Robben Ford — „Pure“ (Aug. 27th, 2021)USA FLAG                                                                                                                              Robben Ford — „Pure“ (Aug. 27th, 2021)
Robben Ford vydává dnes (27. srpna) své 45. sólové album za více než půl století nahrávání. Příhodně nazvané „Pure“ obsahuje devět instrumentálních skladeb a je to jeho první vydání instrumentální studiovky od Tiger Walk v roce 1997. Svůj rozhovor s ním jsem zahájil porušením jednoho z kdysi základních pravidel žurnalistiky. Řekl jsem mu přesně to, co si o albu myslím. Vysvětlil jsem, že miluji blues, ale jazz se vždy zdál na můj vkus mozkový a akademický, protože mám nižší zájem o čakry — ale že „Pure“, zakotvený v jazzu, to pro mě dělá v obou směrech, což je velmi, velmi vzácné. Shrnul jsem slovy: „pěkné album“. Poděkoval mi. „Myslím, že mi to nikdy nikdo neřekl, a je krásné to říct.“ Album je čisté, ale drsné zároveň, bluesové, ovšem s jazzovými a klasickými vlivy.
Ford se vznáší, míchá akordy, ohýbá noty a pomocí efektů vytváří svůj jedinečný „signature guitar sound“.
„Pokud posloucháte klasickou hudbu a jste hudebník, měli byste se tím nechat ovlivnit. Jsem tedy ovlivněn vším, co mám opravdu rád a poslouchám, a vnáším to do své hudby tak či onak, i když je to jen okrajem toho, co poslouchám.“ — Robben Ford
Location: Nashville, TN
Album release: August 27th, 2021
Record Label: EARMUSIC
Duration:     39:39
1. Pure (Prelude)   1:37
2. White Rock Beer...8 Cents   5:54
3. Balafon   3:31
4. Milam Palmo   4:13
5. Go   5:11
6. Blues for Lonnie Johnson   4:54
7. A Dragon’s Tail   4:54
8. Pure   4:16
9. If You Want Me To   5:09Robben Ford
The album has been released as Ltd. Box Set, CD Digipak, Black LP Gatefold and digital version, plus several special editions: Red LP (US exclusive), Yellow LP (Germany/Austria exclusive) and Crystal Clear LP (Europe exclusive).
Robben Ford, a name that needs no explanation. For over 40 years now, the guitarist inspires artists and fans of blues rock and truly shaped the genre with his innovative playing.
With both parents being passionate musicians themselves, Robben early found his love for music and especially for playing guitar — and it was a love that should last forever. At age thirteen he started teaching himself playing guitar and today his commitment to teaching and passing on what he’s learned over the past 40 years to current and future musicians, is an essential component of his career.
Now, on this instrumental album the most exciting guitarist of our time proves his skills once again.
“Pure” is Robben Ford’s brand~new instrumental studio album — the first one since “Tiger Walk” from 1997. With nine unique tracks the album features a “pure” Robben Ford — this guitar virtuoso who has a tremendous music vocabulary of jazz, blues and rock.
“Pure” is to be congratulated as an album which seamlessly blends a soulful west coast vibe with bluesy hard rock.
On top, “Pure” features exceptional guest musicians such as Nate Smith, Toss Panos, Shannon Forest and more.Feature image photographed live at City Winery Chicago Sunday, Aug. 15© Phil SolomonsonReview by Jim Hynes:
Nashville~based guitar great Robben Ford issues Pure, his first totally instrumental studio album since 1997’s Tiger Walk. As we’ve come to expect, Ford is not tied directly to just one style. His calling card is his versatility and the ability to extract the best from blues, rock, or jazz. Though Ford is accompanied by several musicians, several of whom hold high profiles, the project is mostly the brainchild of both he and his producer Casey Wasner. Together they developed the basic tracks, getting the feeling that they wanted and adding other instruments later. This runs counter to the way Ford usually works, the conventional way of gathering the band in the studio and then applying the fixes later. Hence, Ford feels more pride of authorship here than on any previous outing.
Originally a West Coaster, that kind of vibe is heard clearly here with detours into blues~rock and other stylings. There are six different drummers, four different bassists, saxophonists Bill Evans and Jeff Coffin appear on a few tracks and Robben Ford plays all keyboards except on “Ballafon” where Russell Ferrante plays Wurlitzer piano. Among the notable players are drummers Nate Smith, Shannon Forrest, and Toss Panos, and Nashville mainstays, bassists Dave Roe and Steve Mackey.
The album begins with a short intro, “Pure (Prelude)” with Ford’s guitar supported by blasting drums and a heavy rock bass that sets up a shuffling groove for “White Rock Beer…8 cents,” with the trio of the leader, drummer Patrick Ford, and bassist Dave Roe, and builds into a joyride with the twin into the clamorous section before both contrasting sections repeat. “Milam Palmo” has a memorable riff and some unpredictable changes, with Ford coaxing some interesting sounds from his axe, especially in the lower register.
“Go” begins as if a soul tune with the twin saxes but evolves into mostly a guitar trio adventure with renowned drummer Nate Smith and bassist Anton Nesbitt holding down the bottom. “Blues for Lonnie Johnson” is not surprisingly the most outright blues tune here, with Smith and Roe in support as well as the two saxophonists filling in the spaces. Ford’s guitar really “talks” on this one. “A Dragon’s Tail” has a haunting hard edge to it with the twin drummers of Toss Panos and Shannon Forrest, the latter plays along with Ford’s solo which lands squarely in blues~rock as he sets up his own call and response guitar exchanges.
The title track becomes instantly recognizable through the “Prelude” heard earlier. Again, the drums beat insistently, and Ford seemingly meanders rather recklessly through the din as if he is the only one with a clear idea of where he’s headed. The closer, “If You Want Me To” has more of pop feel with the rhythm tandem of Forrest and Nesbitt driving the groove, making way for Brian Allen to take an unexpected jazz~like acoustic bass solo, after which the groove gathers even more momentum.
Don Wilcock