Tell The Truth!
(Evidence Records ECD 22222-2)
by Dick Houff
Review date: July 2001
1999 KBA Award Winner|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by the Blues Foundation
When Evidence Records put this one in my hands, I just couldn't resist
sharing my thoughts and feelings on Phil Upchurch. He is primarily
known as a jazz guitarist and bass player. But he goes way beyond
labeling; for one, he's in all probability, the most highly sought
studio players in the country. As a teenager he played with Otis Rush
and was very big on the R & B scene in the Chicago area. When Minnie
Ripperton signed with Chess Records, Phil was enlisted for the sessions.
He has played with Ray Charles and Bo Diddley, and on the far end of the
spectrum, Dizzy Gillespie and Gene Ammons. Actually, Phil has played
with more people in the world of blues, jazz, and rock than you can
possibly imagine. I have witnessed this guy on stage, and as a
guitarist (myself) it can be quite humbling. His warm approach and
rootsy patterns can change from mid-tempo to deadly overdrive without
warning. On track #9, it really shows and flows with: Tell The Truth!
My favorite track is the very bluesy track #10: St. Louis Blues-again,
watch for the changes and crossovers. He plays the modes and fuses the
classic with every genre in the book! Phil puts you into a romantic
bounce with yet another classic, "Girl Talk"-six minutes of cloud nine.
If you dig guitar instrumentals, or if you are an aspiring young gun
with an axe-take a lesson from Phil. How many of you out there know
about Phil's harmonica playing? Well, I for one, surely had no idea!
That's him blowin' like hell and tearing the strings up on track #12:
She's Alright, a Church original! This album is for the record books
with 5 stars in hot pursuit.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dick Houff, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.