The Touch

The Touch

by Johnny Heartsman

CD

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Overview

The Touch

Few electric bluesman have been more versatile than Johnny Heartsman, and that versatility is impossible miss on The Touch. Recorded when Heartsman was 54, this unpredictable CD finds the singer incorporating soul and funk as well as rock and jazz and playing guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, and flute. Heartsman (who shouldn't be confused with the late jazz singer Johnny Hartman) gets into a soul-minded groove on "Got to Find My Baby" and "You're so Fine," while "Attitude," "Walkin' Blues," and "Paint My Mailbox Blue" favor a hard-swinging blues/jazz approach à la Jimmy Witherspoon. Those jazz-influenced selections make it sound like Heartsman is backed by a soul-jazz organ combo, but in fact, there is no organist on this CD--rather, Heartsman uses his keyboards to emulate a Jimmy Smith/Jack McDuff type of Hammond B-3 sound. Meanwhile, instrumentals like the moody "Tongue" and the funk-drenched "Oops" illustrate his mastery of the flute; an unlikely instrument for a bluesman, to be sure. But then, certain jazz improvisers have demonstrated how funky the flute can sound -- most notably, Herbie Mann, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Hubert Laws -- and similarly, the flute sounds like a very natural, logical blues instrument in Heartsman's risk-taking hands. Superb from start to finish, The Touch makes one wish that the late Californian had done a lot more recording as a leader.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/01/1991
Label: Alligator Records
UPC: 0014551480020
catalogNumber: 514800

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Heartsman   Primary Artist,Flute,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Tony Dey   Drums,Background Vocals
Joe Espinosa   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Big John Evans   Drums
Ray Fields   Baritone Saxophone
Rich Forman   Rhythm Guitar,Background Vocals
J'Neen   Horn,Vocals
Artis Joyce   Bass Guitar
Scott Lindefeldt   Trombone
Eric Tyrell   Bass Guitar,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Willie Dixon   Composer
Lee Hildebrand   Liner Notes
Bruce Iglauer   Executive Producer
Craig Long   Engineer
Kirt Shearer   Engineer
Dick Shurman   Producer
Kent Lacin   Cover Photo
Matt Minde   Cover Design
Kirk Shearer   Engineer

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