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Jeff Golub: Out of the Blue

Guitarist Jeff Golub takes a welcome step into modern blues with Out of the Blue (Bluemoon/Atlantic 92819-2P; 59:44), taking prime ingredients from a number of worldly sources and baking them in a spicy, rootsy crust. Album opener “Wanna Funk?” sets the stage, with an arrangement as sly as its title, populated by kicking rhythm, purring blues organ and stinging rock riffs and horn hits. Golub sprinkles the blues dust on a wide variety of tastes-from the screaming Latin-to-wild west “Mantenca,” with stuttering trumpet, relentless congas and hard-driving piano, to the jazz club walk “Groanin'” which shakes with Golub’s worldly, rocking licks. Golub squeezes emotion from every note on the beautiful, sexy bent-note ballad, “My Everything,” and lays down edgy, dark blue threads under “Indiana Moon,” with its down-home, Bruce Hornsby acoustic piano feel. With the help of a band which includes bassist Tony Levin and organist Ricky Peterson, Golub has created one of the most crackling, inventive takes on the blues to come along in quite some time.

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