It Is What It Is

Al Basile

It Is What It Is
Performed By Al Basile
Album UPC 669469092270
CD Baby Track ID 10045445
Label Sweetspot
Released 2012-10-16
BPM 144
Rated 0
ISRC ushm91258311
Year 2012
Spotify Plays 56
Writers
Writer Al Basile
Pub Co Kenoza Music
Composer Al Basile
Clearance Sync & All Media Uses
Rights Controlled Master and Publishing Grant
Rights One-Stop: Master + 100% Pub Grant
Original/Cover/Public Domain original
Country United States - Rhode Island

Description

Two discs - the first remastered blues songs from Al's Sweetspot catalogue 1998-2010, the second new songs by Al with a 60s Memphis feel, with Al's cornet and vocals, Duke Robillard and his band, the Roomful alumni horns, and jazz great Scott Hamilton.

Notes

At Home Next Door is a double CD set: the first CD, At Home With the Blues, looks back over Al Basile's 14 year catalogue with Sweetspot and focuses on his blues songs; the second, Next Door to the Blues, is a brand new collection of songs that use the blues as a foundation but build into other forms, with a focus on a 60s Memphis soul and gospel sound. The common denominator through both discs is Duke Robillard as producer and guitarist, and Al Basile as singer, songwriter, and cornetist, but former Roomful of Blues bandmates abound, along with guests ranging from harmonica aces Jerry Portnoy and Sugar Ray Norcia to jazz great Scott Hamilton. Basile's songwriting has consistently been praised as powerful, broad-ranging, and intelligent – he lives up to his nickname as “Bard of the Blues,” and the publication this year of A Lit House (Winnikinni Press, 2012), a 35 year retrospective of his poetry, confirms that he is a master of words in forms with or without music. Starting out as a novelist and playwright, he has concentrated his vision into songs and poems which use memorable characters to tell compelling stories, often with an implied moral lesson. His 40 year professional relationship with Robillard has ensured that the musical side of his work has always been world class and stylistically true across the landscape of his influences from blues through R&B, soul, gospel, and swing, and he received his second BMA nomination in 2012 as best horn player. His releases reliably rise into the top 15 in the Living Blues radio chart.
The first CD in At Home Next Door shows how comfortable and inventive Basile has always been with the blues, how consistent his records have been, and how all of his songs are built for the long haul – they refuse to date. The second CD shows the unique blend of his influences in a group of songs both familiar-sounding and utterly unlike anyone else's. They are immediately welcoming and accessible – and the closer you listen, the more you'll find in them. Instant classics.


Produced by Duke Robillard, administered by BUG

Review Quotes on last CD The Goods:

Al Basile may be the best musician out there that you've never heard...This is a very strong release--even in a year with a lot of really good releases, this one is high in the running for Bruce's top 10 of the year! The Sunday Night Blues Project

Great songwriting is in short supply, and, dare we say it, especially in the blues, where too often virtuosity takes the center stage and songs get the short shrift. You'll find no recycled mediocrity in the work of Al Basile. Michael Cote, Blues Revue

This isn’t music to swing your partner around the living room with, but more soulful, satisfying sounds. The centerpiece, “Lie Down in Darkness (Raise Up in Light”), features the Blind Boys of Alabama on backing vocals. Jeff Johnson, Chicago Sun-Times

I could single out most every song but for spaces sake suffice it to say if you are a Roomful fan you‟ll love this. The tunes are new and refreshing; nothing stale and old sounding here. If you want to hear swinging blues, this is the place. I must commend Mr. Basile for creating a fine set of musical stories. Highly recommended! Steve Jones, Crossroads Blues Society

Cornet man Al Basile is showing off his latest project, THE GOODS, which is perfect for those who expect a little intelligence in their music, thanks to his reputation as a published poet. Jazz&Blues Report

...One of the highlights of the disc, “Lie Down in Darkness (Raise Up in Light),” a slow gospel song featuring fine piano, a beautiful cornet solo by Basile, then a guitar response by Robillard, and sublime vocal backing by the nonpareil Blind Boys of Alabama. Why listen more; can it get any better?
Well, it stays just as good...What about Basile’s singing? Well, I was very impressed. Lacking the powerful pipes of such luminaries as Little Milton and Curtis Salgado, Basile uses his voice to maximal effect, resulting in presentations wry, moving, and upbeat as befit the song. Highly Recommended! Steve Daniels, Blueswax

Al Basile’s 2010 Blues Music Award nomination was for his cornet playing, and he uses his horn to full advantage on these tracks, crafting stark, pithy solos that perfectly showcase his soulful vocals. Phil Wight, Blues&Rhythm

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