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If ever a title captured the mood of an album, this is it. Take Your Shoes Off, Cray's latest release from Ryko, is a bit of a departure from what we might expect from Robert and his band. The album flows effortlessly from beginning to end, allowing us to listen to it in it's entirety; a true phenomenon these days. The track list here, as the title suggests, is composed mostly of bright melodic tunes, but that's not to say Cray's guitarwork should be taken lightly. His playing is, in fact, superior to past recordings. Perhaps most impressive, however, is Cray's voice, and the exuding confidence felt throughout. His lyrics, while they may not be profound, display a subtle sensitivity that doesn't conflict with that gutsy groove which, over the years, we've come to expect from Cray and his band. The standout tracks are too numerous to mention, so I'll just say that Cray's latest release is a big breath of fresh air and not to be missed. This one really shines.
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.