" How Sweet It Is "
"Sweet Indeed!" Rating: 8
Originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, jazz and blues guitarist Danny Caron relocated to Austin in 1979 and hooked up with Marcia Ball. Not long afterwards Caron worked with Clifton Chenier and recorded on the Grammy Award winning Album "I'm Here." Danny teamed up with the legendary singer and pianist Charles Brown, and from 1986 until Brown's death in 1999 Caron was his guitarist and music director. Additionally Caron has played on numerous CD's and sessions with Charles Brown, Clifton Chenier, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, Van Morrison, Steve Miller, Ruth Brown, Etta Jones, John Clayton, Teddy Edwards, Gerald Wilson, Donald Fagen, Dr. John, Little Milton Campbell, John Hammond Jr. and many others. Danny is also the featured guitarist on the Van Morrison produced John Lee Hooker album, "Don't Look Back" which won two Grammy's. Caron keeps a busy schedule touring and performing with; Plas Johnson, Rhoda Scott, Barbara Morrison, Henry Butler, Steve Miller, Jon Cleary, Maria Muldaur and others. Danny also teaches courses at The Jazzschool in Berkeley California.
Danny's second solo recording "How Sweet It Is" is just that, and follows on the heels of his outstanding "Good Hands" album, which is also very worthwhile to seek out. "How Sweet It Is" highlights include the rousing opening instrumental "Zydeco Boogaloo," by Buckwheat Zydeco, often covered by many, and Danny's version is right up there with the best of them, as Danny tears up this kick-butt Boogaloo! The always delightful Barbara Morrison makes two appearances, the first on Caron's and Charles Brown's composition "The Promised Land" taken from the film score to the motion picture 'johns' starring David Arquette and Lukas Haas, and on Little Willie John's "I Need Your Love So Bad." For those who are not familiar with Barbara Morrison, check out her back-catalog, as she is an extremely talented vocalist, and it sure was a pleasant surprise to see her teamed up with Caron on this very fine recording. There's even a previously unreleased tune that features Danny's old boss Charles Brown with "E.S.P. Blues," authored by Brown, which is marvelous with its lyric, as Brown is looking to recover his lost money by utilizing E.S.P. Caron's "Grand Lake Shuffle" is also a fine workout for Danny's always tasteful guitar. Plus there are several well chosen soul-jazz classic covers, such as JB alumni Pee Wee Ellis' "The Chicken" also made famous by jazz great Jaco Pastorious, Brother Jack McDuff's major hit "Rock Candy," and the ultra hip chestnut "Our Miss Brooks" by Harold Vick.
If your musical tastes are similar to mine, and if you like your blues mixed with a jazz flavoring with extremely tasty guitar work, this CD should work very well for you. As Caron's "How Sweet It Is" certainly put a big smile on my face and in my ears! Enjoy.
Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com