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Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan
In Session

Version française

This 1983 session was recorded for a Canadian television series that brought together stylistically-related artists to jam. Vaughan was enormously influenced by Albert King, Lil' Stevie sitting in with Albert whenever the legendary bluesman came to town.
In Session features seven tracks together with four snippets of the easy banter the two men enjoyed, reflecting on times past and with Albert giving Stevie some encouragement and advice. After you've heard these conversations a few times, you'd probably prefer to program your CD player to skip them, easy enough to do.
The seven tracks including Stevie's Pride And Joy and Albert's Match Box Blues, are extended jams. Blues At Sunrise stretches to a formidable fifteen minutes. It's a joy to listen to the respectful yet tasty interplay between the two artists. As you would expect with two such accomplished guitarists, the fretwork is sublime, with solid backing provided by Tony Llorens (piano and organ), Gus Thornton (bass) and Michael Llorens (drums).
The album comes in at just over an hour, with the liner notes putting the session nicely in context. A must for any fan of either Stevie or Albert. -- Helen Farley


1.    Call It Stormy Monday (Walker) - 9:00
2.    "Old Times" - 1:15
3.    Pride And Joy (Vaughan) - 6:01
4.    Ask Me No Questions (King) - 5:01
5.    "Pep Talk" - 0:52
6.    Blues At Sunrise (King) - 15:10
7.    "Turn It Over" - 0:51
8.    Overall Junction (King) - 8:04
9.    Match Box Blues (King) - 7:55
10.    "Who Is Stevie ?" - 0:44
11.    Don't Lie To Me (Whittaker) - 8:57

(Audio snippets in Windows Media format)


  I thought the release was interesting more for the banter than the music. Every audio or video I've ever seen/heard between these two artists reveals SRVs deep admiration for Albert.
Even though he could have buried him in guitar chops in 30 seconds, he always added and complimented Alberts playing instead of competing with him for bravado.
Albert King was a groundbreaking bluesman, but like many of his background and generation, he wasn't a "guitar slinger". His blues was about stories and singing just as much (or more) than it was about guitar solos. His guitar lick repertoire, while limited in range, was (and is) as instantly identifiable as SRVs is to his fans. You could always smell Albert King out from amongst the crowd in an audio session by his licks. And those guitar players out there that don't know the "Albert King Tribute" (the three note progression he ended almost EVERY live recorded song with) might want to cop that lick from him if nothing else.
Musically, the release is predominantly Alberts road tunes with a couple of SRV showcases. It sounds very impromptu and is certainly not a polished studio production. If you're looking for SRV guitar pyro-technics, this one's not for you. The purchaser of this release that is purely an SRV or blues/rock fan will be disappointed, but students of *both* of these artists will find it to be an interesting "snapshot" of two guys that respected each other. -- Marty Spaulding

  I especially liked the fact that Stevie was so overwhelmed by being there with his "godfather". After seeing the video, the Cd doesn't give the session the justice it deserves. In the video, you can see just how impressed King was and how humble and nervous Stevie was.
The fact that they both gave each other room as opposed to trying to out do each other is a positive factor that you don't see in many "multi-guitarist" type project. And for Albert King to GIVE someone that room, just HAS to prove that Albert himself was extremely impressed with the player. -- (anonymous)

  I have a copy of Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan In Session and I think it is great. It is a chance to get an intimate and casual feel of these two guitar greats interacting with one another. It is as though you are in a recording studio with them. Some of the technical stuff isn't perfect, you can hear the screech of some feedback and such, but it adds to the reality of the session. You can tell that these two guys really cared for each other. This is one of my favorites. I love it. -- Cecelia Pierce

  The CD is fantastic, one of the best I've heard, full of humour, warmth, respect and best of all some serious heartfelt blues. -- Shug

  When I listen to SRV I hear his understanding of Albert King, Jimmy Hendrix, Lonnie Mack, Freddy King, blended with a few tasty kisses of jazz octaves. But mainly I hear him say, "I came from Albert King. I love him."
Only fitting, Albert King has got to be the most copied guitar player ever. He started out as a south paw kid learning to play on a guitar strung for a right hander. Everything he did was upside down. His huge hands weren't made for lightening speed on the finger board. He compensated by bending his strings better than anyone on earth. In that regard he remains the best there ever was. He wasn't God's gift to a variety of blues phrases, but he was able to mix and remix his originally developed blues vocabulary in a way that keeps me listening and loving it. My son characterizes Albert King as "always finding the perfect note."
But, what struck me about this cd was not how easy their conversation was, but how forced it was. As if neither of them felt at home with the verbal exchange. But when they play together here all of that changes. They tie in their leads like they'd been rehearsing together for weeks. Each adds expert rhythm guitar work to compliment the one in front.
Every cut is good. But, Blues at Sunrise is great. This one is where they both lay it down with some thunder. When its over they're both laughing. Each has broken a string. I've played guitar for years and have no idea when it happened to either one of them.
Anyone who loves blues guitar from Texas or Chicago is going to love this one.-- W.J. Vermillion

Version française