" Out of the Blue "
Out of the Blue

Christian Howes is a far-reaching and talented violinist who covers a bevy of styles on this multi-genre recording. The CD features three Howes' originals, with the remaining tunes authored by Fats Domino, Chick Corea, Horace Silver, Carla Bley, Ornette Coleman, and others. On eight tracks Howes is joined by guitarist Robben Ford, who sounds magnificent throughout and, as expected, displays a more jazzy tone on this eclectic recording.

Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'" is an utter delight and swings its butt off. It's a great rearrangement of the Crescent City classic, with a solid bass line from Kevin Axt's upright bass, dazzling solos from Howes' violin, and Ford sounds fabulous echoing gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt. Interestingly, Howes' "Gumbo Klomp" is far more Big Easy sounding than "I'm Walkin.'" Offering an infectious second-line beat from drummer Joel Rosenblatt, Bobby Floyd doubles fabulously on B3 and piano, as Howes champions the fiddle on this very hip tune.

Howes shows off his songwriting abilities on "Out Of The Blue," an emotional ballad which twists and turns into several funky segments before heading back to the main mystifying theme. On the only vocal track, Sharon Hendrix soulfully delivers the gospel inflected "Seek And Ye Shall Find." Probably written for the keyboard playing Floyd, Howes' "Bobby's Bad" a cool B-3 vamp flying near to the ground in a funky zone with terrific guitar work by Ford. Add in the percolating rhythm section of Axt and Rosenblatt yet, in the end, it's Howes who soars with a dizzying, burning solo.

Bottom line, if you are looking for something a little different, this disc should work for you. It's not all blues for sure, but offers enough smatterings of blues. The musicianship, production, songwriting, and interplay are top shelf from end to end.

Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at Bob maybe contacted at:

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