Personnel: Albert Collins (vocals, guitar); Marvin Jackson (guitar); Jerry Wilson, A.C. Reed (tenor saxophone); Henri Ford (baritone saxophone); Paul Howard (trumpet); Bill McFarland (trombone); Allen Batts (keyboards); Johnny B. Gayden (bass); Casey Jones (drums).
Producers: Dick Shurman, Casey Jones, Bruce Iglauer.
Recorded at Curtom Studios in Chicago, Illinois.
Another in Albert Collins's series of fine 1970s and '80s releases on Alligator Records, FROSTBITE gives Collins fans more of what they've come to expect--raw, rootsy blues and unparalleled guitar playing. Collins's approach to the blues guitar is distinctive, and he alternates between high, singing leads and echoey, low-end motifs, manipulating space and drawing his phrases out with unusual rhythmic variation. His tone, too, is unique; it is heavy, dark, and somewhat cool (which gave rise to his "Iceman" moniker). All of these characteristics are on full display throughout FROSTBITE.
Collins surrounds himself with an outstanding backing band of drums, bass, keys, and horns (here featuring three saxophones, a trumpet, and a trombone). The ensemble (the horns, in particular) fills out the funky bounce of "I Got a Problem" and the insistent boogie of "Don't Go Reaching Across My Plate." Collins stretches out on every track, peeling off brilliant leads left and right. On "Snowed In," a down-tempo blues about being caught in a winter storm, Collins uses his guitar to replicate starting up a car's stalled engine. Here, as always, there seems to be little Collins can't manage on six strings.