Jay Geils, Gerry Beaudoin & the Kings of Strings, featuring Aaron Weinstein,
Jay Geils, Gerry Beaudoin & the Kings of Strings
(Arbour, 2006)

The guitar master from the original J. Geils Band playing with Gerry Beaudoin and Aaron Weinstein is the stuff dreams are made of. Geils and Beaudoin, along with Bob Nieske and Les Harris Jr., are the "The Kings of Strings," and they invited Weinstein to join them on this album with his violin and mandolin. The blend is remarkable music that holds onto the blues while beautiful strains flow from the violin.

On the other hand there are sophisticated ribbons of jazz running through the album. Playing the music of Stuff Smith, Edward Hayman, Johnny Green, Johnny Mercer and James Van Heusen ensures this is some of the best jive ever on a disc.

Check out the tracks. "Desert Sands" pulls out of the stations so smoothly, and "Out of Nowhere" lets everyone share the limelight. "Blue Benedetto" is a dish of taffy and havarti, while "Here's That Rainy Day" blows away the gloom from the drizzle of Harris's swizzle sticks. "I Thought about You" soared and dipped, as did "Minor Swing." "Sweet One" certainly is. Weinstein's charms turn this CD into a spellcaster.

Old and new come together and the strings are obviously king in this partnership. It was all a bit new to me, but I was curious about Geils' part. I found out he's one of the bunch, and I had a full serving of bluesy jazz besides.

review by
Virginia MacIsaac

11 October 2008

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