by Something Else! Reviews
Robben Ford's most focused, unembellished album in like, forever, may have also been the easiest album the virtuosic blues/jazz/rock/you-name-it guitarist has made in a long spell, too. In talking about Bringing It Back Home, the guitarist/vocalist says, The results are really pure, and the most fun I've had making an album in years." In bringing it back home" with a collection of older folk, blues and R&B tunes, some of which he didn't even know about prior to the recording ...read more
by Matthew Warnock
Few guitarists on the scene today can boast a longer, more diverse and accomplished career than that of perennial blues-jazz great Robben Ford. Having toured and recorded as a sideman with such legendary performers as Joni Mitchell, George Harrison, Bonnie Raitt and Miles Davis, Ford has also made a name for himself as a bandleader, instrumental composer and songwriter. With the release of his 2009 album Soul on Ten, his fourth for the Concord label, the five-time Grammy nominee is ...read more
by John Kelman
While he's largely lived in the blues world for much of his career, guitarist Robben Ford has always been defined by a jazz sensibility. Sure, there's the grease and grit of overdriven, wah-wah'd electric guitar and a strong, rock-hard backbeat; but Ford's language since Robben Ford and the Blue Line (Stretch, 1992) has been a compelling combination of visceral blues bends and more evolved harmony. It's no surprise that he's been the go-to guitarist for everyone from Miles Davis and ...read more
by Martin Gladu
If the truth of the pudding is indeed in the eating, then Robben Ford's own Truth leaves one somewhat unsatiated. Coincidently, Ford's releases for Concord have gotten a rather lukewarm reception from critics and longtime fans enamored with his jazzy blues romp, while the general public--and consequently, PDs and radio executives--take delight in the slicker soul/R&B foray. Considering his string of acclaimed recordings for Chick Corea's Stretch label, one is left wondering who exactly the targeted audience here is.read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Robben Ford knew all there was to know about the blues pentonic scale before he was 20 years old.
Anthology: The Early Years catalogs a pre-Yellowjackets, pre-Miles Davis, teenaged Robben Ford. This is significant because, Ford, at this time (between 1972 and 1976), shows more aptitude for the Blues than players do twice his age. This current compilation is based on four releases Ford made for Avenue Jazz (now codistributed with the Bethlehem archive). Thirteen of the nineteen tracks are ...read more
by Robert Spencer
Sunrise is aptly named, for this 1972 recording captures Robben Ford's stinging blues guitar at the dawn of his career. It contains the hallmarks of Ford's now long-familiar style: non-stop solos of brisk funk logic; clean and exquisitely formed lines; and a monster groove. There's also quite a bit of vocal work on this one: by Ford himself on Willie Dixon's Red Rooster," Miles Davis' Eighty One," and Ford's own Sunrise." The one and only Jimmy Witherspoon shows up too ...read more
by Robert Spencer
Here's Robben Ford on acoustic guitar at Oakland's fabled Yoshi's in December 1995. The Blue Line is with him: Roscoe Beck on bass, Tom Brechtlein on drums, and Bill Boublitz on piano and organ. The place is packed and the crowd is wildly enthusiastic.
As well it should be. Acoustic Ford reveals him as supreme blues stylist, with a good sense of form in his solos that seldom fails to hold interest. His singing is well-suited to the milieu here; ...read more