Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Lucky PETERSON - Black Midnight Sun 2002
Black Midnight Sun is the first release on the Dreyfus label by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Lucky Peterson, joined here by producer Bill Laswell on bass and former Parliament/Funkadelic drummer Jerome "Bigfoot" Braily. While the disc features a few Peterson originals, the majority of the album relies on cover versions. Luckily, Peterson picked several that he's well suited to tackle, including "Herbert Harper's Free Press" (Muddy Waters), "Lucky in Love" (Mick Jagger), "Is It Because I'm Black" (Syl Johnson), "Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone" (Johnnie Taylor), "Talkin' Loud and Saying Nothing" (James Brown), and "Thank You for Talkin' to Me Africa" (Sly Stone). Black Midnight Sun is a combination of electric blues, rock, soul, and funk that, for the most part, works just fine.
By Al Campbell. AMG.
Guitarist-organist-singer Peterson shatters the boundaries of blues to make his finest album. First, there’s the sound: crystalline, enveloping, and beat-conscious thanks to producer and bassist Bill Laswell. Then there are the stories, which range from Peterson’s take on the two-timing "Jody" yarns that run through southern blues to the hard-edged contemplation of prejudice "Is It Because I’m Black." His taste in covers is great, too, from a New Orleans funk version of the overlooked Muddy Waters anti-war gem "Herbert Harper’s Free Press News" to obscure soul demigod Howard Tate’s "She’s a Burglar" to Sly Stone’s "Thank You for Talkin’ to Me Africa." And jazz genius Henry Threadgill's flute helps Peterson transform Howlin’ Wolf’s "Smokestack Lightnin’" into an ethereal psychedelic trip. Best of all, though, is the sheer visceral quality of Peterson’s performances. His singing is strong, confident, and low-pitched, and his guitar is especially artful and gritty, finally matching the power of his organ virtuosity. Put this one on 2003’s "best-of" list.
By Ted Drozdowski.
Lucky Peterson- (Vocals, Guitar, Electric Piano, Organ, Synthesizer);
Henry Threadgill- (Flute, Horns);
Alex J. Harding- (Baritone Sax);
Graham Haynes- (Cornet);
Jesse Dulman- (Tuba);
Bill Laswell- (Bass);
Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey- (Drums).
01. Herbert Harper's Free Press News 5:20
02. Lucky In Love 5:15
03. Is It Because I'm Black 4:50
04. Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone 3:53
05. Smokestack Lightning 5:07
06. Black Midnight Sun 4:58
07. She's A Burglar 4:39
08. Truly Your Friend 5:19
09. Talkin' Loud And Saying Nothing 4:12
10. Changes Your Ways 5:29
11. Thank You For Talkin' To Me Africa 5:59