Zen Blues Quartet
" Again And Yet Again "
Zen Blues Music
Snap, Crackle & Pop!, (03/19/08)
This is a very good recording that offers extremely strong musicianship, plus it's very well arranged and recorded very clean. And it's no surprise considering the fact that some of the best session players around have come together as the Zen Blues Quartet offering everything a hip Blues recording should: strong and soulful vocals, very creative guitar playing, Gospel-ish B3 organ, and a deep groove by a master drummer. The Zen Blues Quartet is Mike Finnigan on B3 and vocals (Jimi Hendrix, Etta James, Peter Frampton, Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr, Dave Mason, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Rait, Crosby, Stills and Nash); Steve Ferrone on drums (Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Average White Band); Tim Scott on bass and lead vocals (Jack Mack, Tower of Power, Robben Ford, Stevie Wonder); and John March on guitars, who also produced and mixed Again, and Yet Again. Along with the L.A. Horns, featuring Bill Churchville on trumpet (Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Elton John, Rickie Lee Jones), Rev. Dave Boruff on tenor and alto sax, and Ed Wynne on baritone and tenor sax. Plus special guests Marty Greb on keyboards (Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville, Rick Danko, the Fabulous Rhinestones), Curtis Salgado on harp, and Carmen Grillo providing backing vocals (Tower of Power and Sons of Champlin).
The Zen Blues Quartet sounds like a band that wants to play Blues the way these musicians want. Their first CD was done as an experiment for the sake of good art, but this new CD is a major step forward for the band showing off their creative zest for making modern Blues.
From the beginning notes of Mike Finnigan's opener, "What A Life," it becomes clearly apparent that the Zen Blues Quartet is all business and not just a bunch of session players gathered together to make a record that brings focus to their illustrious recording credits. Listen as they pedal the metal through a mix of an ultra-tight funky cover of Lester Christian's "Let a Woman Be a Woman," Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "I Want to Ta-Ta Ya Baby," Titus Turner's "Grits Ain't Groceries," and Becker and Fagen's "Reelin' In the Years," as these Zen-men don't just repeat the original versions, they make these classics all their own. I would be remiss to not mention the really cool instrumental "Secrets Best Kept," co-written by the bands bassist and vocalist Tim Scott.
Bob Putignano: www.SoundsofBlue.com