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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Really Nice, July 5, 2009
This review is from: Brian Blade Fellowship (Audio CD)
It seemed as though you did not find all that many jazz recordings being led by drummers at the time this was released (Leon Parker and Joey Baron are quick examples that come to mind), but young Louisiana-born drummer Brian Blade put together a group and laid down some excellent tracks on this Daniel Lanois-produced CD. Besides Blade on drums, the Brian Blade Fellowship comprises Jon Cowherd on piano and organ, Christopher Thomas on acoustic bass, Melvin Butler on alto and tenor sax, Myron Walden on alto sax, Jeff Parker on guitar, and Dave Easley on pedal steel guitar(!), with Lanois adding some guitar licks on a couple of cuts.

By the way, this recording was made not in Lanois's New Orleans studio, but rather at the Teatro in Oxnard, California, where Lanois had also recently recorded Willie Nelson. Fortunately, the recording does not feature the murky bass and spacey effects that Lanois sometimes seems to favor; rather, the sound is clean and clear. Especially noteworthy is that although Brian Blade headlines the group and wrote seven of the eight tunes, his drumming never dominates either sonically or musically. The sound of the drums is given some prominence, but never overbearingly so, and Blade's musicianship is so tasteful that he never seems to be trying to draw attention to his playing. The music is tuneful and expressive, with an interesting use of instruments such as the steel guitar to add color and an extra layer of emotion. This is a really nice recording that deserves wide hearing.
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Location: Ostrander, OH USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 41,101