I was rocked back on my heels when the first cut here, Movin' On, started by echoing what Peter Green had embarked upon in Oh Well (long version) and elsewhere, incorporating classic World lament musics into a Chicago black blues form being elongated by its own dirty-white-blues mutation. Then, as the cut progressed, Indian, South African, and light classical, not to mention jazz, influences made themselves known, and the track became a highly suffused potpourri. The next cut, Blue Dream, continues the Carnatic flow and adds in what I swear is a nagaswaram except the instrument is credited nowhere (and I'm pretty sure it's not the ney assigned to later cuts…though it could well be, now that I think on it). Ah, but there are also Martin Denny touches here and there, and the song builds up an infectious groove that gets under your skin.
Thus, you'll understand why I gasped again as cut 3, Interlude A, was perfectly in line with the classic back catalogue of the seminal Oregon band or those two later surprising Kevin Eubanks CDs (the Spirit Talk gigs). You'll likewise cognize I was now helpless, hooked. Blues in other Colors, as I listened, was becoming one of those rare beasts tried out in the 70s by Emil Richards and others, but becoming sooooo much more masterful now. In fact, Other Colors is quite similar to the work Matt Montfort and Ancient Future espouse. David Maxwell, who promulgated this affair, decided not to stop there and even gets way Brubecky in Big Sky.
Cryin' the Blues lights into stride and barrelhouse but with a difference, Troy Gonyea slippin' an earthy slide guitar alongside so that a Sonny Landreth / Ry Cooder / David Lindley vibe snakes its way into the affair. Harry's Raga returns the Hindu vibe, but with some Charles Lloyd tossed in, Jerry Leake's tablas accentuating the underlying mode more sharply. The song slowly builds just like a classical composition but never breaks into the blinding speed that marks the tradition so heavily, preferring to remain in that 'blue note' area Robert Plant is so enamored of, that he finds just as lamentive as Southern blues. In short, Blues in other Colors is a horse of a different palette, a rainbow erupting right in front of your face, dazzling one and all with an exotic range of hues that can't help but mesmerize.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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