Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Review: LLuis Coloma "Boogie Portraits"

I got a package in the mail the other day, and in it I found the new cd by Lluis Coloma. I was listening to it and my wife walked by. She said "That's real good." Now you wouId have to know my wife to understand, but that's HIGH PRAISE. Normally I review guitar based discs, and when I play one of those somehow she seems to find an excuse to go out for a while. Not only did she listen to this one, but she sat down and listened to it with me. This has never happened before!

This is a great disc if you like boogie woogie style piano. Lluis Coloba is a leading European blues pianist, and he has made a great cd of hot energetic accessible blues piano music. I was exhilerated after listening to the first song here, "Coloma's boogie," but I couldn't wait to hear more! The rest of the songs on the disc are all duets with other great pianists, recorded live at Nova Jazz Cava Terrassa & Centre Cultural Barradas L'Hospitalet in Europe between September 2007 and January 2008.

This may be the best recorded live piano disc you'll ever hear--Coloma's piano comes out through the left channel, the guest pianinsts' come out the right channel. "Coloma's Boogie" starts things off at a high level, and the performances just keep getting better. Next up is a wonderful take of "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" with August Tharrats that sounds like they are channelling Big Joe Duskin. Then a rollicking New Orleans style "Red Beans" with Mitch Woods on 2nd piano and vocal, and then a slow and beautiful "C C Rider" with Carl Sonny Leyland. Things reach a high water mark with the Ivory Joe Hunter tune "I Got To Learn To Do the Mambo" with Julien Brunetaud on 2nd piano and vocal--just great. Other highlights are "Honky Tonk Blues Bar Boogie with Frank Muschalle and "School Days On My Mind" with Barrelhouse Chuck on 2nd piano and vocals.

This disc is on the Swing Alley label and it should be out soon. Pick it up for a great disc of piano mastery.

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