Peter Malick

Chance & Circumstance

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It would be possible for a blues guitar fan, picking up this album after recognizing the name Peter Malick as the veteran of the James Montgomery Band among other blues affiliations, to suppose, upon popping it into the CD player, that the wrong album was pressed on the disc. That is because the first few tracks, and several subsequent ones, sound much more like folk-rock singer/songwriter performances by female singers reminiscent of Ani DiFranco and Shawn Colvin than the work of a blues veteran. But this really is a Peter Malick record. Over the previous few years as he went from club to club around the country, Malick recruited up-and-coming women singers for recording sessions. He might still be storing those tracks in his personal archive, except that one of them was Norah Jones, who went on to multi-platinum, multi-Grammy success. His six songs with Jones were released three months earlier on the New York City EP, and they are repeated here, along with two tracks each featuring Jess Klein, Kirsten Proffit, Antje Duvekot, and Malick's daughter Mercy Malick. The non-Jones tracks are mostly in folk-rock mode, the women earnestly sharing their personal and emotional observations in throaty voices. The Jones tracks are quite different, none of them co-written by the singer. Instead, she simply fronts Malick's blues-rock band, giving him the chance to show off his chops. Fans of her album Come Away With Me may be taken aback at first, but likely will accept a bluesier Jones, especially when they get to hear Malick's playing on such tracks as "Deceptively Yours" and Magic Sam's "All Your Love." Here, the bluesman takes less of a back seat. Either way, the album is a good showcase for some young female talent, with tasty guitar sneaking in here and there.

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