Archive for the Duke ROBILLARD Category

Duke ROBILLARD & Sugar Ray NORCIA Live At Jazz Club Lionel Hampton, Paris 2009

Posted in BLUES, Duke ROBILLARD, Sugar Ray NORCIA on December 26, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Duke ROBILLARD & Sugar Ray NORCIA Live At Jazz Club Lionel Hampton, Paris 2009
Recorded live at The Lionel Hampton Jazz Club,
Paris, France, March 25, 2009


Duke Robillard- (Guitar, Vocal)
Sugar Ray Norcia- (Harmonica, Vocal)
Doug James- (Sax)
Jon Ross- (Bass)
Mark Teixeira- (Drums)
Set 01
01. Red’s Riff
02. You Don’t Love Me And I Don’t Evan Care
03. Just Because
04. Goodtime Charlie
05. Rain In My Heart
06. Blow Wind Blow
07. Money Marbles And Chalk
08. Days Of Old
09. Blinf Love
10. When You Smiling

Set 02
01. Jump The bLues For You
02. Sunday Morning
03. My Tears
04. Gonna’s Get You Told
05. Six Inch Heels
06. Intro For Norcia
07. Rockin’ Sugar Daddy
08. Evening
09. Off The Wall
10. No Good Woman
11. Love Is A Burnin’ Thing
12. Feeling Blue
13. Say You Love Me Before You Hang Up

Set 03
01. Deed I Do
02. I’m Confessin’ That I Love You
03. Extra Axle
04. Slam Hammer
05. That Ain’t Right
06. Need My Baby
07. I Want A Little Girl
08. My Cabin
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Duke ROBILLARD, Jay GEILS, Gerry BEAUDOIN – New Guitar Summit 2004

Posted in BLUES, Duke ROBILLARD, Gerry BEAUDOIN, Jay GEILS on November 25, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Duke ROBILLARD, Jay GEILS, Gerry BEAUDOIN – New Guitar Summit 2004


