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The jazzy side of blues

By Fenton Robinson

Alligator Records: 1984

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This review first appeared in the October 31, 1984 issue of The Daily Aztec.

Fenton Robinson was one of the best blues musicians to emerge during the 1960s, and is re-emerging in the '80s after a series of intermittent but outstanding recordings. Robinson's brand of blues draws much from jazz, and is a welcome style of music on the scene.

"Nightflight," Robinson's first album in seven years, contains some of his best playing. It opens strongly with "I Found Out Yesterday," a slow, melodic piece. Robinson's solo passages on his venerable Gibson L-5 hollow-body guitar are fresh and invigorating, while his smooth vocals are a nice match.

"Can't Hold Out Much Longer" features Junior Wells on harmonica, acting as harmony to Robinson's lead vocal.

On side two, "Crazy, Crazy Love" brings drummer Roy Robertson and pianist Leo Davis to the forefront. "I Lost My True Love" is the musical climax of the album, as Robinson trades leads with Davis on organ, at one point playing both melody and harmony on guitar at the same time.

THe album finishes impressively with "Sinner's Prayer," which has Robinson and Davis again trading solos, each trying to outdo the other.