200

Phil Upchurch: Tell the Truth!

By

Sign in to view read count
Phil Upchurch, who has been a highly in-demand session and touring guitarist and bassist for three and a half decades (and released twenty previous albums along the way), has now released one of his most personal and satisfying CDs yet, Tell the Truth. And the title is apt; Upchurch was able to make this album with his current working band performing the music of his choice, without having to comply with record company directives to use big-name guest stars or tailor the music to fulfill any marketing objectives. So what you get here is the real Phil Upchurch.

His impressively varied resume (he’s worked with seemingly everybody in jazz through pop) allows Upchurch to take a well-rounded approach to each song, but at heart, he’s still a Chicago blues guitarist. The program includes a nice variety of tunes, but each has that unmistakable blues stamp. The selections range from the current (he’s the first to cover a tune from the new Steely Dan CD Two Against Nature ) to the historical (W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues”), and from the familiar (the opener “Jive Samba” and the closer “Misty”) to the fresh (two Upchurch originals, plus one by pianist David Arnay).

The consistently enjoyable program is mellow and laid-back throughout. But in this case, be assured that these are not polite euphemisms for sleepy or boring. While the music establishes a comfortable, relaxing ambiance, it does so with self-assurance and tastefulness, not tedious clichés. Upchurch and his colleagues are never in your face with technique and chops; rather, they impress with expressiveness, good interplay, and plenty of fresh ideas to convey. In fact, two of the most familiar tunes on the CD, Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” and Neil Hefti’s “Girl Talk” (too often rendered as schmaltzy pop) are remarkable for the fresh approach taken to each. Another highlight is Upchurch’s take on “St. Louis Blues;” on this one he plays solo, and demonstrates a perfect balance between melody, rhythm and bass line with his a cappella arrangement. (Evidence 22222)

Track Listing: Jive Samba; Jack of Speed; La Costa; Manhattan; Take Five; Home Again; Long Gone Bird; Tell the Truth; (Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again; St. Louis Blues; Girl Talk; She

Personnel: Phil Upchurch

| Record Label: Evidence Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Some Great Songs Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Some Great Songs Vol. 2
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival / Matt Savage: Piano Voyages" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival /...
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Satori" CD/LP/Track Review Satori
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Resolution" CD/LP/Track Review Resolution
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!