My name is Gerry Beaudoin and I am a member of the New Guitar Summit. This is not a review of our recording ( I will leave that to others) but an inside look at what is like to make a recording with two great guitarists. I have been playing with Duke since 1986 and Jay since 1992. Many gigs later I am still in awe of how great they play and how easy it is to play with them. Highlights for me from this recording are many but a few really stick out in my mind. I love the way Jay and Duke make my four original songs sparkle with great solos and greater but subtle backing behind the solist. This is a lost art in jazz and hard to do but they pull it off with ease. Playing a melody is an art and Jay is at the top of his game on Lady B Good. I spent some years playing with blues shouter and alto saxophonist Eddie ” Cleanhead ” Vinson. Duke excels on slow blues and does a superlative job on Eddies Back Door Blues on vocals as well as guitar. Duke and I both have fond memories of playng with Cleanhead and this was a fitting nod of our hat to a great bluesman we both loved. Jay arranged Perdido and Bennies Bugle and I must say our signature three guitar harmony on these tunes really grabbed me. The best part of playing with two great guitarists like Jay and Duke is they drive you to play well and try to exceed what you have done in the past. This is a great ,swinging record and I am really proud to have been a part of it. Last but not least , listen to our smooth rhythm section of John ” The Burner” Turner on acoustic bass and Gordon Grottenthaler ( try to say his last name five times real fast) on drums. We couldn’t have done it with out them.
Please enjoy the music as much as we enjoyed making it.
By Gerry Beaudoin.
This unassuming and delightful little album visits a time when jazz and blues were still directly entwined, drawing on the ghosts of guitarists like Charlie Christian, Eddie Durham, Bill Jennings, Tiny Grimes, Barney Kessel, and Kenny Burrell, guitarists who used the blues to enrich the jazz pieces they played on, a kind of ensemble contribution that is all too frequently missing on the contemporary blues scene. Duke Robillard, Jay Geils, and Gerry Beaudoin are all gifted guitar players, each with his own career, but as a trio working three-part harmony lines around each other, they bring a stately ensemble grace to the tracks on New Guitar Summit (the trio also appears under that name when they do live shows). This is not a speaker-shattering blues-rock outing, and although everything here is informed by the blues, it is front and center a jazz album. Wonderful old chestnuts like “Perdido,” the melody line of which was written by Juan Tizol, Duke Ellington’s longtime valve trombonist, are given respectful, lightly swinging arrangements, and the three independent guitar lines work in easy harmonies with each other. When the solos come, they feel like perfect little waves breaking against a beach, wave after wave, one after another. Working with a rhythm section of John Turner on bass and Gordon Grottenthaler on drums, the three guitarists bring an interesting new perspective to Billie Holiday’s “‘Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness if I Do,” which includes a tentative yet poignant vocal by Beaudoin, who also wrote two of the best pieces here, the gypsy blues “Azzure Mineur” and the album’s defining track, the perfectly swinging “Just Among Friends.” Robillard takes a vocal turn on saxophonist Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson’s “Backdoor Blues,” but this is primarily an instrumental CD, with wonderfully nuanced guitar lines taking center stage. Charming, calm, and frequently beautiful, New Guitar Summit won’t stir the beer-and-a-shot crowd, but it is a welcome exploration of a place and a time when jazz and blues were not yet estranged.
By Steve Leggett. AMG.
The New Guitar Summit is a brilliant masterpiece for any lover of jazz, and great guitar music. It features 3 New England guitarists in a non pretentious setting, that will take the listener to the next level of consciousness, with infectious licks and many, many solos. None of these gentlemen step on each other, nor try to outshine the other, yet while boasting a powerhouse trio of soloing and tremendous rhythm playing as well. The Guitar Summit consists of Gerry Beaudoin, a natural, brilliant, and trained jazz guitarist. I’ve seen this band, and I am a guitarist myself. Let me just say this about Gerry, He plays chords I never knew existed, nor ever knew the human hand can stretch to such positions on the neck, yet provide such clarity in his strum and pick. Playing alongside Gerry, stage center, is Duke Robillard. Duke is known from his Roomful of Blues Days, Fabulous Thundebirds, and his own Duke Robillard Band. Duke is also a recipient of many WC Handy awards. His style is dazzling to the ears, and he is truly a master. Finishing the trio of guitarists is Jay Geils. He, of course, is known to many as the guitarist for the J. Geils Band. Unfortunately, most folks only know him from the Geils Band, yet they don’t realize just what a talented individual Jay is. Jay is actually playing the best guitar of his life now. He proves just how fantastic his playing is, from being able to go from Rock to Blues(with Magic Dick and Bluestime) to Jazz, with a sound and style that would make Charlie Christian proud. The band is rounded out by the best rhythm section New England can ever provide. John Turner The Midnight Burner on the upright acoustic bass, and Gordon Grottenthaler on the drums. To see this band live is something else. The cd takes me back to the day of hearing my father’s 78s, listening to the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, etc….

