Tinge

The Tinge

by Al Basile
     
 
Add one of the most genial, invigorating albums of the year to Al Basile's sterling resume. The Tinge -- so named because the artist's 13 original songs are tinged with multiple styles -- unites Basile with his first music business employer, Roomful of Blues' Duke Robillard, whose steady hand is felt as both producer and guitarist. With sax masters Rich

Overview

Add one of the most genial, invigorating albums of the year to Al Basile's sterling resume. The Tinge -- so named because the artist's 13 original songs are tinged with multiple styles -- unites Basile with his first music business employer, Roomful of Blues' Duke Robillard, whose steady hand is felt as both producer and guitarist. With sax masters Rich Lataille and Doug James sitting in as well, half of the original Roomful lineup is on hand to support Basile's warm, conversational vocals and always-exceptional cornet work. Advancing a nice blend of ballads and stompers, Basile offers an array of captivating textures along the way. "You're Still Right (And I'm Still Gone)" bridges grinding electric blues and roadhouse rock, with Robillard spitting out fuzz-rich solos and Bruce Katz crafting a frantic workout on the 88s in service to Basile's mock-enraged vocal attack. A rich urban blues of the mean woman variety, "Daddy Got a Problem" ("Daddy got a problem / Momma won't play / Daddy got a problem / Momma might stray") affords Basile an opening for a discursive plunger soliloquy up front, in between Robillard's stinging electric guitar sorties, robust bursts of horn punctuations, and Katz's crying, rumbling organ solos. On the tender side, "Can I Trust You with a Kiss" features the guitar-horns-organ triumvirate in a decidedly gospel-flavored, Muscle Shoals southern soul mode (circa late-'60s vintage) behind a pleading Basile vocal; by contrast, the graceful rhythms, gentle, romantic swing, and lovey-dovey lyrics of "While We're Dancing" beautifully evoke the ballrooms of yore -- Basile gives the narrative an ingratiating, Tony Bennett-like caress with his sandpapery voice and understated phrasing before closing with a striking, incrementally ascending cornet solo. Here, and throughout The Tinge, Al Basile had a good day at the office.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - J. Poet
Al Basile started out as a poet and fiction writer, but a meeting with Duke Robillard (who produced this CD) changed his life. He became a trumpet player in Roomful of Blues, then went on to gigs with Joe Turner, Red Prysock, and other soul and blues heavies. Since the '70s he's been a regular co-writer with Robillard, while on his own he placed a tune on Ruth Brown's Grammy-nominated album R+B = Ruth Brown. As a leader, he's cut jazz, soul, and blues albums, with The Tinge falling into the latter category. Robillard's production, as is his wont, gives the music a clean, wide-open feeling, allowing each instrument room to breathe. Basile has a mellow, midrange tenor, with a classic crooner's phrasing, and brings plenty of humor to his vocals. The innuendo-rich "Too Slow" is done in the style of Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, with Basile paying tribute to Vinson with his vocal phrasing. Robillard drops in a mellow solo, Basile blows some nice muted cornet, and Bruce Katz, who is inspired throughout the session, tickles the ivories. "While We're Dancing" is a classic saloon song, done with a tip of the hat to Louis Armstrong. "I want to hold you while we're dancing," Basile sings from the viewpoint of an older gentleman who still has romance in his soul. It's a beautiful, slow ballroom groove and Basile's trumpet solo makes it one of the album's highlights. On "Airlift My Heart" Basile delivers a fluttering cornet solo to complement a tune that likens a cold heart to the Cold War. Katz plays some bluesy electric piano and the horn section simmers quietly. "Can I Trust You with a Kiss?" brings to mind a meeting of New Orleans R&B and Memphis soul with a simple I-IV-V progression, a poignant vocal from Basile, and sanctified keyboard work from Katz. "You're Still Right" is a gritty, swampy putdown with a sneering vocal from Basile, Robillard's greasy slide guitar, and Katz getting all funky on piano. The Tinge shows Basile as a first-class tunesmith fronting a solid band that lays down arrangements that span the entire history of blues, soul, and small-combo jazz.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/19/2008
Label:
Sweetspot Records
UPC:
0659469375527
catalogNumber:
7552

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