Duke Robillard, four time winner of the “Best Guitarist” at the Blues Awards, returns with A Swinging Session with Duke Robillard, an album that explores the deep rooted connection between the blues and the original form of jazz. Backed by a group of impeccable players, Robillard serves as orchestra leader as well as lead guitarist, maintaining an approach that is anything but showboating, instead focusing on a straightforward delivery of the songs themselves.
While the disc is composed primarily of covers, a pair of originals instrumentals are also included – “Red Dog” and “Swinging with Lucy Mae.” The classic covers include traditionals such as “The Lonesome Road,” Irving Berlin’s “The Song Is Ended,” and Ray Charles’ “Them That Got.” Robillard combines simple blues riffs, with a big band jamming in “tin pan alley” jazz fashion, making these classic songs swing.
A Swinging Session with Duke Robillard reaches its peak with the addition of Scott Hamilton, who has been playing with Robillard for decades, on tenor saxophone. Hamilton adds an elegant touch of swing that provides the perfect balance to “Deed I Do,” “Just Because,” and “When Your Lover Has Gone,” helping to make this album an extremely strong collection from beginning to end.
A Swinging Session with Duke Robillard is out now on Stony Plain.