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Bob Malone
Ain't What You Know - Delta Moon
FILTER Grade: 82%

By Paul Zollo on May 4, 2010

 

Bob Malone

A new peak in what’s been a rather mountainous career, Malone’s latest shows off everything that makes him dear to his loyal fans. A tireless piano man who seems be on an endless tour, the new record is a great step forward; it possesses the virtuosic piano playing and smoky vocals of previous works but moves into previously uncharted territory as well. Anchored by a solid rhythm section comprised of the combustible combination of Lee Sklar on bass and Mike Baird on drums, Malone’s musical load seems lightened, freeing him up to bring some of his most dazzling playing. Combining the heat of his live performances with tracks of deep rhythm and soul, this record covers a lot of musical ground, from the folk-rock exultation of The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek” through the tenderness of “Butterfly” and the darkly cynical “No One Can Hurt You.” The opening track, “Why Not Me,” is an audio feast, peppered by Malone’s able horn arrangement and guitarist Bob DeMarco’s gumbo of guitar colors. Incandescent passages like the procession of a DeMarco guitar solo into a Marty Rifkin pedal-steel flourish into a Malone piano outing on the title song make this the kind of record you can listen to over and over. 

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