1

Steve Miller and Jimmie Vaughan at Jazz at Lincoln Center

Nick Catalano By

Sign in to view read count
No matter what the style where African-American influences and developments upon the modern music scene have been pervasive—work songs, ragtime, jazz, stride, and boogie-woogie, the most important contribution has been the Blues. The country Blues as heard by pioneers such as Robert Johnson, The City Blues epitomized by Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, Rhythm n' Blues as iterated by players like Robert Cray continue to provide the major foundation for jazz and the other aforementioned musics. Muddy Waters, B.B. King and other Blues legends continue to inspire Eric Clapton and rock cohorts such as Steve Miller and Jimmie Vaughan.

Although the hit rock records that Miller and Vaughan have produced over the last decades contained various electric mixes and other sonic injections, the basic 12 bar Blues developed centuries ago by early African-Americans remains the bedrock structure of their oeuvre. And in a Lincoln Center concert on April 6 performed without the pyrotechnics of their recordings the form was laid bare. Selection after selection often with wearying repetition, the duo performed music which was long ago delivered with an expertise that modernists have not challenged. Blues standards such as Ma Rainey's "Prove it On Me Blues" and "C.C. Rider," Clarence Gatemouth Brown's "Dirty Work at the Crossroads" and Roy Milton's "R.M. Blues" were resurrected in dutiful performances. Highlights included Craig Handy's spirited solo work on several selections and solid backup work by altoist Patrick Bartley and B3 keyboardist Mike Flanigin.

I am reminded of Eric Clapton's commentary when a boxed set of Robert Johnson's music was issued over a decade ago. Clapton was insistent that the essence of the Blues could only be heard by a Delta purist such as Johnson who performed without any commercial intention whatsoever. The bare bones Blues sounds in the Miller-Vaughan showcase underscored the prescience of Clapton's observations.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center New York Beat Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard New York Beat Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim New York Beat John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim
by Nick Catalano
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola New York Beat Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 31, 2017
Read John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland New York Beat John Pizzarelli Soars at Birdland
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 16, 2016
Read Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola New York Beat Joey DeFrancesco at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola" New York Beat Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim" New York Beat John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim
by Nick Catalano
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard" New York Beat Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center" New York Beat Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Adrian Belew Power Trio at Ardmore Music Hall" Live Reviews Adrian Belew Power Trio at Ardmore Music Hall
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Five Women IX – Bianca Rossini; Cécile McLorin Salvant; Barbora Kabátkova; Alexis Cole; Suzanne Lorge" Bailey's Bundles Five Women IX – Bianca Rossini; Cécile McLorin...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues" Live Reviews Earl Thomas At Biscuits & Blues
by Walter Atkins
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions” Volumes 5 & 6" Bailey's Bundles Art Pepper: Presents “West Coast Sessions”...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "bigBANG Jazz Gang" Live Reviews bigBANG Jazz Gang
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music" Top Ten List Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music
by Alan Bryson
Published: March 1, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.