Tinsley Ellis: Speak No Evil
Speak No Evil
Tinsley Ellis (guitar, vocals)
Speak No Evil (Alligator)
Tinsley Ellis (guitar, vocals),
The Evil One (bass), Jeff Burgh (drums), Kevin McKendree (Hammond organ).
Composed by Tinsley Ellis.
Recorded: Atlanta, no date given (CD released in 2009)
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
The title might be a fake-out for jazz fans. No this is not a Wayne Shorter tribute. Tinsley Ellis's Speak No Evil is fervid electric blues with plenty of soul. Then again, given the evolution of the genres, it is sometimes hard to determine the dividing line between electric blues and rock. Often the giveaway is the gray hair of the musiciansórock celebrates youth while blues venerates its eldersóand some telltale signs of superior musicianship and maturity. When I hear music of this sort, I sometimes think this is how rock music should sound: raw but real; happening now but built on the tradition; hot but not mindless. If you put it on the radio, people would get the message immediately. But for the time being, music of this sort circulates like samizdat on the fringes of our culture. You are invited to take a taste, but be forewarned, you may not want to go back to those teenage bands after a dose of this.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia