Bob Corritore review…April 17, 2014…

BOB CORRITORE

TABOO

DELTA GROOVE MUSIC   DGPCD 163

POTATO STOMP–MANY A DEVIL’S NIGHT–ROCKIN’ RHYTHM–HARMONICA WATUSI–TABOO–HARP BLAST–MR. TATE’S ADVICE–5TH POSITION PLEA–FABULOCO (FOR KID)–SHUFF STUFF–T-TOWN RAMBLE–BOB’S LATE HOURS

Bob Corritore has always been one of our favorite harp players.  Born and musically bred in Chicago, Bob honed his skills by learning from many of the greats who either lived in our toured thru the Windy City.  As such, he’s got that old-school feel in his soul that always puts the song first, which is why he has been such an in-demand sideman and producer throughout his career.  His latest album for Delta Groove is entitled “Taboo,” and it is a departure of sorts for Bob.  This is a set of all-instrumental harp blues that puts Bob at the forefront, and allows his versatility to grab center stage.

Joining Bob for this foray into the varying sounds of the blues harp are some killer musicians, including Junior Watson and Jimmie Vaughn on guitars, Fred Kaplan and Papa John DeFrancesco on keys, and Richard Innes, Brian Fahey, and Dowell Davis on drums.  Virtually on every cut, Bob steps aside from his harp playing to let those talented cats stretch out a little, adding to the verve and flair of the overall set.

A perfect case in point is the leadoff “Potato Stomp,” with Bob’s harp working in perfect tandem with Doug James’ sax.  They re-create that interplay on the jazzy swing of “Mr. Tate’s Advice,” and on the uptempo “Shuff Stuff.”  The latter two also feature Jimmie Vaughn on guitar.

Bob explores some varying genres’ herein as well.  Farfisa organ coupled with Bob’s reed work make the “Harmonica Watusi’ reminiscent of some of the great instrumentals from the Sixties.  “Harp Blast” is a stone shot of Chicago blues, while the Latin-flavored spice of “Fabuloco (For Kid)” is done in tribute to Bob’s good friend, guitarist Kid Ramos.  The loping pattern of “Ruckus Rhythm” recalls the great Jimmy Reed sides for Vee-Jay, and Bob closes the set with his own version of “After Hours,” with the slow-burn of “Bob’s Late Hours,” punctuated by Junior Watson’s guitar and Fred Kaplan’s piano.

We had two favorites, too.  “Many A Devil’s Night” has a brooding, dark vibe as Bob plays this minor-key blues on the chromatic.  And, the title cut takes you down to a South Seas paradise as his harp leads work effortlessly over a smooth rhumba groove.

Another harmonica great, Charlie Musselwhite, has nothing but praise for Bob Corritore’s “Taboo.”  We echo these sentiments, as Bob has indeed hit on a winning formula!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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