“Most everything Duke Robillard has done as a guitarist during the past four plus decades – two dozen feature albums, thousands of headlining gigs, co-founding Roomful of Blues, Fabulous Thunderbirds membership, Quality time with Jay McShann, Jimmy Witherspoon, Ruth Brown, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and a long list of others – bears witness to his musical intelligence and his dedication to his craft.” …Frank John Hadley | Downbeat Magazine July 2010
The Duke Robillard Jazz Trio -][- Wobble Walkin’ –MP3– [Blue Duchess Records, 2012] –
Since he arrived on the scene in the late ’60s as founder of the groundbreaking Roomful of Blues, and subsequently in a
thriving solo career that began more than three decades ago, Duke Robillard has consistently exhibited boundless
curiosity and undeniable panache, continually reinforcing his reputation as one of the planet’s most innovative roots
musicians. Robillard’s journey has taken him in multiple directions, and Wobble Walkin’, the debut release for his own Blue Duchess Records (http://www.blueduchessrecords.com) is one of the most instantly gratifying entries in a discography
that now numbers more than 30 titles.
On Wobble Walkin’, the Duke Robillard Jazz Trio—featuring Duke on guitar with Brad Hallen and Mark Teixeira, both borrowed from Robillard’s blues band, on bass and drums, respectively—pays its respects to both the venerable tradition of bluesy jazz guitar and the durable songcraft of Tin Pan Alley. Robillard has been down this road before, on albums such as 1986’s Swing, 1989’s After Hours Swing Session, 1999’s Conversations in Swing Guitar with jazz guitar legend Herb Ellis and 2008’s A Swingin Session with Duke Robillard, but Wobble Walkin’ expands Robillard’s musical universe even further. Wobble Walkin’, a perfect marriage of then and now—an ageless sound brought up to date by forward-thinking musicians and recorded with state-of-the-art sonics—summons up a bygone era without managing to feel retro in the process.
“The way I look at it, as long as you breathe your own life into the music, it’s not old,” says Robillard in the liner notes for Wobble Walkin’. “It’s only a museum piece when it becomes a staid copy of something else. I just love playing great tunes.”
Wobble Walkin’ is all about great tunes, among them such cornerstones of the Great American Songbook as Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” the Gershwins’ “They Can’t That Away From Me” and “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You,” made famous by the Nat King Cole Trio and sung here in a sultry fashion by a fellow Blue Duchess artist, jazz vocalist Mickey Freeman.
“I Can’t Believe You’re In Love With Me” was an early Billie Holiday hit and the late icon is also one of several artists who popularized “All of Me,” given a jaunty, upbeat reading here by Duke and the guys. “Back Home Again In Indiana” stretches back nearly a century, while “Hi-Heel Sneakers” is of more recent vintage, first appearing on the Billboard charts in 1964 and a staple of countless bands’ set lists ever since.
Wobble Walkin’ isn’t only about revitalizing that which has come before, however. In fact, the title track, which leads off the album, is one of a handful of original compositions that prove that Duke Robillard cannot only play the standards with the best of them, but can also write a tune that feels like one.
Along with Duke’s “Wobble Walkin” and Mickey Freeman’s “Livin the Dream,” this Spring Blue Duchess will release a tribute to the Great Bille Holiday by Legendary Tenor Saxophonist Scott Hamilton.
..:: SOURCE: Two For The Show ::..