Black Midnight Sun
When one sees that Bill Laswell is producing a blues album that Henry Threadgill feels the need to arrange the horns on, you can’t help feeling that you’re in for a dubbed-out, avant-garde blues trip that would make R.L. Burnside or Little Axe seem quite pedestrian. Instead, these two musical freaks have been hobbled on Black Midnight Sun. They and Lucky Peterson have produced a fine album. This is a blues celebration. A real good time.
Peterson can really boogie, and you’ll definitely find yourself doing the same. However, heavily burdened with my own prejudice, I was expecting pure incandescence. Aside from an amazingly gritty and funky version of “Smokestack Lightning” that would make Wolf proud and an admirable version of “Thank You for Talkin’ to Me Africa,” you get very brief glimpses of the brilliance of which these three stars are capable. On its own, this disc is very nice, and if Peterson, Threadgill and Laswell’s names weren’t attached, I’d be celebrating it to high heaven. However, since they are, a part of me can’t help but be disappointed.
Dreyfus Jazz: http://www.dreyfusrecords.com/