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Jeff Golub: Nightlife

On his third album fronting Avenue Blue, guitarist Jeff Golub still smokes on bluesy, retro-soul licks. Despite a few lapses into more tepid urban moments, these strengths continue to loom large on Nightlife (Bluemoon 92768-2; 47:31)-most notably on rattling retro-soul throwbacks like “Thank You, May I Have Another,” with its cool Hammond B-3 texture, and the horn-kicked party tune “(Oh No) No Mo Yo,” which find Golub in full blues swagger. Other highlights here include Grayson Hugh’s very soulful vocal treatment of Bobby Womack cover “Daylight” and “Bobby’s Mood,” a deep blue ballad, featuring Golub on a lower-toned rock electric voice for an introspective effect. Even the hip-hop hybrid, “Always There,” which in lesser hands would be a throwaway track, is lent a sparse ’70s swagger and elegance by Golub’s lead (and the elegant touch of Jim Biggins on flute).

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