In a very jazz-inclined release, harpman Jerry Portnoy (veteran of Muddy Waters' and Eric Clapton's bands) teams up with Duke Robillard and other illustrious jump-blues company. A well-schooled and well-traveled player, Portnoy chomps at his harp bit with the integrity and expertise reserved of the masters. This release attests to his almost four decades behind the harmonica mike. Outside his harmonicizing, Portnoy also displays his classic jazz leanings and composing skills.
Joining Jerry and Duke is Marty Ballou on the bass and Steve Ramsay on the drum skins. Horns are Gordon Beadle on the tenor sax, and Doug James honking on the baritone sax and bass clarinet. Studio guests include Troy Gonyea on the guitar for three cuts, Bob Malone handling the vocals on one tune, and Mark Davis contributing his mandolin, fiddle, and mandocello.
The jazz standard "Doodlin'" kicks off the biscuit and thirteen tracks found here. Pulling off clear cutting notation, Portnoy shares the stage and solos with the entire band. Sprinkled among the slick selections are five Portnoy originals that echo a mature musician with sanctifying arrangements and deliveries. Hear elegant renditions of "Stormy Weather", "Sentimental Journey", and others. Jazzy profiles, jump reactions, and swingin tendencies abound on this platter making it a milestone harmonica recording by one of the best.
TinyTown Records; P.O. Box 540523; Waltham, MA 02454-0523: or, www.harpmaster.com
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