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Twenty-eight-year-old Lee Sankey from the UK feels he has given new meaning to traditional blues. The blues, as he plays it, "is the trad jazz of the 90's" coming from the street and influenced by such current fads as Hip -Hop. He has dubbed this new form of music "Bluebop". Well, it's his album and he wrote all the music for it, so he can call it anything he wants. I don't want to disappoint the energetic and ambitious Mr. Sankey, but what he plays has tinges of the Delta, Chicago and the other blues styles of the past. Sankey's compositions are interesting, all telling stories that most of his contemporaries can relate to, as well as some us from the older generations. Things that get people down don't change all that much from year to year. "...Women and trouble go together like big bills and brown envelopes" (from "Women and Trouble") isn't a new or novel concept nor is "I don't like my way of living. My money's gone before it even arrives" ("I Don't Like This Way of Living"). Why does each generation think they invented trouble, woe and sin?
What makes this album move, and it does, is the hard driving, blues oozing playing by Sankey and his cohorts and vocalist David Migden's way with the lyrics. Migden has a voice that recalls Lou Rawls and a delivery like a slew of blues singers who have plied their trade for years. He can get down and dirty, be soulful and signify with the best of them. His singing is punctuated with some incredible harmonica and guitar playing by Sankey and Matt Schofield. Listen to them work on a rousing "Stone in My Shoe" creating images of Little Walter, Junior Wells, Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson and others. Every now and then, you get taken aback a bit as Migden sounds like Elvis Presley before Presley forgot his roots. Please note that some songs have words not suited for younger ears. With that warning, this album is recommended.
Track Listing: Lee Sankey - Harmonica/Guitar; Matt Schofield - Guitar; David Migden - Vocals; Jeff Walker - Bass; Rob Eyers, Maurice McElroy* - Drums; Nick Payn - Tenor Sax/Flute; Sid Gauld - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Andy Hamilton - Tenor & Alto Sax
Personnel: Drinking Game; Only My Baby; Women and Trouble; Shout It on Out*;Office Politics*; Stone in My Shoe; S'picious Woman; My Day Is just Beginning; I Don't Like My Way of Living; Where We Going to
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.