Listening to this cd makes me feel like I am in a big ballroom in the 1930s and 40s. I was instantly hooked from the first lick of “Bennie’s Bugle”. These guys really do this great Charlie Christian number justice, with it’s upbeat swing that guarantees You shaking in Your seat, while adding thier own unique twist. “Never Say Never Again Again” features Duke on vocals, and is a really great song, with the guitarists trading off fancy solos over a superb rhythm that flows smoothly. “Swing with Dr. Jake” does exactly what the title suggests, it swings. “Ain’t nobody’s business” features a great and moody intro by Gerry that sets the tone of this song. It also features vocals by Gerry, which I wish there was more of, as he is a great singer. “Lady B. Good”, and “Azzure Mineur” has some real tasty licks between the 3 of these cats, back and forth, taking You for ride in a old 1942 Pontiac to a New York City Ballroom. “Just Among Friends” is a great Gerry original, that was also on “Retrospective”, which is another New Guitar Summit cd that is a must have. “Perdido” is a nice mellow tune, that has a great groove for drinking some wine, in a dim lit room, while holding onto Your girl. “Backdoor Blues” is Duke at his finest. The solos are greasy and slick, and Duke’s vocal growl drives the point home! “Seven Come Eleven” is a Charlie Christian original that is even better live. Check out the New Guitar Summit dvd at the Stonehenge to truly experience this song. Closing out the cd is “Glide On”, which a nice bluesy waltz. Over all I give this cd 5 stars out of 5 stars for the brilliance, clarity, and enjoyment. There are no egos with this band, and together as a whole, they do what they aimed, which is take the listener for a ride of a lifetime. I hope we see many many more cds to come from the New Guitar Summit.
By John Lang.
This album has a rather presumptuous title, but then the completed effort has produced some pretty good results. Although the three guitarists have known each other for a long time, the only common bond is their New England heritage. Jay Geils founded the J. Geils Band, one of the most popular rock bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s, based out of Boston. Geils reports that he was a jazzer as a youth and was musically distracted by the opportunity to lead a rock band. Duke Robillard, from Rhode Island, founded the long running Roomful of Blues Group in ’67, has recorded extensively in a blues, jump blues and even postwar swing era combo, and was awarded a W.C. Handy “Best Guitarist” Award four times. Gerry Beaudoin is regarded as one of New England’s most respected guitarists and educators. He spent years working with blues and jazz combos, including those led by Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, more recently recording and appearing with the guitarist/mandolinist David Grisman.
There really isn’t too much on this album not to like, although some vocals come pretty close. The twelve tunes are a combination of standards and three tasty Beaudoin originals. The two Benny Goodman-associated tracks, “Bennies Bugle” and “Seven Come Eleven,” suggest an homage to Charlie Christian’s role as a pioneer of jazz guitar in the modern era, and in general the music is a retro appreciation of the small combo postwar swing groups in which the guitar played a major part.
Although the three guitarists come from different musical directions, they are all playing on the same wavelength here. It is reasonably difficult to make the solo distinctions amongst the trio but generally Geils plays with a more metallic sound than the others. The difference between his solos and those of Robillard or Beaudoin is manifested in the latter’s full ringing notes, with far more plucked tone than Geils. On the Vinson “Backdoor Blues,” Geils makes a strong blues statement, compared to the equally effective Beaudoin solo in the style of Herb Ellis.
Not to quibble over minor points, the album is a pleasure to absorb and appreciate. The players are all enjoying themselves and the fine performances just keep coming one after another. A few vocals are included, and although this offers some variety in programming, they are not necessary. Robillard tackles “Never Say Never Again Again” in a barroom baritone and is a bit more effective on “Backdoor Blues,” done in the style of “Cleanhead” Vinson. Beaudoin makes a rare vocal appearance on “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” with the vocal choruses separating the guitar solos.
By Michael P. Gladstone.
Jay Geils- Guitar;
Duke Robillard- Guitar, Acoustic Rhythm Guitar, Vocals;
Gerry Beaudoin- 6-String Electric End 7-String Electric Guitar, Vocal;
John Turner-Bass;
Gordon Grottenthaler-Drums.
01.Benny’s Bugle 3:34
02.Never Say Never Again Again 5:02
03.Swing With Dr. Jake 5:04
04.‘Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do 5:13
05.Oh, Lady Be Good 5:08
06.Azzure Mineur 4:51
07.Just Among Friends 3:25
08.Perdido 4:42
09.Backdoor Blues 5:22
10.Seven Come Eleven 4:33
11.Glide On 8:48

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Duke ROBILLARD – Stomp The Blues Tonight 2009

Posted in BLUES, Duke ROBILLARD on November 20, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Duke ROBILLARD – Stomp The Blues  Tonight 2009


