Blues Boulevard / Music Avenue 2012
Curiouser and curiouser! The piano blues don’t get better than this.
Since 2004, when Gerry Bron proudly handed DME "Walking On Eggshells", Paddy Milner’s second album, the ivories master’s status has been on the rise and his scope has expanded considerably, which this album brilliantly illustrates. Applying a New Orleans jive to the likes of “Call On Me”, Milner also reappropriates Muddy Water’s “Louisiana Blues” and, with another take on Dave Brubeck-endorsed chestnut “Unsquare Dance”, sucks into the context such unlikely shoulder-rubbers as Rihanna’s “Disturbia”, quite a rocker now, and Nick Drake’s “Things Behind The Sun”, more fragile than ever in its crystal keys runs and a cello lining. While brass complements the classical-infused black-and-whiteness of “The James Bond Theme”, much more emotive imagination flows into “White Room”, enriched by Milner’s touring with its melody writer Jack Bruce, whose “Tickets To Waterfalls” quote signs the CREAM cover off, and in Paddy’s own elegiac “All The While”.
He stacks swinging vocals up amid the percussive ring of original “Jump Into My Car” and Robert Johnson’s “Come On in My Kitchen”, given a barrelhouse drive, only to set the piano pulse bopping in the elegant “Believe” and “As She Walked Away”, the Professor Longhair-meets-Van Cliburn boogie. Elsewhere, NIRVANA’s “Come As You Are” loses its desperate edge and turns into a swaying lovesick siren call with an irresistible solo, before Memphis Slim’s “Mother Earth” makes it all universal and begging for more spins. It’s that good.