Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

AL BASILE

THE GOODS

2011-06-07

While the Cornet has a well established place in Jazz and occasionally finds its way into the blues as part of a horn section, it seldom gets featured as the main counter-point to the guitar as the lead instrument. East Coast horn man Al Basile has worked tirelessly to change that. On this, his eighth solo disc since leaving the original line up of Roomful of Blues in the mid-70’s, Basile continues to make the case for the Cornet as a peer of every other instrument that finds its way to the blues bandstand. Jumping in where a sax or harp would normally appear, Basile uses his Cornet to add a brassy texture to the 13 originals featured here. As well as that works, it isn’t really the whole story here. In fact, as with his past discs, it is Basile’s strong skills as a writer that carries the day. Flexing his master’s degree in creative writing and his long tenure as a poet and teacher, Basile, has crafted compelling tales of love stopping the clock of time, "Time Can Wait", the scourge of the telephone, "Mr. Graham Bell", a bank robbery gone way bad, "1.843 Million", a lust that can’t be cured, "The Itch", and a one way woman, "She’s A Taker". Despite his high brow credentials, Basile has no trouble taking a trip down the traditional blues path with some witty double entendre songs including "Don’t Sleep on Santa" and "I Want to Put it There". Nasty! Most of material here would fit nicely on a Tower of Power disc with hot- wired horn charts and soul blues grooves compliments of the Duke Robillard Band. "Lie Down in Darkness (Raise Up In Light)" follows a different path with The Blind Boys of Alabama adding their gospel touch to the proceedings. If you haven’t taken the plunge, it’s time to take a break from the Little Walter and Eddie Shaw wannabes and add some brass to your life. With great charts, strong songwriting and expert delivery, there probably isn’t a better place to start than with this disc. Smitty

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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