Duke Robillard – A Swingin’ Session With Duke Robillard
Duke has stated that his favorites are “blues-oriented jazz musicians”. In his own words, “For me there is a very thin line between what was originally called jazz and the blues. All the early jazz and big band players were adept and often great at playing the blues…Guys like Ben Webster, Lester Young, Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Johnny Hodges, and Count Basie …Charlie Parker was a great blues player.”
It was said of Duke Ellington, that while he played piano, his real instrument was the orchestra and Duke Robillard feels similarly. The players on this album have all been associated with various Robillard enterprises for many years. Duke says : “Guys like Mark Teixeira, Sax Gordon, Bruce Katz, and Marty Ballou, and in fact ALL the musicians, are major players in their own right. Many are bandleaders themselves.”
Of his relationship with Scott Hamilton, Duke is especially proud. The two have been making music at irregular intervals for many years and each time they meet the magic is summoned again.
“A Swinging Session with Duke Robillard” is an album for everyone, be they blues lover or jazz fan. It is joyful, timeless music. One final comment from Duke, “It was good to finally record some of my favorite old tunes. The fun we had doing it is, I believe, obvious.” It certainly is.
1. Deed I Do - 3:56 2. The Lonesome Road - 6:42 3. Them That Got - 5:20 4. Just Because - 4:35 5. Meet Me at No Special Place - 3:29 6. Red Dog - 6:49 7. They Raided the Joint - 4:52 8. When Your Lover Has Gone - 6:34 9. The Song Is Ended - 3:08 10. Swinging with Lucy Mae - 6:30
1. AllMusic - Scott Yanow
Duke Robillard has always had one foot in the blues world and one in the swing/jazz universe. He loves both styles of music and enjoys not only playing them separately but combining them together. The founder of Roomful of Blues back in 1967, Robillard has led dozens of projects throughout his career, including collaborations with guitarist Herb Ellis, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Jay McShann. OnA Swingin Session, he plays with some of his favorite musicians, many of whom originated (like he did) in Rhode Island. While six horn players participate, there are no more than four on any one selection, and some numbers do not have any. The contrasting tenor solos are fun to hear, with Scott Hamiltonsounding smooth and mellow on his numbers while Sax Gordon is greasier and much closer to Illinois Jacquet. Present throughout are Bruce Katz (mostly on organ), one of three bassists (usually Marty Ballou), and drummer Mark Teixeira. Robillard takes vocals on half of the selections in his personable way, but it is his guitar solos, which hint at both Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker, that often take honors. Performing medium-tempo blues, jump tunes, standards, and good-time numbers, Duke Robillard shows listeners a fun time and clearly enjoys himself, too.
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