April 14, 2012

Heritage Blues Orchestra: Spirits Rising (MARC SILVER, April 12, 2012, NPR)

"Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down" is a vigorous mash-up of big-city blues, church spirit and modern jazz. A chugging guitar and honking harmonica set a march-like pace at the get-go, and vocalist Junior Mack begins a lyrical sermon in his warm-hearted tenor: You might slip, slide, stumble, fall by the roadside, "but don't you let nobody drag your spirit down." Four horns -- tenor sax, two trumpets and trombone -- add unexpected harmonies, rising and slithering like a conjurer's snake, negotiating a maze of bluesy flatted thirds and sevenths. For good measure, Mack shows off his B.B. King-like guitar chops in a solo.



Posted by at April 14, 2012 7:59 AM
  

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