Albert COLLINS – The Cool Sound Of Albert Collins 1965

Albert COLLINS – The Cool Sound Of Albert Collins 1965
BCCD 1310

Blues

This album plays more lick an actual LP release than it does a compilation. The Cool Sound of Albert Collins is a collection of some of his great stuff leading up to 1965 including a few singles such as “Don’t Lose Your Cool” and “Frostbite.” Albert Collins was the greatest artist I can think of that attached himself to a theme. In the case of Albert, he identified with anything dealing with ice. Hence, eleven of the twelve tracks on this release have something to do with ice or being cool. Even one of his nicknames, The Ice Man, solidifies this theme (although I prefer Master of the Telecaster). Albert’s group is composed of two saxes, a trumpet, organ, bass and drums.

What makes this album so wonderful is the amount of classic blues tracks. Albert could play the guitar and did so well. He was not the most technically impressive guitarist, but we was very clean and clear. Not one note is faked or hidden in a mushy distorted solo. On top of this, many of the melodies he uses are so simple and straightforward. Take “Don’t Lose Your Cool” for example. The opening melody uses only one guitar note played in a rhythmic fashion. This note repeats itself throughout the song as the brass take over as well as during the main guitar solo. It is so simple yet contains so much. This simplistic style is carried throughout the record. Many of the songs start with a basic theme and build from there, often resorting back to the original theme towards the end of the track. “Frostbite” is another example of this.

All of the twelve tracks are instrumentals. Albert is one of the big pioneers of modern blues music. “Frosty” is a great example of this. Take SRV’s Carnegie Hall performance for example. Stevie uses brass in the same fashion that Albert uses them in this track; a short guitar blurb followed by a similar blurb done by the brass, all with jazz infused drums and light organ. “Icy Blue” is another classic combining elements of surf, blues, and music of the southwest.

The Cool Sound of Albert Collins is one of my favorite blues albums. Albert plays with a style and sound all his own (although many have tried to copy him over the years) and there are so many wonderful tracks here that both sound wonderful and provide inspiration for future artists. I am not the biggest fan of brass with modern blues and only a few artists can pull it off well. Albert is one of these artists. I put this album right up there with some of Albert’s greatest albums and certainly a blues masterpiece. Also, Albert does it all – every song is his creation and his alone.
By Rocky Sullivan.
**
A collection of single sides, all self-composed and nearly all instrumentals, recorded in Houston. Generally the instrumentation is guitar-bass-drums, with light touches of horns and organ, leaving maximum space for Collins to wail. His tone and technique seem completely developed, with the stinging vibrato, quivering high notes and effortless fluidity that would remain his hallmark. But instead of falling back on free-form solos over unvarying blues progressions, Collins crafts great hooks and honest-to-goodness verse/chorus/bridge structures – the brilliant “Thaw Out” impressed Jimi Hendrix so much he appropriated the tune, renaming it “Driving South.” The vocal “Dyin’ Flu” is just as good, and even the “Bag’s Groove” theft (“Don’t Lose Your Cool”) is fun. The single format does constrain him a bit, though, with no tracks running longer than three minutes; also, the surf-rock experiment “Icy Blue” was ill-advised, and the backing can be too timid (“Tremble”). The sidemen are Bill Johnson (bass), Herbert Henderson (drums), Frank Mitchell (trumpet), Hendry Hayes (alto sax), Big Tiny (tenor sax, including a lengthy solo opening “Hot ‘N Cold”) and Walter McNeil (organ). Re-released in 1969 as Truckin’ With Albert Collins.
**
01. FROSTY
02. HOT ´N´ COLD
03. FROST BITE
04. TREMBLE
05. THAW OUT
06. DYIN´ FLU
07. DON´T LOSE YOUR COOL
08. BACKSTROKE
09. COOL AIDE
10. SHIVER AND SHAKE
11. ICY BLUE
12. SNOW CONE  PT. 1
13. SNOW CONE  PT. 2
14. DEFROST
15. I DON´T KNOW
16. COOKIN´ CATFISH
17. TAKIN´ MY TIME
18. FREEZE
19. SOUL ROAD
20. HOMESICK
21. SIPPIN´ SODA
22. ALBERT´S ALLEY
23. COLLIN´S SHUFFLE
**

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2 Responses to “Albert COLLINS – The Cool Sound Of Albert Collins 1965”

  1. Thanks for the nice present, Monk.

    I hope you have a good day tomorrow. Merry Xmas.

    Dave

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