Jeff Golub is categorized in the smooth jazz genre because he's an instrumentalist; at heart, though, he's an Eric Clapton styled rockin' blues guitar player who, on Out of the Blue, finds himself stumbling happily into Tower of Power-like jam sessions. He pulls no punches from the start, rocking hard and furious with his distorted electric thrust darting around and over Ricky Peterson's brooding B-3 and a three-piece horn section on "Wanna Funk?" Same idea, south of the border style, on the similarly hard-hitting Latin blues hurricane "Manteca," where Golub explores some improvisational territory in between sizzling solo sections by his longtime friend Rick Braun. Golub co-produced the album with keyboardist Philippe Saisse, whose comparatively laid-back style keeps Golub in the cool on more mid-tempo, easy to latch onto pieces like "Indiana Moon"; the guitarist gets more aggressive as the song progresses, but the hooky piano harmony line stays a constant. Saisse helps bring out Golub's completely meditative side on "The Velvet Touch" for about half the tune before the electricity rises once again. It's as if Golub just can't keep his virtuosity to himself, no matter how emotionally restrained the trappings. "Groanin'" is a unique departure which plays as though Golub got up one night in a straight-ahead jazz club and tried his hand (pretty convincingly, at that) at the bebop quartet thing.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran