Robert Lockwood, Jr., learned his blues firsthand from an unimpeachable source: the immortal Robert Johnson. Lockwood was capable of conjuring up the bone-chilling Johnson sound whenever he desired, but he was never one to linger in the past for long – which accounts for the jazzy swing he often brought to the licks he played on his 12-string electric guitar. Born in 1915, Lockwood was one of the last living links to the glorious Johnson legacy. When Lockwood's mother became romantically involved with the charismatic rambler in Helena, AR, the quiet teenager suddenly gained a role model and a close friend so close that Lockwood considered himself Johnson's Stepson.
For Delta Crossroads, Robert Lockwood Jr., a former student of Robert Johnson, returns to his Delta blues roots. This 16-track album features Lockwood with only his 12-string acoustic guitar. It is rather strange hearing old Delta blues sung by one of its originals on a modern recording. All of the notes from the guitar are clear. Plus, his voice isn't scuffed up by the scratches and pop of the vinyl recording. Lockwood plays a mix of Robert Johnson tunes, a few of his own, and some blues standards including "C.C. Rider." With its high production quality and Lockwood's unique and possibly near-extinct style of singing, Delta Crossroads is a strong testament to the endurance of a Delta blues original.
During the last quarter of the 20th century, and thanks largely to Eric Clapton's remarkable devotion to his memory, Robert Leroy Johnson posthumously became the most celebrated Delta blues musician of the pre-WWII era. Among numerous editions of his complete works and various anthologies that combine his recordings with those of his contemporaries and followers, J.S.P.'s The Road to Robert Johnson and Beyond combines many of his essential performances with those by dozens of other blues artists from Blind Lemon Jefferson and Henry Thomas to Muddy Waters and Elmore James. 105 tracks fill four CDs with several decades' worth of strongly steeped blues that trace the African American migration from the deep south on up into Chicago. This is a fine way to savor the recorded evidence, as primary examples from Blind Blake, Charley Patton, Son House, Charlie McCoy, Walter Vincson, Skip James, Ma Rainey, Tampa Red, Kokomo Arnold, Scrapper Blackwell, Leroy Carr, Lonnie Johnson, and Peetie Wheatstraw lead directly to early modern masters like Big Joe Williams, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Bill Broonzy, Johnny Temple, Leroy Foster, Johnny Shines, Homesick James Williamson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Snooky Pryor, Little Walter, and David Honeyboy Edwards, among many others.
On two days in 1969, pianist Phineas Newborn recorded enough material for two albums (the other is titled Harlem Blues), which is fortunate because these were his only recordings of the 1965-73 period. Newborn, who is joined by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Elvin Jones, performs a blues and bop set which includes such tunes as "Rough Ridin'," "He's a Real Gone Guy," "Little Niles" and his own "Brentwood Blues." The emphasis generally is on vintage tunes, and Newborn shows throughout that he was still very much in his musical prime.
Didier Lockwood signs, for his great phonographic return, an electroacoustic program of rare freedom. Coming from an unprecedented artistic collaboration, this record, which was recorded in a direct record, is above all the fruit of a collegiate experiment, in which the violinist crosses his bow with the indispensable tandem Charlier / Sourisse and Philippe Balatier, the Nojazz beatmaker. Spontaneous creation, collective musical emulation gives improvisation all its creative capacity in situ. Real space opera, the album that listens without pause, embarks the listener in an initiatory voyage in zero gravity, whose concept would be: to lose oneself to better find oneself.