Monday, October 15, 2012

Tedeschi Trucks Band Live Everybody's Talkin Sony 2012

In reviewing jazz I found myself eventually moving into world music, blues, and funk. The sophomore release from the Tedeschi Trucks Band is a two disc live set that fully captures the magic of this eleven piece ensemble. Don't get me wrong, the first release Revelator was solid but slightly stiff which may be due largely in part to trying to capture the spontaneous raw energy of what amounts to a small blues orchestra in a studio setting has to be a daunting task to say the least.

Everybody's Talkin' is a virtual snapshot in time of a prolific duo with an incredible band that hides out in a musical happy place somewhere between the Allman Brothers and Bonnie Raitt. Speaking of which Tedeschi's constant comparisons to Raitt are inherently unfair but perhaps this is why the pairing both personally and professionally between Tedeschi and Trucks works so incredibly well. Derek Trucks is a former member of the Allman Brothers Band, his uncle Butch Trucks was a founding member while Tedeschi has long been compared to Bonnie Raitt and the legendary Janis Joplin. Trucks is also a slide guitar virtuoso having played with the great Buddy Guy when he was just 13 years old.

Shacking off the shackles of the studio, Everbody's Talkin' kicks off with a funk reharm of the Harry Nilsson classic that is guaranteed to melt your speakers. The tunes were for the most part hand picked as a sort of a musical flash back on the bands first year together and bring that raw edge of a unique blues hybrid transformed with jazz sensibilities. The release simply never lets up in intensity or in a literally perfect set selection including "Midnight In Harlem" which serves as somewhat of a psychedelic intro into the classic "Little Martha." The cover of the Muddy Waters standard "Rollin' And Tumblin" is infectious and the first disc wraps with the Joe Cocker tune "Darling Be Home Soon." Tedeschi's vocals are spot on and Trucks has never sounded better. Two of the highlights on the second disc include Stevie Wonder's "Uptight" and a little funk nasty from the Staples Singers tune "Wade In The Water."  

While my thoughts if not taste in popular music can sometimes be as cold and lifeless as the disposable music society seems to be force fed today, The Tedeschi Trucks Band simply kicks it up a notch. This live set is high octane foot to the floor music that still manages to maintain an organic root of raw emotion and joyous abandon so lacking in pop culture today. Revelator was a good release to be sure, Everybody's Talkin' is about as close to a perfect live recording as you will find. Rock, blues, world music influence and all handled with a deceptively subtle jazz sensibility that makes this release a must. Trucks fans may argue it is a Tedeschi record but it simply does not matter. When something works this well then splitting hairs is simply taking hyper-critical to the next level.

Tracks: Everybody's Talkin'; Midnight In Harlem (Swamp Intro With Little Martha); Learn How To Love; Bound For Glory; Rollin' And Tumblin'; Nobody's Free; Darling Be Home Soon; That Did It; Uptight; Love Has Something Else To Say; Wade In The Water.

Personnel: Derek Trucks: guitar; Susan Tedeschi: guitar, vocals; Oteil Burbridge: bass; Kofi Burbridge: keyboards, flute; Tyler Greenwell: drums, percussion; Mike Mattison: vocals, acoustic guitar; Mark Rivers: vocals; Kebbi Williams: saxophone; Maurice Brown: trumpet; Saunders Sermons: trombone, vocals.

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