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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Albert Collins: Live In Japan


1) Listen Here!; 2) Tired Man; 3) If Trouble Was Money; 4) Jealous Man; 5) Stormy Monday; 6) Skatin'; 7) All About My Girl.

Two live albums in four years is a bit of an overkill, but few can resist the temptation of adding a Live In Japan credit to their name at one time or another, since, after all, it is a scientifically pro­ven fact that the proximity of Mount Fuji significantly increases the precision of your playing, and that the close presence of the Imperial Family is sufficient to make the mikes pick up such ultra frequencies as normally remain undetected by the best equipment under standard conditions.

Other than that, there is not much that makes Live In Japan (recorded, actually, on December 21, 1982) deserving of a special review. Only the setlist is unusual, consisting mostly of numbers that cannot be found on any of Albert's studio recordings — with the sole exception of 'All About My Girl' from Love Can Be Found Anywhere, here extended to thrice its original length and turned into an exciting dialog between the guitar and the backing saxophone. But all of the substitu­tions are generally standard fare, concentrating on slow-tempo 12-bar and fast-paced boogie.

The idea was probably not to repeat too much from Frozen Alive!, but by concentrating on «rari­ties», Albert, or whoever else is behind the sequencing, loses the diversity part of the attraction: there is really nothing too thrilling about including two lengthy, same-sounding, draggy blues work­outs ('If Trouble Was Money' and 'Stormy Monday') on the same record. Thus, despite the fact that sound quality is indeed near-perfect, and the fact that Albert plays with all of his usual in­spiration (no surprise here), I could not recommend this to anybody but the direst fans of either Albert Collins or the Imperial Family.

Check "Live In Japan" (CD) on Amazon
Check "Live In Japan" (MP3) on Amazon

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