Get this crazy baby off my head!


Robben Ford

Robben Ford - Sunrise - 1999 - Avenue Jazz

Joseph F. Laredo writes in the liner notes, ""Sunrise" is the perfect title track for this collection of live performances by Robben Ford, because these early recordings capture his special wizardry at a point in time when the music world was just beginning to sit up and take notice. The elements of jazz and rock-influenced fusion that flavor his burly, blues-based guitar style were there from the beginning, and it is this versatility that has allowed him to thrive in so many different settings over the course of an enduring and influential career. Ford's light has always shone brightest as leader of his own combos, particularly in live settings, where there is a palpable energy that invaribly brings out his best work. The title track, with its religious and mystical overtones, and "Miss Miss" are two Robben Ford originals that make for riveting listening." "Sunrise" includes three instrumental tracks, "Oh Gee", "Eighty One" (with Ford on sax!) and "Miss Miss". The legendary Jimmy Witherspoon provides guest vocals on two tracks. © 1996-2013 Guitar Nine All Rights Reserved http://www.guitar9.com/sunrise.html

It's ironic that some of the people who swear up and down that they don't like jazz will get into Robben Ford, whose career has as much to do with jazz as it does with blues, pop, soul and rock. Though Ford was never a "jazz snob," his jazz credentials are quite solid. Jazz, blues and rock are all primary ingredients of Sunrise, a CD that was released in 1999 and contains live performances at Los Angeles and London venues in 1972. Back then, the singer/guitarist was in his early twenties and hadn't yet become famous, but those who were hip to Ford knew that he was a unique young talent who had considerable promise. This unpredictable and highly enjoyable collection ranges from the hardcore instrumental jazz of Miles Davis' "Eighty One" (which finds Ford playing the sax) and jazz-rock fusion of "Miss Miss" to spirited performances of Willie Dixon's "Little Red Rooster" and Peter Chatman's "Every Day I Have the Blues." The latter finds Ford performing a vocal duet with blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon, who is the only vocalist on "Ain't Nobody's Business." The late Witherspoon thought the world of Ford, and it's easy to see why they got along so well -- like Ford, Witherspoon was an eclectic, unpredictable artist who held jazz and the blues in equally high regard. Whether you're into jazz, blues or rock - or all of the above - Sunrise is a CD to savour. © Alex Henderson © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/sunrise-mw0000047995

"Sunrise is aptly named, for this 1972 recording captures Robben Ford's stinging blues guitar at the dawn of his career. It contains the hallmarks of Ford's now long-familiar style: non-stop solos of brisk funk logic; clean and exquisitely formed lines; and a monster groove. There's also quite a bit of vocal work on this one: by Ford himself on Willie Dixon's "Red Rooster," Miles Davis' "Eighty One," and Ford's own "Sunrise." The one and only Jimmy Witherspoon shows up too on "Ain't Nobody's Business" and, with Ford, on "Every Day I Have the Blues." The key word on this Ford outing is businesslike. Pulling no punches, taking no detours, making no excuses, Ford confronts these numbers head on and extracts from them the maximum of blues feeling. In the liner notes he says, "I have a tendency toward simple music, but it has to be a real, authentic, artistic statement, and it's never done without complete sincerity." Evidence to the truth of his statement is all over this disc: on his impassioned vocal on "Red Rooster"; on his otherworldly tenor sax solo on "Eighty One" (played with spare and ringing force); and on the inimitable sparring matches with Witherspoon. Most of all it's in his guitar solos, which with overpowering speed and power match and exceed the emotional intensity of a hundred solos from the shallow Hendrix imitators who never learned that often less is more. Ford knows, and knows when to deliver more and when to deliver less with unerring precision. Don't miss this one”. © Robert Spencer writing in allaboutjazz on August 1, 1999 © http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php id=4072#.UmlPN_lwqqg

Robben Ford’s “Sunrise” album contains eight tracks recorded live in 1972 at the Ash Grove, Hollywood, California; The Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, California; and The Marquee Club, London, England, clubs noted at that time for introducing promising new artists to the music scene. Although Robben’s music encompasses jazz, fusion, blues and rock, the tracks here are mostly a blend of electric blues and jazz fusion, despite most of the songs being originally recorded by blues artists. Robben plays saxophone as well as guitar on the album, and the late Jimmy Witherspoon sings lead vocals on Track 4 and with Robben on Track 8. Even before he was 20 years old, Robben knew all there was to know about the blues pentatonic scale. The late Jimmy Witherspoon once described Robben Ford as "The greatest guitarist in the world". Hundreds of artists have been granted that title, but in the case of Robben Ford, it is easy to see why Mr. Witherspoon made that comment. Musician magazine named him as one of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century." Not bad considering the number of guitarists who have played over that period of time! He is most definitely one of the most talented guitarists of the the 21st century. Robben’s list of credits and achievements is breathtaking. Although he has been playing since the early ‘70’s, and played with almost everybody of any stature in the music business, he may be best known as a founding member of the great jazz rock/fusion band, The Yellowjackets. “Sunrise” is a great early Robben Ford album. Over 40 years later, Robben is even better and the music scene needs a good shot of this kind of music. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Robben’s jazz fusion “Schizophonic” album and his great blues album, “Handful of Blues”. Support real music [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 139 Mb]


1 Oh Gee - Matthew Gee 6:31
2 Red Rooster - Willie Dixon 4:25
3 Eighty One - Miles Davis, Ron Carter 8:08
4 Ain't Nobody's Business - Jimmy Witherspoon, C. Williams, G.R. Prince, P. Granger 3:50
5 Sunrise - Robben Ford 11:28
6 Blue & Lonesome - Little Walter Jacobs 8:23
7 Miss Miss - Robben Ford 8:58
8 Everyday I Have the Blues - P. Chatman 5:26


Robben Ford - Guitar, Saxophone, Vocals
Stan Poplin - Bass, Guitar
Paul Nagle - Keyboards
Jim Baum - Drums
Jimmy Witherspoon - Lead Vocal on Track 4: Lead Vocals with Robben Ford on Track 8


Robben Ford has had a diverse career. He taught himself guitar when he was 13 and considered his first influence to be Mike Bloomfield. At 18 he moved to San Francisco to form the Charles Ford Band (named after his father, who was also a guitarist) and was soon hired to play with Charlie Musselwhite for nine months. In 1971, the Charles Ford Blues Band was re-formed and recorded for Arhoolie in early 1972. Ford played with Jimmy Witherspoon (1972-1973), the L.A. Express with Tom Scott (1974), George Harrison, and Joni Mitchell. In 1977 he was a founding member of the Yellowjackets, which he stayed with until 1983, simultaneously having a solo career and working as a session guitarist. In 1986, Ford toured with Miles Davis and had two separate periods (1985 and 1987) with Sadao Watanabe, but he really seemed to find himself in 1992 when he returned to his roots: the blues. Ford formed a new group, the Blue Line, and subsequently recorded a couple of blues-rock dates for Stretch that are among the finest of his career. In 1999, he released Sunrise on Rhino and Supernatural on Blue Thumb. Ford signed to the Concord Jazz label in 2002 and released Blue Moon that same year, followed by Keep on Running in 2003 and Truth in 2007. That same year, he was a billed special guest on Larry Carlton's Live in Tokyo. He followed this with the predominantly live Soul on Ten in 2009. In 2013, Ford began his label association with Provogue, and issued the studio album Bringing It Back Home, comprised mostly of blues and R&B covers played by an all-star band. © Scott Yanow © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved

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