Big Apple Blues

Blues Matters Magazine – ‘Energy’ Review

Blues Matters Magazine – July 2015 – Merv Osborne

From the opening sounds of what appears to be an early morning refuse dumpster reversing, to the closing sounds of an aircraft taking off, this CD has taken over my life. Call it retro, call it old hat, call it what you want, to me it excels.

For a start it’s an instrumental which I like, allowing the listener to focus completely on the musicians and the tunes. There’s everything here from the exhilarating guitar runs of Zach Zunis, the Hammond keys excess of Jim Alfredson and sublime harp playing of Anthony Kane. BLUES-MATTERS_REVIEW_BIG-APPLE-BLUES

The band is made up of musicians who form some of the top New York City professionals and who play in numerous different formats and styles across the city and state, all coming together to produce this themed album, Energy.

It is supposed to musically detail a day in the life of New York City. Opening with Wake up and do Something, the dumpster alarm gets us off to a funky groove with Zunis having free rein on his fret board. Next up is out of the house with I-278 Grind, a slow but foreboding style that churns throughout, seemingly going nowhere but with so much happening within.

On a more upbeat and happier note is Morning Jive, before the sombre Remembering Eni, recalling thoughts of lost friends over peeling church bells and howling winds. Some beautifully Blues drenched guitar opens Lost in Thoughts, a slow and melancholy song evoking some of the finer gut wrenching sounds of a Carlos Santana. A memorable tune that gets better with each play. Day Dreaming follows and this is likewise a great tune with some superb playing, particularly Alfredson on the keys. Happy Hour switches the mood to an altogether livelier frame, something more akin to a bar or club with everyone enjoying themselves, whilst Unwind reflects the feeling one has when back at home, feet up and drink in hand, the end of the day.

This CD covers so many differing styles, but above all, the outstanding feature here is the musicianship of those playing. It’s an absolute blast from start to end. Brilliant and could end up my album of the year!