Monday, 9 April 2012

Riley / B / LaBarge: "You Can't Make Peace"

For today's post, we're going to be getting a little bluesy. "You Can't Make Peace" is an album made up of mostly blues, with some pop and jazz, standards performed by a trio of Canadian legends: the late Doug Riley on the piano and organ, Danny B on the vocals and harmonica, and Bernie LaBarge on the guitars. What makes this album so special is that it was recorded at Riley's home studio on Prince Edward Island, and it was the last record that he produced before his tragic passing in 2007. Now lets get to some noting... We're going to begin our discussion with the group's rendition of T-Bone Walker's "Stormy Monday". The song is introduced by Riley on the hammond B3, who gives the listener a taste of his lifetime's worth of achievement on the organ. Following this, the listener is introduced to LaBarge's rhythm playing as well as B's soulful voice. B is the first to solo on his harmonica, followed by LaBarge, and then Riley, who's impressive improvisation leads to the conclusion of the song. The next tune we're going to discuss is the arrangement of Cat Steven's "Father and Son". The song introduces a new side to B's voice, who perfectly mimics and adopts to Steven's vocal style (rightfully so). This piece is also characterized by LaBarge, who brings out an acoustic guitar (like Steven's would have), however adds some original voicings, greatly contributing to the beauty of the song. The last song we're going to note, as a tribute to Riley, is the arrangement of Fats Waller, Harry Brooks, and Andy Razaf's "Ain't Misbehavin'". The star of this one is Riley, who pulls out a beautiful stride in this jazz / ragtime standard. Despite Riley mostly being known for his Organ work, this song shows that he had no trouble adapting to different keyboard instruments, and different styles of playing. Furthermore, "You Can't Make Peace" is a spectacular release, and is the perfect final farewell from the legendary Doug Riley.

Purchase "You Can't Make Peace"

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