakin' Nagan: drums & percussion; Carlos 'Sir Nose' McMurray: dance; Claude Nobs: harmonica; Michael Franti: vocals.




For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.




Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.