" I'm Alright "
Blueswax Rating 9
Cornell's Final Flight is Definitely Alright!
"It seems that the late guitarist Cornell Dupree saved his best for last with "I'm Alright." Bob Putignano says that it is Dupree most blues-based recording. Straight from the heart of Texas with many guests." Chip Eagle for Blueswax.com
When I first heard about this recording I also learned that it was recorded approximately eight weeks prior to guitarist Cornell Dupree's passing on May 8, 2011. I was hopeful for an appropriate finale, but I also had some concerns. Put those concerns to rest, as I'm Alright is one mighty fine recording, that finds Dupree on his game, and is backed some of Austin's finest musicians. In total eleven tunes are included, four of which are authored by Dupree.
It's immediately apparent that I'm Alright is going to be good one with the opening "Doin' Alright" (authored by Dupree) that also features the great George Porter, Jr. on bass, B.E. "Frosty" Smith's second line drumming is right in the pocket and works smartly with Porter. Kaz Kazanoff's sax fits right in and Dupree's tone and two solos are dazzling. Tony Joe White's classic "Rainy Night In Georgia" is drop dead gorgeous and sweet, as is the percolating Bill Withers' cover of "Grandma's Hands." Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night" seems appropriate, funky, and tight. Cornell spikes the shuffling "I Ain't Got You" in his best Texas blues fashion and displays some mesmerizing guitar flurries. Pee Wee Ellis's "Ham" is immensely funky, especially with Larry Fulcher's solid bass lines, Kazanoff's soaring sax, and more of Frosty's dazzling drumming. "CL Blues" is a haunting slow blues by Dupree that showoff Dupree's Texas blues roots. The closing "K.C.," authored by organist Mike Flanigin is yet another blues romp the hums along in a "Compared To What"/"Listen Here" vamp, both tunes are related to the great Eddie Harris where Kazanoff is up to Harris's tasks, as are Flanigan's B3, and of course Dupree, who closes this high-flying tune with a tasty and bluesy riff.
Kudos to producers Randy Reagan and Eddie Stout for assembling a top-notch band, (did I forget to mention Nick Connelly's fine keyboard work throughout?) and for giving us one final top-shelf farewell to one of the most recorded guitarists of our time; Dupree has appeared on over twenty-five hundred recordings backing some of the music industry's biggest stars, yet only ten albums were previously credited to his name. Dupree's eleventh, I'm Alright, finds Dupree delivering his most blues-based recording, and perhaps his best overall album, saving his best for a (bittersweet) last, bringing us back home to where he started in Texas.
Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at www.SoundsofBlue.com. Bob maybe contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com