Monday, April 6, 2009

That Special Something

A friend gave me a CD by Bella Flect and The Flectones. I had never heard of them until now and I was knocked out hearing electric banjo and the complete mastery of the group. That got me thinking about unique sounds that leave a lasting impression. The first time I heard Paul Butterfield play amplified harp I thought that was the ultimate. The same with Ravi Shankar live at Monterrey. Michael hit it out of the park with his composition East West. Jimmy Hendrix created something totally new as did the Beatles with Sargent Pepper. Excellence in musicianship as demonstrated on a particular instrument is one component, but the composition can transport you on a musical odyssey to really new worlds.
I welcome your recommendations and experiences, this would be great to share.



JohnInNJ said...

When I first heard Jason Ricci a few years ago, I couldn't believe my ears. And that was from the sound check! Jason is a harmonica player unlike Paul Butterfield or anyone else I've ever heard. Many don't like his style because it is so different from Butterfield or Little Walter or James Cotton. His influences are all of the above harp players plus he also quotes Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. His harps are specially made with, I believe, split reeds that enable him to get a multitude of different sounds while playing extremely fast. And when it comes to slow blues, he is second to none in the feeling he puts behind each song. His band is superlative - to my ears, easily the best band around today.

Best part is that he allows people to tape his shows and post them on where you can download them for free. The full address is and don't forget the www, as you need it to access all of

Happy listening!


Allen Bloomfield said...

Dear John,
Thank you so very much for the introduction of Jason Ricci. I will check it out immediately.
Michael turned me on to a particular Sonny Boy Williamson album called The Real Folk Blues and one song called Trust My Baby which shows the virtuosity of the player and the true range of blue harp. When he bends the lower keys it sounds just like a cello.
This song has been replicated on the Sonny Boy DVDS. I am sure you will find this fantastic and was carved from the very roots of the blues.

Thanks again,
Allen B.

Allen Bloomfield said...

Dear John,
What a treat! Jason Ricci is a master harp player with a range of styles from Larry Adler to Little Walter all melded effortlessly into a brilliant sound which must be heard rather than described.
Your recommendation is exactly what I hoped would be offered.
My sincere thanks for expanding the awareness of music lovers everywhere.
Best wishes,
Allen B.
P.S. He can be found on with several of his bands.