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4.4 out of 5 stars
Transfusion
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2005
I have had this CD on my car stereo for a solid week. I have yet to hit the eject button. Each song reveals itself in more detail with each listening. Lydia's soulful voice is as strong and vibrant as it ever was, only it's more mature, more seasoned (she was, after all, introduced to Bill Graham by Janis Joplin). Steve Dunne's guitar tightens an already taut rhythm section and his solos have a bite in the tradition of CB's sound. And the horns, oh the horns! This may be where my bias for all that blaring brass causes me to lose some objectivity. The trumpet really stands out, as it should when you have the young local sensation Rich Armstrong in the band and guests Mic Gillette (TOP) and Dennis Cruzan. Suffice it to say that Cold Blood was once the pride of a local sound and they continue to excel in the same. Coming up with 10 new songs that are true to their tradition is a remarkable accomplishment (they do recycle their "Down To the Bone" with Michelle Shocked joining Lydia). Most are most penned by guest saxophonist and co-producer Skip Mesquite (of TOP's East Bay Grease and Bump City glory and once of CB). Other TOP alumni guests include Lenny Williams, David Garibaldi (drums), Roger Smith (Hammond B3 & keys) and Jeff Tamelier (guitar). It's like a Who's Who of the rock-soul-funk sound, so it's no wonder the music does not disappoint. I will be able to better judge this Transfusion more fully after next Saturday's Fillmore show and I can't wait!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2006
Wow! I can't believe how great Lydia sounds after all these years. Her soulful voice is as powerful and full of feeling as ever. She is the best blue-eyed soul singer that has ever graced the stage. As for the new recording...tremendous! This is the album that Cold Blood wanted to do but were never given the go ahead. It's a big rock-soul sound with a funky edge. Pehaps this is the one that will give this great band the notice that they truly deserve.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2006
I was in Portland Oregon in mid-April and was stunned to find out I just missed a performance by Cold Blood and almost fainted when I found out there was a new record. I always thought of Lydia Pense as one of the all-time underrated singers and frankly that CB was better than their original label mates, Tower of Power. "Transfusion" only confirm all those thoughts. This is without question, the most consistently satisfying CB record since "Thriller," (by the way you should take advantage of Amazon's double offer to buy "Thriller" with "Transfusion.") It is truly amazing that Lydia's voice has aged as soulful and funky as it has. As usual, the band is thistight and the guitar solos have an edge that cuts hard right through those powerful horns. There's not a weak track on this disc and the duets with former TOP frontman Lenny Williams and Michelle Shocked (on the CB classic "Down To The Bone, no less) are sublime. I remember as a young man trying to turn all my friends in my hometown of Chicago to Cold Blood. The process starts again. Thank you Lydia.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2005
Waiting 30 years to hear another Lydia Pense recording was too long. Why the wait? Lydia has not lost a thing since those rich early days. One of the best blue eyed soul singers of her generation should not be such a well kept secret. Its a true testament to her talent that such a collection of well respected musicians are featured on this CD. I can only hope distribution and air time can follow so more people can finally discover the talent that many inside the music business have known all along.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2008
Like "First Taste of Sin", that is, my favourite Cold Blood album.
I read a review saying that Lydia's voice had lost "soul". Huh?! Anyway, if anything, it's taken on a cool, smooth character like single malt whisky, compared to "blended".
The coolest thing of all is that the band retains it's original soul/funk sound (as in "real" 60's-70's funk), not the "crappola" stuff that ought to be called "junk", that calls itself funk, today. At first I was afraid I'd hear a bit of rap, or hip-hop thrown into the mix, but thank goodness, the band refuses to take on the usual phoney, compromises that (all too often) bands from the distant past, will succumb to just to be accepted today. The only thing "new" is better, clearer production and the rhythm section up a bit in the mix, as it should be.
My only critisisms are the background vocals on tracks 4 and 5, I think they were. Although "in key", and everything, they're not harmonies, but male/female octaves being a bit too loud, and they sound oddly out of place. Ironically, all the other background vocals sound great, as does Lydia, the horns, etc. There are some great songs, but I can't figure why they did "Down to the Bone" again, which doesn't sound quite as powerful as the original version, but it still sounds good. Overall, the cd is great, and I can see why the one reviewer would blast this in her car! I could easily picture driving a convertible along the sunny California coast, letting this fine "real" funk blast away, through a good sound system!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
I've been a big Cold Blood and Lydia Pense fan since their beginning. I have all of their albums and just recently got the Transfusion CD. Lydia sounds wonderful and maybe even better than 30 years ago! Her band still sounds great too. They still have the same sound as on those early albums. Sounds like you're listening to a release from around 1973 or earlier! If you liked the earlier Cold Blood albums then get this because it's excellent! Glenn Signal Hill, CA
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on June 10, 2011
I was so happy I ordered this CD. After seeing them live at Yoshi's in San Francisco recently, I just had to go out and get some more of their music. Lydia still has the vocal chops and the band she has now rocks!! If you like 70's funk - heck, if you like any music, and like to groove with a bluesy, soulful female singer leading the pack, backed by a cooking horn section and super funky rhythm section, you'll love this!
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on October 14, 2014
Cold Blood. What a cool band. Great funk with a superb lead vocalist. This is a great addition to their catalog, and it should be added to your collection
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on June 25, 2008
If Cold Blood was the background music for your early years as it was mine, you will get off big time on this CD.
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on March 15, 2015
This aint the cold blood I grew up with
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