IL Blues Magazine – Milan Italy CD Review / Al Corte’ – “Mojo”
If you like the blues rich in rhythm & blues, soul and funk nuances, this second record of the New York ‘Al Corte’ could do for you. I’m anything but lover of the genre but I must admit that this “Mojo” contains among its 12 tracks very interesting and certainly well played material. As soon as I had a chance to flip through the notes, a stroke came to me: it seemed to read the list of the protagonists and the extras of a film, certainly not the line-up of a music album. Yet this overabundance of artists did not make the album as tacky as it might seem, leaving the songs a good breath and the right lightness. Al ‘Corte’ spoke to us two years ago, my friend Carlo Gerelli is correct, reviewing the previous “Seasoned Soul” (II Blues No. 134) Al’s experiences made in nightclubs and stages of American niteries have inevitably helped him to know how to “move” between the notes and the arrangements, often very successful, of these new songs, all come out of his pen or that of keyboardist and guitarist Ron Miller. I will not go on to list all the members of the band, wind section and including strings, because I repeat they are so many, I limit myself to mentioning those that are part of the main framework, or the precise rhythm section composed by Leroy “Flick” Hodges Jr. on bass, Steve Potts – well-known drummer also at Booker T. & The MG’s, Gregg Allman, Neil Young, Blues Brothers and so on – the organist Rev. Charles Hodges Sr. and the guitarist Michael Toles. You perceive the good artistic moment for Al Corte’ and the traces slip away that it is a pleasure and you want to listen to some of them as, for example, “Love Thang” and rocking “I’ll Never Lose My Love for The Blues” with a beautiful slide guitar. Very intense also “Juke Joint Jive” with John Nemeth at the harmonica and the following “Blessed to Have You Near” with gospel tones with a beautiful chorus that reinforces this composition. You also want to hear from the first notes “What You Hold” and the final “You Hurt Me So Good”. Forty-two minutes of good music – often excellent – with the work done in the historical Royal Studios of Memphis.