Quiet Money

Al Basile

Sweetspot Records, 2017


REVIEW BY: David Bowling



Over four decades ago, Al Basile was the trumpet player for the Rhode Island jump-blues band Roomful Of Blues. These days, he surfaces every so often with a new solo album. He has explored a number of styles and rhythms, but Quiet Money comes close to the classic sound of Roomful Of Blues.

He brings along many of his usual cast of characters. Former bandmate, producer, and brilliant guitarist Duke Robillard is on board as are former buddies from Roomful Of Blues, plus an assortment of musicians from Robillard’s current band.

In addition to being a superb trumpet and cornet player, Basile’s ability as a songwriter is what pushes his music beyond the norm. He is a poet who regales the listener with thoughtful and incisive stories set to melodic blues music.

His voice has also acquired a nice patina as he has stepped forward from sideman to front man. His veteran band knows when to step back and allow him to solo, and when Robillard adds his guitar, the music gains some added depth.

When you get to a certain age, your thoughts and approach to life begin to change. “Not Today” and “Who’s Gonna Close My Eyes” explore the passage of time. “Put Some Salt On It” is a humorous take of classic blues with hidden meanings lurking in the lyrics that show off his lighter side.

Basile has travelled in several directions musically but now has returned to his roots. Quiet Money is an excellent dollop of modern-day blues from a sometimes-unappreciated master.

Rating: B

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