Phil Berkowitz

Louis' Blues

Dirty Cat DC0001

Phil Berkowitz, harmonica and vocals; Danny Caron, guitar; Scott Lawrence, piano; "Little David" Rose, bass; and Bowen Brown, drums and percussion

Danny Caron and Phil Berkowitz produced this CD dedicated to Louis Jordan and the novelty musical style combining humor and jive which bridged the gap between big band style and rock and roll resulting in what would become known as jump blues. The fact that Danny Caron was involved in this project gives it stature due to his successful stint as musical director for the late Charles Brown.

The opening cut of "Salt Pork, West Virginia" is a pure jump tune with Berkowitz on vocals and harmonica. "Let The Good Times Roll" is a bluesy exploration with Berkowitz doing an interesting vocal interpretation with a supple voice that is catchy. Caron leads off "I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts of Town" with his uniquely tasteful guitar style and Berkowitz displays good control on harmonica. Berkowitz's harmonica really shines on "Caldonia" and Caron's sizzling guitar licks behind the vocals is delightful. "Cat Scratchin'" is a playful romp that is alluring. One of the best tunes is the slow "Blue Light Boogie" which has a rhythmic pattern laid down by supporting musicians Caron on guitar and Lawrence on piano. On the bluesy "Early In The Morning" imaginative percussion work by Brown drives the rhythm and there are some good harmonica trills. "Three Handed Woman" features a short guitar solo by Caron demonstrating his clean, uncluttered tones. The final cut is "Saturday Night Fish Fry" with animated vocals by Berkowitz.

This CD consists of fourteen cuts and it is a worthy exercise which will appeal to Louis Jordan fans. Berkowitz gives a heartfelt performance and it doesn't hurt to have the brilliant guitarist Caron at your back. I thoroughly enjoyed this CD and would give it a good recommendation.

by Dorothy Hill