Cold Blood

First Taste of Sin

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    6
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Founding guitarist Larry Field left before this album was recorded, resulting in an emphasis on keyboardist Raul Matute and sax player Danny Hull. The result is, surprisingly, somewhat tighter playing by the band, with the horn section reined in to provide percussive punches on guitar- and keyboard-driven songs. The Escovedos drop in to provide Latin percussion on such funk monsters as "Down to the Bone," and the band sounds both confident and aggressive in the tightly wound rave-up of "All My Honey." The album takes an unusual turn toward soulfully bittersweet blues on "You Had to Know"; while the song takes entirely too long to resolve, it's still an admirable showcase for Lydia Pense's bruised vocals. Trumpeter Max Haskett also steps in to provide vocals on a couple tracks, but they're an unavoidable letdown after the explosive power of Pense's singing.

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