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4.8 out of 5 stars62
4.8 out of 5 stars
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After the success of the Friends albums, where singers from all backgrounds of musical backgrounds were backed by Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, it was only a matter of time before the band were to back a singer over the course of an album. And here it is, Tom Jones had already proven his voice was sympathetic to the sound of the big band on the second volume of the friends series and the only question was could an hour of this material hold the listeners interest.

The album start s with the full effect of the orchestra surging through the first two numbers `Life's Too Short (To Be With You)' and `200lbs of heavenly Joy' which act as real statement of intent and suggest that this may be a match made in heaven.

The third song `Good Morning Blues' is really where Tom shows he is a perfect vocalist to the band with this traditional big band arrangement truly being compliments by his voice in a manner which surpasses, at least technically, the sort of vocal accompaniment Jools would normally give to such a number. This really is the highlight of the album and where character songs such as `Linda Lu' and `St James Infirmary Blues' come close to matching it they never really surpass it.

The worst songs collected here are the original Rock'N'Roll numbers such as `It'll be me', `Mess of Blues' and `Slow Down' whose arrangements sound slightly contrived, that's not that they are poor arrangements, they just don't sound as if they came together organically. A truly great album with arrangements that suit Tom voice much better than the electro pop of the Mr Jones album that preceded it.
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on 6 October 2004
This album is a collaboration of two incredibly talented musicians. It focuses more on the rock 'n' roll aspect of jools' playing, and there is no doubt that tom jones' voice suits the job perfectly. This album has a complete contrast of upbeat songs such as "200 lbs of heavenly joy", and some of the more laid back tracks such as "Glory of love". Then theres the "st james infirmary blues", which begins in a jungle jazz style, then becomes more bluesy, including a fantastic trumpet solo. This is an incredibly diverse album from two great musicians, not to mention the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.
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on 27 September 2004
Even if you are not a confirmed fan of rhytmn and blues this album is a must. The sheer vitality of Tom and Jools is sure to convert any sceptical listener. The songs are varied and skilful, and it is a pleasure to hear un-synthesised skilled musicians having a ball
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on 26 November 2008
got this last week i must say i was very sceptical but i really enjoyed it , a good mix of , blues, soul and jazz tracks alot of uptempo
numbers and some good ballads , they both sounded like they enjoyed themselves judging by the banter, as always jools band is excellent and
toms voice is still great. get it you will enjoy it
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on 21 January 2008
Jools Holland, Tom Jones how could you go wrong, well this album just proves that you can't. Spectacular!
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on 30 September 2004
Hi Guys ,
Well what a very interesting combination , as I have always like Jools but not so much Tom Jones .But Jools Holland as certainly complimented Mr Jones to what I can say is a super music Disc , Tom Jones voice is stunning and Jools Holland what can I say 150%........Just hope they do another one like this. Go Ahead a Try It.
Bev West a music lover from Wales
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on 4 October 2004
Tom Jones is back with an album that knocks all his recent collaborations into the shade.
It is worth purchasing for St James Infirmary alone.
Go and buy it!!!
The voice is back
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on 11 October 2004
What an amazing album! Tom Jones and Jools Holland don't - on paper - go together but in the recording studio they certainly sparked off each other to produce an album that captures the fun they had making it. And that's the key - the unpretentious joy of it all. These Las Vegas stage-style interpretations won't thrill the purists and music snobs, but it will excite those who, say, can recall the original Jerry Lee Lewis version of 'It'll Be Me' done here by Tom with lots of love and a big 'thank you' to the Killer implicit in the joy he brings to this version of the song, with Jools pumping his piano perhaps better than Lewis. Just listen to the fun in their own composition - 'Odd Man Out', and their great attack on the old Presley hit 'Mess of Blues' is simply superb. At last - some happiness in a bad old world!
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on 24 September 2004
Knockout, the partnership of the century - why haven't they done it before? I'm talking of course of the album 'Tom sings, Jools swings'. Buy it immediately and your ears will love you forever! Not since Johnny Mars teamed up with the Barrelhouse has there been a more compelling Blues album. I defy you to keep your feet still or your heart throbbing when listening to this masterpiece of blues power.Tom swaggers as good as any of them. Just listen to the arrogance in 200 lbs of heavenly joy, wonderful. Jools drives this and a host of other classics such as 'My babe', 'It'll be me' and 'Slow down' like its his last gig! I also love the interpretation of songs like 'St. James Infirmary" and 'Roberta', the later even more so than Clapton's unplugged version. This album has been a long time coming and could have just as easily been entitled Tom finally sings the blues, Jools pays his dues. Go get!
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on 29 September 2004
I was lucky enough to catch the recent promotional Hammersmith Palais gig by Jools and Tom. It was enormous fun, as is this brilliant nineteen track album of authentic blues, R & B, country, and Rock 'n' Roll songs with a few new Jones/Holland penned songs that blend in seamlessly.
It's difficult to pick 'stand out' tracks as this album seems to have about nineteen of them. This is a chance to hear Jools and his band collaborating with Tom in a project that allows him to get back to some of his original influences.
You can't sit still and listen to this album. Deserves to be as big as 'Reload'.
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