Robben Ford Anthology: The Early Years (2-CD)
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- by Robben Ford ~ Handful of Blues ~ $13.48
- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: March 6, 2001
- Label: Avenue Records
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Sweet Sixteen
- 2.You Drive a Hard Bargain
- 3.Raining in My Heart
- 4.Blue and Lonesome
- 5.Red Rooster
- 6.Eighty One
- 7.Miss Miss
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Oh Gee
- 2.You Don't Know What Love Is
- 3.Everyday I Have the Blues
- 4.It's My Own Fault
- 5.Ladies' Choice
- 6.Hawk's Theme
- 7.S. K. Blues
- 8.Low Ride
- 9.Softly Rolling
- 10.Stella and Frenchie
- 11.Goin' Down Slow
Personnel includes: Robben Ford (vocals, guitar, saxophone); Jimmy Witherspoon (vocals); Paul Nagle (keyboards); Stan Poplin (bass); Jim Baum (drums).
Producers: Jerry Goldstein, Chris Huston, Mike Vernon.
Compilation producer: Jerry Goldstein.
Engineers: Chris Huston, Stan Agol, Larry Goetz.
Recorded between 1972 & 1976. Includes liner notes by Scott Yanow.
Digitally remastered by Bob Fisher (Pacific Multimedia).
Personnel: Robben Ford (vocals, guitar, electric guitar, saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jimmy Witherspoon (vocals); Paul Nagle, Paul Nagel (keyboards); Jim Baum (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Bob Fisher .
Audio Remixer: Larry Goetz.
Liner Note Author: Scott Yanow.
Recording information: 1972-1976.
Robben Ford has always been a very eclectic musician; therefore, the people who get the most out of his recordings tend to have eclectic tastes themselves. If you're the sort of broad-minded listener who holds blues, rock, and jazz in equally high regard, Anthology: The Early Years is a musical feast. This two-CD set, which Avenue Jazz provided in 2001, looks back on recordings that the singer/guitarist/saxman made from 1972-1976 (when he was in his early to mid-20s). Even then, Ford was difficult to categorize -- those who insist on pigeonholing musicians wondered if he was really a blues-rock singer or a jazz instrumentalist at heart. And, truth be told, he wore both hats equally well. Anyone who loves down-and-dirty blues-rock cannot help but applaud his gutsy versions of Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster" and B.B. King's "Sweet Sixteen." But Ford is equally convincing as a jazz instrumentalist on "Softly Rolling," "Miss Miss," and Miles Davis' "Eighty One." Many of the instrumentals are shining examples of 1970s fusion, but Ford favors more of a post-bop approach on the standard "You Don't Know What Love Is" (which is one of the tunes that finds him on tenor sax and is very John Coltrane-minded). Anthology: The Early Years isn't the last word on Ford in the 1970s, but Avenue Jazz' picks are generally excellent -- and it is certainly among the places to go if you're exploring his early output for the first time. ~ Alex Henderson
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