Blues

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The blues have had a strong influence on jazz since the very beginning. This is no big surprise since jazz and blues both come from the same African roots. The JR Blues genre at JMA is not meant to be an exhaustive list of every blues artist in the world, we'll leave that formidable task for sites dedicated to the blues.

The JR Blues genre at JMA is for:

1) Artists who play music that is a mix of jazz and blues, such as Jimmy Smith and Robben Ford.

2) Blues artists who were major innovators and trend setters, such as Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, BB King and Muddy Waters.

3) Artists who are particularly creative within the blues genre such as Taj Mahal, Otis Taylor and Peter Green.

blues top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

TAJ MAHAL The Natch'l Blues Album Cover The Natch'l Blues
TAJ MAHAL
4.95 | 2 ratings
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KENNY BURRELL Midnight Blue Album Cover Midnight Blue
KENNY BURRELL
4.67 | 12 ratings
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ESTHER PHILLIPS The Country Side Of Esther Phillips (aka Release Me!) Album Cover The Country Side Of Esther Phillips (aka Release Me!)
ESTHER PHILLIPS
4.93 | 2 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH Back at the Chicken Shack Album Cover Back at the Chicken Shack
JIMMY SMITH
4.61 | 16 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH The Cat Album Cover The Cat
JIMMY SMITH
4.50 | 6 ratings
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KING CURTIS Blues At Montreux  ( with Champion Jack Dupree) Album Cover Blues At Montreux ( with Champion Jack Dupree)
KING CURTIS
4.48 | 4 ratings
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DINAH WASHINGTON Swingin' Miss Swingin' Miss "D" (aka Queen & Quincy)
DINAH WASHINGTON
4.50 | 2 ratings
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DINAH WASHINGTON Dinah Jams Album Cover Dinah Jams
DINAH WASHINGTON
4.50 | 2 ratings
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JIMMY SMITH Jimmy And Wes:The Dynamic Duo Album Cover Jimmy And Wes:The Dynamic Duo
JIMMY SMITH
4.35 | 8 ratings
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JOHN MAYALL John Mayall With Eric Clapton ‎: Blues Breakers Album Cover John Mayall With Eric Clapton ‎: Blues Breakers
JOHN MAYALL
4.45 | 2 ratings
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FRANKIE LAINE Frankie Laine And The Four Lads Album Cover Frankie Laine And The Four Lads
FRANKIE LAINE
4.40 | 2 ratings
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THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND At Fillmore East Album Cover At Fillmore East
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND
4.28 | 11 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

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.. Album Cover
Manley Field House Syracuse University, April 7, 1972
Live album
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND
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blues Music Reviews

ROBERT FINLEY Black Bayou

Album · 2023 · Blues
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js
If you want to know what blues and RnB influenced rock bands like the Rolling Stones wished they sounded like, just check out Robert Finley’s “Black Bayou”. Robert is the real deal. Raised in rural North Louisiana, he spent much of his life working as a carpenter who sidelined as a blues man playing the small juke joints in the area. Encroaching blindness finally took away his carpentry job and so he had to turn to music solely. Although there is nothing good about being blind, it did push his music career forward and more opportunities have come his way as a performer. “Black Bayou” is his latest album and it was recorded in Nashville. The music is a mix of blues, RnB, rock and country, and he can really rock when he wants to. “What Goes Around” could be an ACDC song if the guitars were a little heavier and the vocals more annoying.

Robert decided to cut this album without rehearsal. Most of the recordings are first takes and it shows in the raw realness that permeates the entire album. Robert has a deep soulful voice that is a product of both the church and his love for whiskey. It does not get anymore blues than that. He is a consummate story teller and all of the stories on here are real and personal. He covers subjects that are important to him, women who have done him right, women who have done him wrong, his love for God and whiskey, his dislike for the ‘big city’ and his love for life in the swamps of Louisiana. On “Nobody Wants to be Lonely”, he talks about how he likes to visit the old folks home and get people to dance and have fun.

The most striking story he tells comes at the end of the album. “Alligator Bait” relates the time his grandfather took him alligator hunting and sent the young Robert ahead so an alligator might come at him giving ‘papa’ a chance to shoot the gator and bring home some supper. Robert was not happy with this cruel trick and apparently never forgave the old man for a near death experience. The occasional female backing vocals on some of the songs are provided by his children and grandchildren.

GREGG ALLMAN Searching For Simplicity

Album · 1997 · Blues
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Mssr_Renard
This album Gregg made with guitarist Jack Pearson, who was brief in the Allman Brothers Band. It has a warm production, courtesy of Tom Dowd. There is no jamming, just straight forward bluesrock, albeit in a mellowish way.

There are some Allman-penned tracks like the classic Whippin' Post, here in a stripped down version. Apparently Gregg was instructed by roady Red Dog, to do so, because of the succes of the unplugged version of Layla by Eric Clapton.

Another great Allman-song is House of Blues and Come Back and Help Me, wich is cowritten by Jack Pearson.

Almost all other songs are oldies, like Dark End of the Street, wich is favorite of Duane Allman.

In fact this album is a return to form, when you compare it to Laid Back. The eighties are all but done for, and Gregg sounds sincere and shows us once more that he is one of the best bluesvocalists around.

Another favorite song of mine on this album is the funky bluessong Rendez-Vous with the Blues.

The cd-booklet offers no extra information but somewhere on the album you can also here Derek Trucks on slideguitar.

If only this album would receive a vinyl reissue, than my Allman-vinyl-collection would be complete.

A great blues-album by one of the best bluessingers around. And some stellar guitaplaying by underrated guitarist Jack Pearson.

THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND At Fillmore East

Live album · 1971 · Blues
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js
Those who know the Allman Brothers Band well know that there are two distinctly different versions of the band, the first version with Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, and the second version after Duane and Berry had both died in separate motorcycle accidents. The second version of the band was/is a talented rock band, but no match for the first version of the band. The original Allmans led by brother Duane were an absolute force of nature, one of the most creative and talented groups of their generation. The fact that the early Allmans were called a rock band probably had more to do with their hippy garb and their gigs with other rockers, but listen to the music, there is actually very little rock to be found, instead you will hear plenty of blues in swing time, some jazz fusion, southern RnB, and a touch of country too. Whereas many others in their peer group were following the blues rock of Cream and Hendrix, the Allmans were charting their own hybrid combinations that did not sound like anyone else. Their first two studio albums got some attention, but it wasn’t until they released the incendiary “At Fillmore East” that people began to recognize what this group was capable of. This only makes sense because the Allmans were first and foremost a very live act. These guys knew how to jam and improvise in ways that other groups could only imagine. The Brother’s improvs were not always your typical two chord hippy jam, they often went off on tangents that showed diverse influences from Indian ragas, soul jazz, rock fused bluegrass and creative creations of their own that are hard to define or label.

Side one of “At Fillmore East” opens with a trio of blues numbers, on “Stormy Monday” they show their interest in soul jazz when the band goes into a double time swing while Gregg Allman knocks out a B3 solo in the style of Jimmy McGriff and Jack McDuff. On side two’s “You Don’t Love Me”, the band hits their trademark locomotive groove and now we are on our way. Side three is the jazz side with the lengthy Santana sounding, “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, taking up much of the side. Side four closes out the album with the hard charging groove of “Whipping Post”, an all-time Allman Brothers favorite. Each of these lengthy jams usually contain side variations and excursions into styles that I can’t describe because they don’t fit any known genre. The whole band was extremely talented, but Duane Allman was one of the most creative guitarists of his generation, possibly topped only by Jimi Hendrix, his fellow super nova who burned so bright for a couple of years and then suddenly left us. If you want to hear the Allman Brothers at their very best, "At Fillmore East" is the one,

MUDDY WATERS Hard Again

Album · 1977 · Blues
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boredop
This late in life release from Muddy Waters is a stone cold classic. The version of Mannish Boy that opens the album is among the great album intros of all time, signaling in no uncertain terms that the master of the blues was back. (It was later used to great effect in the movie Better Off Dead.) This was Muddy's first album with Johnny Winters as producer and lead guitarist, and his production work here makes Muddy sound like he's ten feet tall. The backup band includes Muddy's peer Pinetop Perkins on piano, with the great James Cotton on harmonica, guitar work from Winters and Chicago axe slinger Bob Margolin, and thunderous drumming from Willie "Big Eyes" Smith. Highlights include the aforementioned Mannish Boy, I Want To Be Loved, and Blues Had A Baby And Named It Rock and Roll. Hard Again was one of the great blues albums of the 1970s and ranks among Muddy's very best.

TAJ MAHAL The Natch'l Blues

Album · 1968 · Blues
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Matt
Back in 1973 as a fourteen year old kid I was reading a novel named “The Merry Month Of May” by the author James Jones and throughout the novel one subject that kept being mentioned was they always playin’ The Blues in amongst all those sordid details of an American Family living in Paris throughout the student demonstrations set at the Sorbonne during the late sixties. Asked an older friend if he had any of this Blues music as living in Australia it was primarily Rock And Roll, Folk and Country that I was being fed, albeit I was hearing Blues via The Rolling Stones, Dylan etc but I wanted to hear the real stuff and along came a couple of albums on loan with one being a BB King and this one by Taj Mahal titled “The Natch’l Blues”.

Recorded in 1968 being Taj Mahal’s second release for that year after his self titled debut album that featured Ry Cooder with this having close to the same band with the exception of Ry Cooder and Bill Boatman on Rhythm Guitar with this being primarily a four piece band but we do have the addition of Mr “Like A Rolling Stone” Al Kooper adding piano and Earl Palmer on drums most famously known for his work with Little Richard making appearances as well. One of the interesting points concerning this album is it hard to categorise and it is not Chicago or Soul but having most of its Roots in Folk with a contemporary electric approach which is perhaps when one looks back is the reason for its success and high status that it has garnered over the years due to its difference when recorded during this period in time.

Taj Mahal’s steel guitar is the first thing one hears for the opening number “Good Morning Miss Brown” having that classic 4/4 time in this great mid tempo number with the following “Corrina” bringing a more distinct folk presence to the album but it is not the old classic folk number ‘Corrina Corrina” as this one was penned by Taj with some delightful Harp inserted. It’s a great bounce for “I Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Steal My Jellyroll” with Taj letting fly with some more of that Steal bodied guitar and the following “Going Up To The Country, Paint My Mailbox Blue” has the harp back. Side one closes with the promise “Done Changed My Way Of Living” delivered with a harsh beat for Taj’s roughed up vocals to sing over. Things keep getting better when one flips the record with the delightful and one of the best numbers “She Caught The Katy And Left Me A Mule To Ride” with more of that great bounce and harp instilled with more to follow for “The Cuckoo”. The ballad “You Don’t Miss Your Water ( ‘Til Your Well Runs Dry)” is one of the album’s covers with some great Blues flavour and Brass added for this album standout with the album finishing up with another cover and the rockiest number within “A Lot Of Love”

Classic Blues with its own touch and even though I heard it in my early days I was lucky that this one came along with that loan which I went and bought when I had to return it. As for the James Jones book after I felt like I had to wade through it I was delighted to get back into Harold Robbins and Alistair McClean but it did get me into The Blues.

blues movie reviews

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Artists with Blues release(s)

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