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Lay Down My Heart: Blues And Ballads Volume 1

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Jun. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Motema
  • ASIN: B00C0YN1YQ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 194,744 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Following his two highly acclaimed albums for Motema, 'Signing' and 'Wish Upon a Star', vibraphonist extraordinaire Joe Locke releases his most personable and accessible quartet recording to date. 'Lay Down My Heart' consists of gorgeous renditions of blues and ballads from Bill Withers to Bonnie Raitt and features David Finck on bass and Jaimeo Brown on drums.

Joe Locke is widely considered to be one of the major voices of his instrument, long known to be a soloist capable of stunning physical power and broad emotional range. He had already played with Dizzy Gillespie, Pepper Adams and Mongo Santamaria before he was out of high school. His more than 30 CDs as a soloist have established him as the exhilarating composer and band leader that he is considered today. Locke consistently ranks at the top of all critics and readers polls and was presented with three Jazz Journalists Association's Mallet Player of the Year awards.

Personnel: Joe Locke (vibes), Ryan Cohan (piano), David Finck (bass), Jaimeo Brown (drums)

Review

'The nine tracks of this set are perfect Locke material - ballads and blues which invite the tender approach, but which, with his superb quartet, he gently expands into clouds of ever-changing harmony.' -- The Observer, (Gave Gelly) * * * *


'Subtitled Blues & Ballads Volume 1 but that belies the funky swinging feel of some of the more memorable tracks by his quartet - notably the groovy opener Ain't No Sunshine and the wonderfully catchy Bittersweet, one of numerous tunes that showcases the rapport between Locke and his dynamic pianist Ryan Cohan.' -- Scotland On Sunday, (Alison Kerr) * * * *


'Joe Locke has a personal voice, fluency to spare and a sound that shimmers with the metallic soul of Milt Jackson...he really is a very good player, and doesn't put a note out of place on the entire set.'

--Jazzwise, (Mike Hobart), August 2013

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Format: Audio CD
In the sleeve notes for the album Locke says "There is no highbrow concept here, just some songs pulled from a deep well which will hopefully serve to feed the soul". That's exactly what it does, but with all the tunes there are arrangements that drag them beyond what might be expected from just 'covers' to something rather special. What I like about Locke's style is that he's no flashy mallet- wielder, but a considered player who is happy to allow the other three members of the group space to spread out. Of particular note is the contribution of Ryan Cohan on piano who weaves around Locke's moods. David Fick the bass player is also allowed lots of dynamic space and Jaimed Brown on drums holds it all together, albeit unobtrusively. Favourite tracks are the opener "Ain't no sunshine" (yes, the Bill Withers tune),"The meaning of the blues" and a wonderfully original reading of "Making whoopee". It's encouraging that in a growing field of vibraphone players Joe Locke is able to create his own style, never reliant on a particular role model. The afterthought to the album title" Volume 1" suggests that there's much more to come.
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Format: Audio CD
As a composer and leading vibes player, Joe Locke has always shown great sensitivity and intuition for engaging an audience and tapping into their mood and groove. "Lay Down My Heart - Blues & Ballads Vol 1" is another example of this rare talent. His gorgeous renditions of Blues & Ballads informed - if not all "in form" - from Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine" to his version of the Bonnie Raitt tune "I Can't Make You Love Me", all tick the classic 'feel good' box and let you wind down in the same way as a malt whiskey could at the end of a long working day.

Joe's versatility has found another high, and the fact that this CD has just topped the US JazzWeek radio charts is hardly surprising.
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