Corner of Blues and The City
Super Cool Chicago Blues from Downtown Tel Aviv.
My Israeli friend Yamit has done it again!
Even if I’d been flicking through a record rack I would have picked this album up because of the sleeve. Obviously I’ve made mistakes doing that in the past; but the photography here certainly does point you towards the quality of music on the disc.
That said I was slightly taken aback by the Jazz like cool of opening track Little Place Called Pai. Dayan has an uber-cool singing voice, somewhere between Brook Benton and Chet Baker while his guitar playing sounds like he’s listened to a whole lot of BB King and George Benson; he really is that good.
We all have different tastes of course; but this old-school Rhythm and Blues style is slick, professional and so easy on the ear it feels like you are sipping rum and coke in a Havana Juke Joint between Steve McQueen and Julie Christie in the early 1960’s. Then, n Play The Blues and Be Proud we not only hear some razor sharp guitar licks; but the violinist could easily be a relative of Stephane Grappelli; and don’t get me started about the bongos!
The songs can sometimes get a little bit lost in the luscious arrangements; but after a couple of listens you will find yourself clicking your fingers and singing along to All of You and Keep It Cool; just like I did.
I’m normally a critic of guitarists who get carried away and that could easily have been a problem here as four tracks are in excess of 7 minutes long; but the solos are carefully shared out with the Hammond organ really rocking along with a brass section that Blue Note would have been proud of.
Favourite track? Phew; that’s not easy; but who among us isn’t going to like a track called Keep it Cool? But the howling harmonica that opens Smiles and Cries just about tips it for me; plus Dayan’s Soulful voice sent chills down my spine.
Another Blues Diamond from the Israeli scene; and I for one can’t wait to see this band play live.
Released July 2015