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Blue Commotion

From the first note you are promised quality musicianship, lead from the front by the distinctive voice of Zoe Schwarz; this is an album whose production has shaped the studio sound so that it has a natural whilst controlled feel. The opening track ‘If I Didn’t Sing I’d Cry’; sets the tone with its jazz blues feel that is further emphasized by the beautiful trumpet playing by Andy Urquhart and Ian Ellis Sax on tracks 2, 5 and 12; and really takes you back to the cabaret acts of the 1960’s & 1970’s. Blue Commotion are a tight team of experienced musicians with Rob Koral on electric guitar who co-wrote the majority of the tracks with Zoe Schwartz and provides the perfect foil for the voice of the album, whilst demonstrating his considerable skills in snippets throughout. The rhythm section, comprising Rodney Teague on Bass and Paul Robinson on Drums, provides a tight bedrock whilst bringing the commotion and delicious beat and lines of sound that add to the fullness of the collective sound. In addition there is the skillful Hammond organ playing of Peter Walker who provides lead breaks that are addictive and end all too soon. On top of this amazing sound is the Blues Harp playing of Si Genaro adding another texture to the sound. Zoe’s voice is clear as a bell yet never afraid to use emotion to make the words shine through; and her voice shines through above the musicians so that every word can be heard on an album where everyone is performing within their comfort zone producing a full, and at times a big band, sound. The covers have been chosen with care suiting Zoe’s voice and the styles of the musicians in the band. Billie Holiday’s, ‘Fine and Mellow’ certainly suits Zoe’s vocals along with Willie Dixon’s; ‘You Shook Me Baby’ and two from Koko Taylor; ‘That’s Why I am Crying’ and ‘Voodoo Women’; all have been given the Commotion Treatment so that they sit neatly within their own tracks. The music written for ‘Beautitudes’ for these traditional words, which suits Zoe’s voice which is reminiscent of Shirley Bassey at her best; this is not necessarily a track that you would associate with a blues album but fits neatly in the lexicon of ‘Good Times.’
There is no doubt this is an accomplished album that is classical, that is out to make a statement including a radio version of Beatitudes, this should be getting airplay on mainstream radio and Blue Commotion should be delighting radio audiences who like their jazz/blues sung and played in a clear accessible and uncomplicated way. Simply this is a collection of excellent songs delivered by Blue Commotion for you to enjoy, pleasant easy listening whilst enjoying a glass of your favourite beverage and let the cares of the day drain away.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD a doodle rating of
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