Since joining the Stony Plain roster in 1993, Duke Robillard has released an average of one album per year with the Canadian roots and blues label, and his sixteenth is a little bit of a departure: where his previous efforts have focused mainly on jazz and blues, this one is a celebration of the jump blues and R&B of the ’40s and ’50s, and Robillard sounds just as natural and is clearly having just as good a time with this repertoire as he always has on his previous projects. Highlights include a wonderful jump blues instrumental arrangement of the traditional song “Frankie and Johnny,” an equally great vocal duet between Robillard and Sunny Crownover on “I Wanna Hug You, Kiss You, Squeeze You” and an absolutely brilliant rendition of the Ike Turner R&B classic “Tore Up.” Slightly less essential is a rather mannered take on the old Wynonie Harris song “Playful Baby,” on which Robillard sounds like he’s trying to channel Harris rather than interpret the song on his own, but everything else here is really top-notch — and part of what makes it great is that Robillard (an excellent guitarist but only a good singer) has the good sense to step aside several times to make room for the much more exciting vocals of Sunny Crownover. And on several of the album’s best tracks, no one is singing at all.
By Rick Anderson, All Music Guide.
Break out the leather soles and push back the rug, we’re going dancin’ with the Duke! Man-O-Man this cat is on target with all the Boppers, Shaggers & Swingers that call the dance halls home. Tight sounds and terrific beats keep you snappin’ fingers & stompin’ feet! A+, but, next time nix the slow stuff!!
By Michael Hall.
Duke Robillard hits another one out of the ballpark as his 16th album for Stony Plain turns the clock back to the rockin’ R&B of the ’40s and ’50s

Duke Robillard’s long and amazingly fruitful relationship with Stony Plain Records has produced some astonishing music – and his latest for the label adds horns and digs deep into the riotous, raunchy, rockin’ ’40s and ’50s R&B that helped launch rock and roll.
One of the most versatile and accomplished guitarists playing today, Robillard has always been fascinated by the roots of American popular music – and he’s tackled everything from blues to the classic American songbook to jazz guitar duets, rock-influenced trios, small and big band swing recordings.
Stomp! The Blues Tonight is certainly different from anything else Robillard has recorded for the Edmonton, Alberta-based label. Adding a strong horn section on many of the tracks – anchored by long-term colleagues Doug James on baritone and tenor, and Rich Lataille on tenor and alto – makes sure that tunes like “Stomp the Blues Tonight”, “Do Me Right”, “Look and Don’t Touch”, “Tore Up” and “Playful Baby” roar out of your speakers. A rock solid rhythm section, and Bruce Bears’ inspired piano playing gives the tunes the lift they need.
And there’s also a revival of “Money’s Getting Cheaper” – a song for the New Depression if ever there was one. Originally popularized by Charles Brown, it became a staple in the repertoire of Jimmy Witherspoon, with a different title, “Time’s Getting Tougher than Tough.”

This is great, honking, squawking, sax and guitar driven music. The early years of R&B saw the making of fabulous American music, and the new CD is proof you can recreate the past, twist it up a bit, make it sound as tough as it used to.
Play Stomp! The Blues Tonight as loud as your speakers go. Oh, yes, and dance!
Throughout a career that has spanned four decades, guitarist Duke Robillard has brought his immense talents to bear on a vast range of blues, jazz, and R&B music. Beginning with his influential band Roomful of Blues, through his brief tenure with Texas blues barn-burners the Fabulous Thunderbirds, to a lengthy solo career that has earned the skilled instrumentalist a wealth of awards and accolades, Duke Robillard has never been content with resting on past laurels as he challenges himself with a variety of stylistic exercises.

Robillard’s Stomp! The Blues Tonight follows the acclaimed 2008 release A Swingin Session With, a collection of golden-era jazz brought up to speed with a contemporary edge. With Stomp! The Blues Tonight, Robillard has attempted to recreate the authentic sound and energy of 1940s and ’50s-era rhythm and blues, the kind of swingin’ soul-blues music practiced by singers and guitarists like Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, Roy Milton, Lowell Fulson, Pee Wee Crayton and others. To help achieve his goals, Robillard some of his former Roomful of Blues mates: saxophonists Doug James and Rich Lataille and cornet player Al Basile.

Duke Robillard’s Stomp! The Blues Tonight
Credited to Duke Robillard’s Jumpin’ Blues Revue, Stomp! The Blues Tonight is a lively, high-energy collection of rhythm-infused blues and R&B, not dissimilar to what Robillard used to perform with Roomful of Blues back in the day. The disc opens with the guitarist’s original title track, a performance so stylistically spot-on that none but the expert (or the hardcore fan) could carbon-date the sucker any decade later than the 1950s. With a raucous, ramped-up opening and swinging horns, Robillard’s hepcat vocals and fine guitar tone are matched by the horn section’s timely blasts of cold air.

