News and Views
Saturday, March 04, 2006 11:28:47 AM
In case you've been wondering if my Now Playing pod is stuck, it's not. I've been listening almost exclusively to Jason Ricci since I discovered his music a couple weeks ago. The man is an amazing musician. As a harmonica player myself, I really appreciate the talent he has. The harmonica is an easy instrument to pick up and play along with a blues song, but to really make a musical statement with it requires a huge amount of natural talent and understanding of melody and rhythm, along with a natural feeling. The stuff he is playing is mind-blowing. There have not really been a lot of harmonica players that can be considered great musicians -- playing stuff that could be transcribed as music and sound good on any instrument. Little Walter is one that comes to mind that I consider truly great, but there aren't many more. Until now, that is. Jason's stuff at times sounds like an electric guitar, swing clarinet, or a saxiphone. The music can be described equally as blues, funk, rock, and jazz, but always with a blues feeling to it. He has the phrasing, tone, and rythymic complexity of Little Walter, but has taken it to a new level. Check out Hip Shake (sounds like ZZ Top or John Lee Hooker on steroids -- the first 60 second harmonica intro is amazing, but about 5 minutes in he lays down a solo that builds from some tasty Little Walter-esque blues into an intense explosion of notes) and I'm Just a Playboy from archive.org, and when you're hooked, look at the whole list of live performances. Jason's new site (built in Dreamweaver, apparently) is at http://www.jasonricci.com and some of his CD tracks are at http://musicv2.com/artist/jasonricci
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