B.B. King

Why I Sing the Blues [Past Perfect]

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This CD -- one of at least two B.B. King discs with this title -- is drawn from a live set, apparently recorded at Cannes in 1984. Consequently, the audio quality is excellent, and the performance is downright inspired throughout, as King and his band roar through a nearly 11-minute-long rendition of "B.B.'s Theme" to kick things off, and never let up from there. There are some fade-outs between tracks, but everything is live and of similar quality, so it's entirely possible that this is all from the same set. It's all extremely well played, with tight yet broadly ranging performances, and recorded just about perfectly -- King's guitar is up close and personal, even surrounded by brass, saxes, organ, etc., and everything else is in sharp relief as well.

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