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One Kind Favor
     

One Kind Favor

by B.B. King
 

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It's been so long since B.B. King stepped outside of his comfort zone that One Kind Favor comes as a bit of a shock. Unlike so many albums he's cut in the wake of the crossover success of The Thrill Is Gone way back in 1970, the sound is stripped-back, not splashy, there is not a reliance on guest stars, and the repertoire is pure blues -- and these are

Overview

It's been so long since B.B. King stepped outside of his comfort zone that One Kind Favor comes as a bit of a shock. Unlike so many albums he's cut in the wake of the crossover success of The Thrill Is Gone way back in 1970, the sound is stripped-back, not splashy, there is not a reliance on guest stars, and the repertoire is pure blues -- and these are all songs that he's never recorded before, including three tunes by his longtime idol Lonnie Johnson. Credit for the concept must be given to producer T Bone Burnett, who applies a similar neo-rootsy aesthetic to One Kind Favor that he did to his production of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss' Raising Sand -- an approach that's grounded in tradition but has a smoky, smeary veneer that's thoroughly modern. One Kind Favor has a noir-ish flair but it doesn't dwell on darkness, even if it takes its title from a line in Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean," a song that would seem to carry some import for the 82-year-old King. He may be approaching his twilight years but brooding has never been B.B.'s style -- he's too generous, too open-hearted in both love and loss, so he's naturally disinclined to turn this album into a meditation on morality. Instead, One Kind Favor is a celebration of life with all of its ups and downs, filled with heartbreak but also great joy, which is precisely what B.B. King's best music always has been. And this is indeed one of King's best latter-day albums, thanks to its sterling selection of 12 songs and the supple support of drummer Jim Keltner, pianist Dr. John, and bassist Nathan East, who give B.B. plenty of room for both his guitar and voice. Even if King winds up returning to his familiar slick, star-studded sound somewhere down the line, having an album as earthily elegant as One Kind Favor in his canon provides a fitting coda for one of the great musical careers of the 20th century.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Jon Pareles
Mr. King isn’t gloomy about mortality. His voice reveals sorrow, then fights it off with raspy shouts, while his guitar is his modest but indomitable ally, with its finely focused tone and its terse, targeted phrases.
Rolling Stone - Mark Kemp
Here, King is front and center, with a killer backing band — Jim Keltner (John Lennon, Mick Jagger) on drums, Nathan East (Clapton) on stand-up bass and Dr. John on piano — that remains in the background.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/26/2008
Label:
Geffen Records
UPC:
0602517812413
catalogNumber:
001179102

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

B.B. King   Primary Artist,Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Lead
Dr. John   Piano
Charles Owens   Tenor Saxophone
Rickey Woodard   Tenor Saxophone
Jim Keltner   Percussion,Drums
Randall Aldcroft   Euphonium
Nathan East   Acoustic Bass
Keith Fiddmont   Alto Saxophone
Ernie Fields   Baritone Saxophone
Neil Larsen   Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Darrell Leonard   Trumpet
Ira Nepus   Trombone
Johnny Lee Schell   Guitar
Snooky Young   Trumpet
Jay Bellerose   Percussion,Drums
Thomas R. Peterson   Tenor Saxophone
Mike Elizondo   Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
Charles Owens   Tenor Saxophone
Jeffrey Clayton   Alto Saxophone
Alex Iles   Euphonium

Technical Credits

Lonnie Johnson   Composer
Furry Lewis   Composer
Mississippi Sheiks   Composer
Geoff Muldaur   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
T-Bone Walker   Composer
T Bone Burnett   Producer,Audio Production
Darrell Leonard   Arranger,Horn Arrangements
Mike Piersante   Engineer
Paul Ackling   Guitar Techician
Floyd Lieberman   Executive Producer
Chester Burnett   Composer

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