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Jools Holland, Ruby Turner – Jools & Ruby (2015)

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Jools Holland, Ruby Turner – Jools & Ruby (2015)

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01 – Peace In The Valley 03:28
02 – Roll Out Of This Hole 02:56
03 – The Informer (Ash Howes Mix) 03:32
04 – Pray Have Mercy 03:09
05 – Christmas Song 02:42
06 – Same Old Heart 03:20
07 – Remember Me 03:13
08 – Honey Hush 02:38
09 – Boring 03:33
10 – My Country Man 02:59
11 – When I Get Home 03:40
12 – Jumpin' At The Jubilee 02:30
13 – Love Made Them Do That 04:22
14 – To Love A Child 03:16
15 – This Train 03:18
16 – You Are So Beautiful 03:25
17 – Count Me In 03:32
18 – Nobody But You 03:43
19 – Get Away Jordan 03:32
20 – I Still Went Wrong 03:58
21 – Jumpin' In the Morning 02:54
22 – Precious Lord 04:02

 

Jamaican-born R&B singer Ruby Turner has been part of Jools Holland’s touring band for more than a decade now, her rich and athletic tone a great match for the band’s hectic, muscular rhythms. This is a bumper disc with 22 songs, although unfortunately only four of those are new recordings, so serious fans should check how many they already have before splashing out. There’s a modest festive element, with Jools’s arrangement of Wendy Cope’s “Christmas Song” and a couple of spirituals, such as “Get Away Jordan”, but there are no carols, so it’s something that even the Richard Dawkins in your family will enjoy, and at any time of the year.

No one will fall off their chair with surprise at any of this music, and novelty-seekers, especially those with beards to stroke, should probably move on now. We’re on familiar but fertile territory, anchored in boogie woogie, blues and R&B, with touches of country and gospel. However, it just sounds great: the fact that the performers know each other and the music so well gives them licence to let rip, and the results are some precise, energetic and deeply joyous performances.

Turner’s voice is such a fruity, powerful instrument she can easily compete with a full band, and those songs – “Honey Hush” and “Jumpin’ At The Jubilee”, for example – in which Jools is boogieing, Ruby is hooting, and the band is swinging like a funfair pirate ship are irresistible. Jools’s piano is an important rhythmic addition, and his power balances Turner’s voice, which otherwise could take over. Just occasionally, there’s a lapse of taste: the arrangement on “Christmas Song” is more staid than most, and the plodding brass line can’t help but evoke a Santa’s grotto oompah band in a windswept shopping centre. But the best are screamingly vivid and slick. Shame, then, that more aren’t new, because this formula is cracking. ---matthewwrighter, theartsdesk.com

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