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Robert Lockwood Jr.: The Complete Trix Recordings

This two cd set celebrates the gritty magnificence of a living blues legend. Disc one contains tracks originally recorded in 1973 with bassist Gene Schwartz, drummer George Cook and tenor saxophonist Maurice Reedus. Lockwood delivers with wit and wisdom on originals like “Little Boy Blue,” “Funny, but True” and “Come Day, Go Day.” He shows a decidedly jazzy, Tiny Grimes-ish quality on a few swinging tracks, notably the instrumentals, “Annie’s Boogie” and “Majors, Minors & Ninths.” He deals in Deep Blues on an acoustic, Deltafied rendition of Roosevelt Sykes’ “Driving Wheel” and on Robert Johnson’s “Mr. Down Child.” Disc two, recorded in 1975 with Reedus, Schwartz, drummer Jimmy Jones and second guitarist Mark Hahn, suffers more from intonation problems (bass player is the biggest offender on this count) but contains the same Lockwood magic. He plays 12-string guitar on “This Is the Blues,” “Angel Child” and two swinging instrumentals, “Down Home Cooking” and Gene Ammons’ “Red Top,” a nice vehicle for Reedus’ smoky tenor. Lockwood also turns in a striking solo rendition of Robert Johnson’s “Terraplane Blues.” Good with some eccentric little twists, but hardly essential.

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