Review: Breezy Rodio – So Close To It

Posted on: Thursday, Jul 23, 2015

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Breezy Rodio – So Close To It

(Windchill Records: 1001)

Originally from Rome, Italy, Fabrizio Rodio first settled in New York but, was ultimately drawn from there by the magical musical allure of Chicago blues. After acclimatising himself to the musical landscape that is Chicago club land he came to the attention of veteran guitar player Guy King. Breezy’s talent impressed Guy to such an extent that Guy became his mentor.

News of his evident guitar skills were becoming widely known on the club circuit, enough to be noticed and invited to join guitarist Linsey ‘The Hoochie Man’ Alexander’s band; he so impressed Linsey with his artistry that he was offered the role of bandleader. Now, with this his third album he has firmly placed himself within the known blues world.

Accompanying Breezy who takes lead vocals and guitar are; Light Palone, bass; Lorenzo Francocci, drums with Bill Overton, sax; Sumito Ariyoshi, piano; and Chris Foreman, organ. Over the seven originals and eight covers we are treated to fine examples of classic Chicago drenched blues and heart rending pleaders such as; B.B. Kings “Please Accept My Love,” where Breezy sounds as if he is on bended knee, his plaintive and emotion filled vocals are seriously carried along by a reverential hymn like surging organ and soul searching horns, all underpinned by a knowing funeral paced bass and percussion.

Another B.B. King, cover is the original Sonny Boy Williamson’s “When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer.” His ringing, dexterous guitar phrasing certainly hits the spot, he is ably assisted by a crisply clear, rolling and tumbling piano, they are both underpinned by classic punching percussion and emotive horns. “So Close To It,” is a Breezy original, a stop start strider that has a jaunty walking, wailing harmonica joined by wonderfully dramatic rolling piano and percussion while pleasingly weaving in and out is a rich picking guitar.

“Walking With My Baby,” has Billy Branch supplying a tasty wailing harmonica lead on this deep Chicago classic walking blues, that the guitar, piano, bass and percussion has no choice but gamely follow its path. T-Bone Walker’s droll “Too Lazy,” contains a suitably lazy paced Texan drawl with a relaxed jazz influenced piano and loping brushwork the wonderfully almost energetic horns make way for the rich guitar picking.

There is a joyful swinging soulful feel to Otis Blackwell’s “One Broken Heart For Sale,” whether it is the piping hot, pacy organ or the crisp punching horns but it certainly is a toetappin mover. T Bone Walkers’ “Evil Hearted Woman,” is a suitably dour and moody slowburner which allows the picking guitar to spread out while the mean rolling piano, bass and percussion bring you back to earth. Classic Chicago blues!

Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.breezyrodio.com

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