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Baddest Blues Band Ever

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Reviews of Baddest Blues Band Ever

 

01/11/2007 Frank Franklin

CD Review:

Breakout by The Baddest Blues Band (Ever!)

Audio-B ABCD 5022

Blues In Britain – November 2007

Breakout features fourteen titles, swinging from the off, for over seventy minutes. There are four well-placed covers for those who need something familiar to anchor them, in spite of the fact that all of the original titles are well with whatever limits there might be of the chosen idiom. These are two Willie Dixon standards, and two less obvious picks, one each for Mose Allison and Nina Simone, whose ‘Do I Move You?’ is a notable rendition.
The core band consists of Rob Koral on electric guitar; Zoe Schwarz on vocals; and Malcolm Creese on double bass. Hammond organ duties are split 50:50 by Mike Gorman and Stephen Darrell Smith; likewise Dave Wallace plays drums on the same titles as Gorman and Paul Beavis plays drums on the same titles as Smith. Si Genaro features on harmonica. His evasive bio-details most illustrious point seems to be that he can burp the alphabet. Thankfully he managed to discipline himself to keep this skill quite separate from his harpistry during the times the tapes were running. In fact his musical intelligence and skill belie his baser celebrated party-piece: it’s certainly a good job he refrains from this exploit on his excellent break during “It’s Alright To Be Blue” (Hawker/Koral).
The band members’ pedigrees include performing credits with an impressive galaxy of jazz, rock, and pop artists including: Mullen, Bruford, Tippett, Weller, Wellins, Atzmon, Fame, Witherspoon, Daltry, Lake, Laine, Shearing, Benson, Torme, Allison, Sting, Williams, Essex, Fripp, and Fairweather-Low; the list could go on … and on …
The Baddest Blues Band (Ever!) is an accomplished group of sophisticates playing jazzy blues; Zoe’s diction is a fraction too perfect to be in the ‘dirty blues’ camp (some have said the same of Paul Jones, to little effect). You’re more likely to see these guys performing in Dean Street than Kingly Street.
‘The Waitress’ (Schwarz/Koral) is a good example of the writing quality and interpretation of the songs in this collection; Hammond and guitar both display measured talent, and there’s little to choose between who’s playing drums and Hammond, with the band’s sound remaining consistent throughout the set. Rating: 7 - Frank Franklin
www.audio-b.com

 

01/09/2007 Noggin

CD Review:

Breakout by The Baddest Blues Band (Ever!)

Audio-B ABCD 5022

Blues Matters – October 2007

The Baddest Blues Band (Ever!) are certainly not, as the name might suggest, the worst blues band (ever): in fact they are superb, a thoroughly modern mix of jazz and Blues, combining a sense of history with their own contemporary influences. The band is based around the considerable talents of guitarist Rob Koral who has a rock and blues background. The second main person is smooth vocalist Zoe Schwarz who is a young classically trained singer with a BA (hons.) from the Royal Academy. To avoid any allegations of chick singer with others, producer and bassist Malcolm Creese suggested an ensemble approach and they recruited engineer / Hammond C3 / all round studio guy Stephen Darrell Smith, whose delightful organ licks are layered all over this project. The final touch was to add harmonica player Si Genaro, whose flourishes give Blues authenticity to so many of these tunes. Talking of tunes, 9 of the 14 have band input, from the autobiographical ‘The Waitress’ based on making ends meet table waiting in Covent Garden, to the poignant ‘Nothing Seems To Matter’, with just a whiff of Elkie Brooks at her Bluesy best. The covers are not only wisely chosen, but are indicative of their tastes and influences, for example a laid back version of Ray Charles’ ‘Someday Baby’, a near perfect interpretation of Nina Simone’s ‘Do I Move You?’ and an aching take on Willie Dixon’s ‘I Can’t Quit You Babe’. What is astonishing is that this recording took place in just two days in a Hampshire studio, mostly first take, and with the ace-in-the-hole of Schwarz pitch perfect vocals. To all fans of quality Blues / jazz this will really appeal.
Noggin

 

01/09/2007 Noggin

CD Review:

Breakout by The Baddest Blues Band (Ever!)

Audio-B ABCD 5022

Blues Matters – October 2007

The Baddest Blues Band (Ever!) are certainly not, as the name might suggest, the worst blues band (ever): in fact they are superb, a thoroughly modern mix of jazz and Blues, combining a sense of history with their own contemporary influences. The band is based around the considerable talents of guitarist Rob Koral who has a rock and blues background. The second main person is smooth vocalist Zoe Schwarz who is a young classically trained singer with a BA (hons.) from the Royal Academy. To avoid any allegations of chick singer with others, producer and bassist Malcolm Creese suggested an ensemble approach and they recruited engineer / Hammond C3 / all round studio guy Stephen Darrell Smith, whose delightful organ licks are layered all over this project. The final touch was to add harmonica player Si Genaro, whose flourishes give Blues authenticity to so many of these tunes. Talking of tunes, 9 of the 14 have band input, from the autobiographical ‘The Waitress’ based on making ends meet table waiting in Covent Garden, to the poignant ‘Nothing Seems To Matter’, with just a whiff of Elkie Brooks at her Bluesy best. The covers are not only wisely chosen, but are indicative of their tastes and influences, for example a laid back version of Ray Charles’ ‘Someday Baby’, a near perfect interpretation of Nina Simone’s ‘Do I Move You?’ and an aching take on Willie Dixon’s ‘I Can’t Quit You Babe’. What is astonishing is that this recording took place in just two days in a Hampshire studio, mostly first take, and with the ace-in-the-hole of Schwarz pitch perfect vocals. To all fans of quality Blues / jazz this will really appeal.
Noggin

 

01/09/2007 Dan Somogy

THE BADDEST BLUES BAND (EVER!) featuring jazz stalwarts ZOE SCHWARZ (vocals) and ROB KORAL (guitar) alongside MIKE GORMAN (C3 Hammond organ), MALCOLM CREESE (double bass), DAVE WALLACE (drums) and SI GENARO (harmonica). This is NOT miserable, down-at-heal morose smokey-pub fare - rather Hammond and harmonica orientated dance blues, which rather bowled us over when we heard the CD. And the players are all amazing musicians with excellent track records, including headline appearances at Ronnie Scotts and collaborations with the likes of Gilad Atzmon, Bobby Wellins, US3, Georgie Fame, Jim Mullen, Django Bates and many others...........The finest new blues band on the British scene...? Very possibly

 

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