The Henry Gray/Bob Corritore Sessions: Vol.1

Subtitled Blues Won't Let Me Take My Rest, this compilation features pianist and ex-Howlin' Wolf sideman Henry Gray in company with harmonicist Bob Corritore and a raft of bluesmen. The 14 songs here (from 12 different sessions) date from 1996, the year Corritore (a workman-like player) hooked up with Gray, and include one from Gray's 90th birthday party earlier this year. Corritore, a Chicago native who turns 59 this month, got hooked on the blues as a kid and, after moving to Phoenix in 1981, really got involved. He runs a blues club, has a radio program and has produced and/or appeared on over 50 records featuring a wide variety of artists. Gray's singing is most effective on “Can't Afford to Do It” and especially on his “I'm Gonna Miss You” (nice work here by Corritore, too). Gray gives his piano a rigorous going over on my favorite, the rollicking “Boogie Woogie Ball,” with vocal interjections by Chicago blues veteran Tail Dragger. Very pleasant goods altogether.