Pino Daniele

Boogie Boogie Man

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Pino Daniele was supposed to release the Acoustic Jam EP, the other half of his strong Electric Jam EP, sometime in 2010, but plans were delayed to accommodate Boogie Boogie Man, yet another (sort of) compilation album to hit the stores just in time for the Christmas season. There are only two new tracks, the Canned Heat-inspired one that lends its title to the album, and "It's a Beautiful Day," both fine if unspectacular additions to the Mediterranean blues/pop that is Daniele's stock in trade. The rest of the album is made of new recordings of the great Neapolitan guitarist's classics that neither improve nor worsen the originals, with the obvious exception of the four selections featuring special guests. These are all remarkable, if not truly excellent, and constitute the very reason to buy this collection. J-Ax, who had already worked with Daniele for the Electric Jam EP, rewrites the lyrics of "Yes I Know My Way" into one of his trademark rebellious raps in "Siente Fa' Accusi'," as Mario Biondi's distinctive bass adds a terrific vocal counterpoint to Daniele's high voice in "Je so' Pazzo," Mina brings her unassailable class to "Napule E," and Franco Battiato answers in Sicilian to Daniele's Neapolitan dialect in a moving rendition of "Chi Tene' o Mare." Production and performances are top-notch as always from Daniele's all-star international band of Mel Collins (sax), Omar Hakim (drums), Matthew Garrison (bass), Rachel Z (piano), and the man himself on guitar, the one area in which he never disappoints. Not bad at all; as far this type of project goes, of course.

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