David Maxwell review October 20 2012…

DAVID MAXWELL

BLUES IN OTHER COLORS

SHINING STONE RECORDS SSCD 0002

MOVIN’ ON–BLUE DREAM—INTERLUDE A–BIG SKY–CRYIN’ THE BLUES–HEART OF DARKNESS–INTERLUDE B–HARRY’S RAGA (RAGA NAT BHARLAV)–CHILLIN’ IN CASA–ROLLIN’ ON–JUST THE BLUES–LAST CRY/SIGH

 

David Maxwell is a Grammy and multiple Blues Award-winning pianist, his most recent award coming in Memphis in 2012 for his “Conversations In Blue”  CD, which paired him with Otis Spann.  David has always been a piano player who transcends the traditional blues format, and that improvisational ability is the centerpiece for his latest release for Shining Stone Records.  It is the all-instrumental “Blues In Other Colors,” and is twelve of David’s original compositions which mix the blues with World and New Age music, fusing the traditional sounds of the blues with music and instrumentation from Africa, Japan, Turkey, India, and the Near and Middle East.  Joining David on this excursion are Harry Manx, a gifted Canadian guitarist who is featured on the mohan veena, a hybrid guitar/sitar.  One of David’s long-time  blues guitar collaborators, Troy Gonyea, appears, as does African percussion master Jerry Leake.  Together, they bring the power of this music to life, taking the blues on a literal trip “around the world!”

 

The set starts with “Movin’ On,” which is a strong vehicle for Harry’s mohan veena skills, and Jerry’s percussive techniques.  “Chillin’ In Casa” has a flamenco feel, and features Moroccan oud player Boujmaa Razgui.

 

David’s feel for straight blues does show up on a couple of cuts.  “Just The Blues” teams David’s piano with Troy’s guitar for an exercise in slow blues, while “Heart Of Darkness” borrows the stop-time rhythm pattern common in many blues songs, starting off with piano, giving way to a Turkish ney solo from Fred Stubbs, before Jery Leake’s percussion closes things out.

 

David Maxwell and this brilliant corps of World musicians have put a new spin on the blues with “Blues In Other Colors.”  This one further solidifies David’s diversity and reputation as one of the finest blues pianists on the scene today.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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