Reviewed by: Lauren Rosier
With eight full-length LPs already completed, trumpeter Al Basile isn’t a beginner to writing solid blues and jazz tunes. Al Basile releases his ninth record titled, Mid-Century Modern, that showcases his stellar trumpet performances, standard blues/jazz tunes, and storytelling.
The 13-song collection opens with the track “Keep Your Love, Where’s My Money” about a relationship gone bad. It’s ironic how blues music is arranged. The songs are usually about hard times, but the songs are mostly always exciting and upbeat. This song isn’t an exception. It features an extravagant trumpet solo by Basile
On “Midnight Blue Persuasion,” Basile illustrates the details of a rainy evening between a man and a woman “just trying to get closer.” The storytelling in the song is, in fact, quite good, as with many blues songs. He’s able to effectively tell the story of the couple’s date while maintaining the standard blues outlook on relationships, women, and life.
If you want to hear a track that represents the blues genre well, it’s going to be “Blank Dog.” From the beginning notes, it’s one of those songs that any blues fan automatically likes.
The last song on the record, “Lie Under The House With Me,” is a slower, mellow track, but also features some excellent guitars.
Overall, Basile’s Mid-Century Modern is arranged, written, and crafted well. The record has an effective blend of songs that showcase a different side to the blues genre, and Mr. Basile’s take on it.