The Inward Song is hardly the quiet, introverted recital of music that might be expected, given the album's title. While alto saxophonist Christian Weidner does throw in a few pieces that fit nicely under this banner, the music on this CD also demonstrates a great deal of range. A case in point is the way the album begins. "St. Paul" starts off with Weidner and pianist Colin Vallon delivering angular unison lines on a blank canvas. Bassist Henning Sieverts and drummer Samuel Rohrer enter with a seemingly un-metered, wavy undercurrent of sound. The intensity just builds from there and reaches fever pitch, with Weidner exuding a John Coltrane-style spiritualism and intensity in his delivery.
Starkly printed in black and white with washed-out, grainy photographs, this is one heavy slab of blues by a player who is not as well-known as he should be. Guitarist Jimmy Rogers was usually overshadowed by the leaders he worked for, Muddy Waters particularly. He was also sometimes confused with the hillbilly singer Jimmie Rodgers, and although they might have sounded good together, they don't have anything in common. This reissue collection grabs 14 tracks done at various times in the mostly early '50s which involve practically a who's who of performers associated with the most intense and driving Chicago blues. This includes the aforementioned Waters, leaving behind his role as leader for a few numbers to add some stinging guitar parts. There is also a pair of harmonica players, each of whom could melt vinyl siding with their playing. These are the Walters, big and little, as in Big Walter Horton and Little Walter. Pianist Otis Spann, bassist Willie Dixon, and drummer Fred Belew are also on hand, meaning the rhythm section action is first class.