Personnel: Albert Collins (vocals, guitar); Casey Jones (vocals, drums); Larry Burton (guitar); Abb Locke, Dino Spells (alto & tenor saxophone); A.C. Reed (tenor saxophone); Chris Foreman (keyboards); Johnny B. Gayden (bass).
Producers: Bruce Iglauer, Albert Collins, Dick Shurman.
Recorded at Red Label Recording in Winnetka, Illinois. Includes liner notes by Don McLeese.
Keeping up with his "Iceman" moniker, Albert Collins delivers with his fourth Alligator release Don't Lose Your Cool. The title cut was one of his first instrumental hits back in the late '50s and here it's given a gritty, organ-driven workout … la one of his heroes and onetime collaborators, Jimmy McGriff. Forging on in this impressively diverse set, Collins revels in the humorous, spoken commentary of Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "But I Was Cool" (reminiscent of Collins' spoken interludes on the John Zorn piece "Spillane"), updates the jump-blues antics of Big Walter Price's "Get to Gettin'," and closes the set out with a faithful take on Guitar Slim's "Quicksand." He also adds a few of his own impressive cuts here, including the funky, syncopated New Orleans groove "Melt Down" and the Stax 'n' blues cut "Ego Trip." Throughout, of course, Collins comes up with plenty of his grating, barbed wire guitar licks and rough-hewn vocals. Riding atop his crack, seven-piece Ice Breakers band (including a fine horn section), Collins certainly keeps things burnin' on this set, while still living up to all the icy allusions with some of the most cool and urbane modern blues on record. ~ Stephen Cook