Review: Lynwood Slim and the Igor Prado Band – Brazilian Kicks

Posted on: Monday, Jan 3, 2011


“Brazilian Kicks”
(Delta Groove Music – DGPCD141)

Here’s a great album, which, in a way, came about by default! The leading exponents of the blues in Brazil, the Sao Paulo-based Igor Prado Band, approached the West Coast bluesman Lynwood Slim with a view to producing their latest recordings . . . he was so impressed by the material that he ended up playing on it, hence the result, the excellent “Brazilian Kicks”, where his cool vocals and harmonica join the Igor Prado Band, with the man himself on guitar and vocals, his brother Yuri Prado on drums, Rodrigo Mantovani (stand-up bass) and Denilson Martins (saxophone), with piano from  guest Donny Nichilo.

The 13-track collection is a jumping, swinging blues set, with a jazzy edge, and kicks off with a funky “Shake It Baby”, with some honking sax from Denilson Martins; Dave Bartholomew’s “Is It True?” is a lovely, laid back swinger, with Slim’s ‘on the money’ vocal and Igor Prado’s fine guitar . . . very much inspired by the likes of Junior Watson and Hollywood Fats. The big Wynonie Harris hit “Bloodshot Eyes” is another gem here, a rollicking r&b number, again punctuated by the splendid sax playing of Martins.

The Igor Prado original, “Blue Bop”, the tune that attracted Lynwood Slim to work with the band, is a breakneck jazzy jump, with stunning Charlie Christian-style guitar work, and is most impressive, as is the whole band here. Harmonica giant Little Walter’s “Little Girl” takes the pace right down, with heartfelt vocal and top quality harmonica from Slim . . . another definite album highlight . . . as per all Delta Groove recordings, sounding just beautiful!

Jimmy ‘T99’ Nelson’s “I Sat And Cried” is another gentle rocking swinger, with Lynwood Slim’s – or to give him his real name, Richard Duran – smooth “Maybe Someday”, a jazzy ballad with more sympathetic backing from the band, and a nice contribution on piano here from guest, Donny Nichilo. “Show Me The Way” is a blues shuffle that rides on a great groove from both Slim’s harmonica and Prado’s guitar – who incidentally plays his guitar upside down and left handed!

Elsewhere, “Bill’s Change” is a swinging instrumental that fairly rattles along; Igor Prado’s “The Comeback” ventures into jazz again, with some more tasteful piano work from Nichilo, and customary smooth vocal; with a nice rumba on “The Way You Do”. This highly recommended release ends on a high note with “Going To Mona Lisa’s”, a tough harmonica-led instrumental shuffle .. . and what a fine player Lynwood Slim is, easily up there with the West Coast’s finest!



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