A cover of blues legend Lowell Fulson’s “Do Me Right” is elegant and well-dressed courtesy of the deep groove provided by Robillard’s jazzy fretwork, which itself is accompanied by Doug James’ honkin’ sax and Bruce Bears’ filigree pianowork. Although Robillard’s vocals aren’t quite the equal of Fulson’s (few are, really), he acquits himself well by not trying to over-emote, instead delivering a subdued, but soulful vocal turn.

West Coast R&B giant Roy Milton’s wonderful, rocking “Baby, You Don’t Know” benefits from the full-band effort of Robillard’s Jumpin’ Blues Revue, the song’s strong underlying rhythm provided by its swaying hornplay as Bears’ nimble-fingered piano lies just beneath the vocals in the mix. Robillard’s guitar is understated, but no less potent, as it threads itself beneath the ever present horns.

The traditional “Frankie and Johnny” is gussied up by Robillard, framed as an instrumental showcase for his six-string talents. With the horns playing gently behind him, and drummer Mark Teixeira providing a lively up-tempo beat, Robillard embroiders the song with his vibrant guitarwork. By the time that saxman James jumps into the fray, Robillard is moving full-throttle, and the song ends with a cooling piano note and dropped drumbeat.

Robillard’s protégé, Ms. Sunny Crownover, is given center stage for “I Wanna Hug You, Kiss You, Squeeze You.” Half purring kitten, half wildcat growl, Crownover’s sultry vocals bring an entirely different dimension to Robillard’s material, providing a fine counterpoint to the guitarist’s blue-eyed soul. As the band rages behind her, you can just imagine Crownover tossing her hips and making the boys swoon like a film clip from the 1940s as she belts out the song.

Crownover displays her full range with the raucous original “Look But Don’t Touch.” With a steady strolling beat behind her, Ms Sunny knocks out the song with joy, lyrically showing a prospective suitor the door as Robillard’s nimble fretwork jumps-n-jives across the ribald rhythms. “Jumpin’ The Bone,” an original Robillard/James instrumental that plays like a 1940s jazzbo throwback, jukes and jumps across the grooves with frenetic guitar licks and rollicking hornplay.

The best thing about a hearing a brand new Duke Robillard album for the first time is that while you’re never quite sure where he’s driving, you know that you’re always going to enjoy the ride. Such is the case with Stomp! The Blues Tonight, a retro-delight that features a perfect balance between Robillard’s skilled six-string chops and the invigorating, Doug James-led horn section.

Throw in Sunny Crownover’s feminine wiles as a counterpoint to Robillard’s gruffer vocals on an inspired mix of covers and original songs that were carefully-crafted to evoke an earlier era of the blues, and Stomp! The Blues Tonight is a complete rock-n-rolla success story certain to please your ears even as it sets your toes-a-tappin’!
By Reverend Keith A. Gordon.
Duke Robillard- (Guitar), (Bass Guitar), (Vocals),
Marty Ballou- (Acoustic, Electric Bass),
Al Basile- (Cornet),
Doug James- (Baritone Sax ), (TenorSax),
Rich Lataille- (Alto Sax), (Tenor Sax),
Carl Querfurth- (Trombone),
Bruce Bears- (Piano),
Jon Ross- (Acoustic, Electric Bass),
Mark Teixeira- (Drums),
Sunny Crownover- (Vocals).
01. Stomp The Blues Tonight 3:25
02. Do Me Right 3:34
03. Three Hours Past Midnight 4:41
04. Baby You Don’t Know 2:56
05. I Wanna Hug You, Kiss You, Squeeze You 5:02
06. Frankie And Johnny 3:15
07. Look But Don’t Touch 3:51
08. Playful Baby 3:36
09. Million Dollar Secret 7:50
10. Jumpin’ The Bone 5:39
11. Hands Off! 4:20
12. Money’s Gettin’ Cheaper 3:52
13. For You My Love 2:21
14. Tore Up 4:02
15. Ain’t Nobody’s Business 3:26
16. Early In The Morning 4:36

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