It’s Family Day today (yes my American friends, it’s a thing) so I have the benefit of having the day off work. However, that doesn’t also mean I get the day off from the Iron Schedule. Today’s program starts off with this 60 minute hill interval spin followed up by 4000m strength workout in the pool afterwards. To boot, this all has to be accomplished fairly early since, you know, I actually have to do stuff with the family as well. It’s a family-inspired holiday after all. So, kicking things off on the spin bike through 3 x (3 x 1 minute seated climb) intervals is the live ‘The Thrill Is Gone‘ album by B.B. King.
Originally recorded in Cannes, France in 1983, featuring (besides Mr. King) Leon Warren, Russell Jackson (guitar); Edgar Sunigal Jr. (saxophone); James Bolden, Calvin Owens (trumpet); Joseph Carrier (keyboards); Calep Emphery, Jr. (drums). The cover also mentions that there is a special guest appearance by Dave Brubeck, but God knows why gets the credit he does. Sure, B.B. introduces him during the ‘Jam’ and the crowd certainly goes nuts, but after only a little tinkling at the piano the rest of the jam is dominated by an amazing trumpet solo. Fuck, forget Brubeck, give that Owens dude the credit on the cover. Buddy rocked it!
In fact, aside from the little asterisk that appears beside the ‘Jam‘ tune midway through the album indicating this is where Brubeck was playing, I couldn’t find a single, solitary shred of evidence on the entire Intraweb thingee to determine how this pairing came about. Oh well, I guess it was just intended to be a mystery.
King’s show, which didn’t really change all that much in his last few decades (And I know, I saw him perform live at Massey Hall – twice), is comprised of all his hits such as ‘The Thrill Is Gone‘, ‘Payin the Cost to Be the Boss‘, a thirteen-minute band workout called ‘Jam‘ (which may, or may not, feature Brubeck), a swinging hot reading of Memphis Slim’s ‘Everyday I Have the Blues‘, and a deeper than blue read of ‘All over Again’ by Carl Adams and King. The sound is excellent, and fans of the live B.B. material will count this among the better latter-day sets he’s issued.
But, speaking of mysteries, why is the ‘B.B.’s Theme‘ at the end of the album? I mean it was obviously intended and played to introduce the band prior to B.B. making his way to the stage, but why only tack it on the end? Sure, the current ‘The Thrill Is Gone‘ opener made for a nice relaxed warm-up prior to starting the intervals, but what thought process concluded that they should end the album with the beginning of the performance?
Great listen nonetheless.