Album Reviews

Kim Simmonds

Jazzin’ On the Blues

Artist:     Kim Simmonds

Album:     Jazzin’ On the Blues

Label:     Panache Records/SubCat

Release Date:     08.04.2017


The legendary British blues guitarist and founder of Savoy Brown, Kim Simmonds is back with an all instrumental blues/rock/jazz album called, Jazzin’ On the Blues. Guitarist Simmonds was at the helm of Savoy Brown in the ’60s when the UK blues boom brought blues music back to the USA, invigorating the style forever. In the process, the band became part of the framework that launched the rock and roll music of the 1970s. On Jazzin’ On the Blues, we get to hear a legend riffin’ on the blues with jazz colors as he plays acoustic guitar, bass and harmonica.

“Dancing on a Memory” is the first track. Over a strong strumming guitar pattern, Simmonds’ relaxed lead playing unfolds the melody. His solo style is full of blues idiosyncrasies: slow bends, blue notes, fast blues pentatonic patterns and repetitive figures that play with the time. The jazz creeps in with his use of chromatic colors and tension notes over the chords.

On the slow blues number “Rollin’ the Blues,” Simmonds plays harmonica and guitar in a call-and-response style melody, with fiery guitar fills. Simmonds’ solo builds in intensity and range as he unfolds his blue story, preachin’ and tellin’ it like it is. His harmonica solo is just as musical as his guitar playing. This is feelgood blues!

Jazzin’ On the Blues has an acoustic nature and material ranging between country blues songs and Americana roots music, that is sure to please—with a beautiful mix of jazz, blues and new age colors, Simmonds playing is a declaration of mastery from a virtuosic guitar player that has influenced many players. Never has the audience heard Simmonds in this type of context and Jazzin’ On the Blues will certainly open the ears of many people to the guitarist’s magical playing and writing.

—Sylvannia Garutch

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