Mitchell: Begging for the end of The End; can’t get enough Johnson

Jazz pianist Bob James and sax player David Sanborn have teamed up again.

Bob James & David Sanborn: Quartette

Humaine (OKeh)

Jazz pianist Bob James and sax player David Sanborn won a Grammy for their last collaboration titled Double Vision way back in 1986.

They have teamed up again with the venerable rhythm section of Steve Gadd on drums and James Genus on bass for an album that is live off the floor and all acoustic.

My ears are used to hearing James play an electric Rhodes piano like the 73 year old has been using for decades, but on Quartette Humaine James is tickling the keys of a Yamaha CFIII concert grand piano.

Meanwhile, 68-year-old crossover jazz/pop/rock saxman Sanborn (who has worked for the likes of David Bowie, Paul Butterfield, Stevie Wonder and many more) is much more playful on these free flowing studio sessions than he has been when doing session work for pop constructs.

James wrote four of the pieces here to Sanborn’s three, while they offer a fluid cover of Sam Coslow’s classic My Old Flame from the 1930s (his other best known song was Cocktails For Two which was forever murdered by the brilliant and uproarious Spike Jones).

The closing track is the ‘featured’ song Deep In The Weeds where James/Sanborn and co. play around with a little light Latin funk in the rhythmic underpinning.

True to form Quartette Humaine made its debut at the lofty No. 5 spot on the jazz charts proving their staying power while James also provides the cool art work for the CD liner.

Old fans will enjoy.



This Is The End:

Soundtrack (RCA)


The film did extremely well at the box office and maybe you saw This is The End and really liked it, but there is no need to buy or download this tepid biscuit.

The soundtrack comes stickered as: “The Official Soundtrack To The Apocalypse,” but it is little more than a boys night out mix tape with a sprinkling of vintage hip hop, R&B, pop and whatever the Backstreet Boys qualify as.

There are huge hits here with J-Kwon’s Tipsy from a decade ago as well as KRS-one’s No. 1 club hit from the last century Step Into A World (Rapture’s Delight) that samples Blondie, but there is little else of interest here.

The ‘highlight’ new song is Snoop Dogg’s Take Your Panties Off (a recurring silk screen emblem on one of the actor’s T-shirts) while moldy oldies include hits and near hits from Norman Greenbaum, Whitney Houston, Funkadelic and Cypress Hill.

You lose nothing by ignoring this completely unnecessary soundtrack.



Angie Johnson:

Sing For You (Sony)


Angie Johnson is a staff sergeant in the US military but she is also a terrific singer and after her unfairly short stint on The Voice, a Nashville high mucky muck executive contacted Johnson to get her to record this introductory four song EP.

Sing For You really whets the appetite for her full length album to be released later this year.

Johnson proves her country-rock chops on the guitar-driven and heavy snare drum party track Swagger, while the rootsy and sultry Grandpa’s Farm is also beguiling.

But the song that is really making people sit up and notice is her poignant EP title track Sing For You that she co-wrote and tells the true story of a soldier’s suicide after an inability to handle his PTSD.

Touching stuff that makes one look forward to future projects.

Meanwhile, you can check out her semi-viral covers of Journey and Adele songs on YouTube while her ‘Kickstart” fund raising so far is pretty impressive.


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