If you are anything like me, the chances are excellent all you want from the gifted singer songwriter Jack Phillips is Cafe In New York Part II. Nowhere near enough people heard his masterful and beautiful 2012 album of new American Standards, but everybody who did became an immediate fan. These were swoony, smart piano and horns strokes of beauty that Bobby Short could have covered no questions asked.
But as early as last September when I interviewed Jack, he had mentioned "My original concept was to do a black and white album, something that had stark contracts, really bluesy, old blues." And when Jack sent me some newly recorded material , gone was the world of 1950s New York cabaret, gone were the rat pack comes alive vibe. And in its place: just what jack had told me, dirty guitar based boogie.
Since then not much info till last week when I received a press release advising that guitarist Caleb Quayle would be producing his next album. The blues one!
Now we are talking cool names. Caleb played for the truly legendary Long John Baldry's band Bluesology back when Elton John was playing keyboards and can be heard on both Rock Of The Westies and Blue Moves. His half-brother is the Reggae singer Finlay Quayle.
Caleb has forgotten more about the guitar than most people will ever know and while i didn't think the demos I had listened to needed anything at all, I can't even imagine what Caleb will bring to it.
Jack is such a perfectionist, such I finely detailed and tuned music mind, it hurts me that a huge cult has not surrounded him yet. And as a vocalist… listen to To whom It Nay Concern, when I reviewed this back in 2010 I compared it to Elton John, and really, once they finish with the blues album, Jack should get together with Caleb on a pop rock album, a modern Don't Shoot Me…
Until then, i can't wait for the Blues breakers. And maybe, a coupla of albums down the line we can get a New York Part II
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