Al Basile not only plays a mean trumpet, he also sings up a storm and writes solid tunes. With several Blues Music Award nominations since just 2010, he’s back with another thoroughly enjoyable disc of jumping, rollicking, horn-driven blues. Backed by an all-star cast including Duke Robillard and Monster Mike Welch on guitars, Bruce Bears on keyboards, Brad Hallen on bass, Mark Teixeira on drums, Doug James on baritone and tenor sax, Rich Lataille on alto and tenor sax and Jeff “Doc” Chanonhouse on trumpet, Basile turns his attention to his desire to keep people guessing what he thinks of them, " Like You or Despise You", his involvement in a late night seduction, "Midnight Blue Persuasion", the love tricks from both genders he has to offer, "Like a Woman, Like a Man", the flight from the hellhound on his trail, "Blank Dog", the unfortunate disconnect between mind and body, "Tickle My Mule", and even an homage to the carnivores of the world, "I’ve Got to have Meat (with Every Meal)". For the most part Basile is heavy on humor, light on anger but he unleashes a big dose of the later on the blowhards who don’t hesitate to share their fact free opinions as the truth, "No Truth to the Rumor". He also waxes a bit nostalgic on "Big Trees Falling", where he laments the passing of the giants, and a bit preachy on "Listen to the Elders" where he warns the youngsters that they need to listen to the seniors because they’ve already done more than youth can contemplate and “the Elders are just you plus time”. While many of the tunes fall into the jazz/blues category, Basile has been around long enough to throw in musical references like the “Riot in Cell Block #9” groove at the end of "Blank Dog" that will pull knowing grins from his listeners. Not a bad note in the bunch. SMITTY
review by Mark
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