Doug James

Blow Mr. Low

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This baritone sax player searches out that lowest down, deepest bottom-end of the music that can be found in any horn section, and then takes the listener on a tour of those depths. He does this not in the jazz idiom where it is more common, though his playing shows great influences of jazz, but with the blues. You can hear shades of Paul Williams and Bobby Smith in his playing (they jumped and boogied in the late '40s and early '50s). He's played with and anchored Roomful of Blues, Duke Robillard's band, and on many sessions for such as Big Joe Turner, Eddy Clearwater, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name but a few. He is well-respected as an arranger, producer, and engineer. He has written four of the ten songs (and co-wrote one other with Duke Robillard), and this is the first CD in his name; he is in the front as the bandleader and co-producer. He grabbed a few of his friends to help him out, which they do with great effect. Duke Robillard provides guitar and the vocals on two of the cuts, including the title cut, which he wrote to honor Doug James and his nickname, Blow Mr. Low. Sugar Ray Norcia, former frontman for Roomful of Blues, takes the lead vocals on two numbers also. This is a solid and full effort from one of the finest horn players who is recording today. It jumps, shake, and has that deep-down soul that many only dream of achieving.

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