John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers

Life in the Jungle: Charly Blues Masterworks 4

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Released in 1993, Life in the Jungle (Vol. 4 in the Charly Blues Masterworks series) features British blues man John Mayall who was working on his third decade as torchbearer of the modern blues tradition when he recorded around 20 titles during the years 1987 and 1988. Eight of these comprise Life in the Jungle; eighteen were released in 1997 as The Power of the Blues (Charly 212), and some of them reappeared (in scrambled sequence with a couple of alternate takes) in 1999 on Blues Power (Recall 233). Mayall's band included guitarists Coco Montoya and Walter Trout, bassist Bob Haynes, keyboardist Tony Carey, and drummer Joe Yuele. This album is a worthwhile extension of the excellent music that John Mayall's Blues Breakers turned out during the 1960s and early '70s. Noteworthy titles include "Ridin' on the L&N" (composed by Lionel Hampton and pianist Dan Burley) and "Life in the Jungle," an urban lament for modern times. Of the three albums mentioned here, it would probably be wisest to invest in Mayall's The Power of the Blues as it contains a delicious, nearly 11-minute version of his classic paean to promiscuity, "Room to Move."

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