Size: 116,1 MB
Label: Stony Plain #SPCD 1368
1. Freddie Freeloader [Live from Vancouver Island MusicFest 7/11/10] - 3:44
2. Misterioso [Live from Beaupre Community Hall 5/13/11] - 6:28
3. Blue Monk [Live from Beaupre Community Hall 5/13/11] - 3:54
4. Cocktails for Two [Live from the Ironwood Stage & Grill, Calgary AB, 10/14/11] - 6:24
5. Little Sunflower [Live from the Ironwood Stage & Grill, Calgary AB 10/14/11] - 10:16
6. Bob Erlendson Medley: Forty One/Ronnie's Gone [Live from the Ironwood Stage & Grill, Calgary AB 10/14/11 & Vancouver Island MusicFest 7/11/10] - 8:37
7. All Blues [Triwood Community Centre, Calgary AB 3/5/11] - 7:10
8. Skylark [Live from Vancouver Island MusicFest 7/11/10] - 4:06
In addition to recording blues and roots music solo albums for Stony Plain, Amos has been leading his Jazz Trio for several years. The band's motto is "bringing blues back to jazz." The Trio's debut album reminds us all that blues was once a major part of the jazz world. Best known as a legendary first call session guitar player (Bonnie Raitt, Elvin Bishop, Emmylou Harris, etc.), Amos was also a member of Paul Butterfield's Better Days and Maria Muldaur's bandleader. Amos has appeared on more then 150 artists' recordings in all genres of music. Describing this collection of concert recordings as a congenial affair doesn’t quite do it justice. Guitarists Amos Garrett and Kevin Smith couldn’t sound more relaxed and compatible if they were sitting out on a back porch somewhere shooting the breeze. Bassist Greg Carroll only adds to the casual air. Look elsewhere for games of dueling one-upsmanship. Here you’ll find Garrett and Smith focusing on the blues underpinnings of jazz, the soulful beauty and stealthy allure. The duo finds inspiration in some of the usual places—Thelonious Monk, for example, is represented by back-to-back renderings of “Misterioso” and “Blue Monk.” But with the help of Carroll and guest bassist John Hyde, the guitarists avoid rote notes. Boasting warm harmonies, dovetailing parts and shimmering accents, the arrangements are consistently evocative, and if the more languidly paced mood pieces seem to suit Garrett to a tee, well, that’s no surprise given his remarkable track record. There are tonal contrasts aplenty, what with Garrett’s muted twang and Smith’s elegant lines, but each performance reveals just how closely attuned these pickers are.
As for Garrett’s off-the-cuff vocal on “Cocktails for Two,” it’s fine for what it is—a bit of saloon crooning appropriate to the club setting. Roberta Donnay leaves a stronger impression during her cameo on “Skylark,” in ways that immediately bring Maria Muldaur to mind (Garrett played on her big hit “Midnight at the Oasis”). Yet nothing is more enjoyable than hearing Garrett and Smith play, indulging their taste for vintage sounds in which blues and jazz commingle.