Chicago Bob Nelson is a harmonica player and singer who is known for amalgamating Louisiana and Chicago blues styles. He is singular in being mentored by traditional rural southern blues harmonica practitioners and melding their approach with urban Chicago playing, thus creating his own distinctive sound.His family was a musical family. Bob's father, Versie Nelson, played upright bass and harmonica. From a very early age Bob accompanied Versie to house parties, backyard barbecues and Saturday night fish fries around Bogalusa where cajun music, zydeco and blues were performed.
Following up on his 2005 Grammy win for Overtime, Dave Holland returns with Critical Mass, the new album from the critic and fan favorite Dave Holland Quintet. The album features all of the original members including Chris Potter (saxes), Steve Nelson (vibes), Robin Eubanks (trombone) as well as new member Nate Smith (drums). The album includes 4 new Holland compositions as well as one from each of the band members. Critical Mass sounds like an album made by a group of world-class musicians that have performed together for nearly a decade. Great tunes and interplay that borders on musical telepathy.
Drummer Dan Brubeck, son of the late Dave Brubeck, pays homage to his parents in a most appropriate way. He puts the proper frame around the songbook created by his mother and father over their 70-year performance career. Using the saxophone quartet format his father blazed jazz trails with, Brubeck leads his quartet through 14 Brubeck originals at Vancouver's Cellar recorded in August 2013. Bassist Adam Thomas proves to be a fine vocalist for the special material, never obscuring the pieces with technical attempts to impress. Urbane and amiable, this collection has been a long time coming and now that it is here, we can fully appreciate the art of Dave and Iola Brubeck.
At the time these tracks were cut, 1967 and 1968, R.L. Burnside was working on a plantation in Coldwater, MS, cutting silage. Folklorist George Mitchell was on a mission to record unknown blues singers down South. Mitchell heard about Burnside and paid him a visit, asking if he could record him. That night Mitchell returned to Burnside's place with a case of beer and some whiskey. Ten months later, Burnside had his first release. While these 14 tracks didn't jump start Burnside's career, they are stark, organic, and timeless, just Burnside and his acoustic guitar running down mainly traditional material that he arranged. This is an absolute treasure for Burnside aficionados and casual blues listeners alike.