Robert Calvin Brooks

b. January 27th, 1930 in Rosemark (Tennessee)

d. June 23rd, 2013 in Germantown (Tennessee)

IT'S MY LIFE BABY

Jasmine

November 1951 - 1960

I PITY THE FOOL

MCA

August 1952 - 1960

TURN ON YOUR LOVE LIGHT

MCA

1960 - April 1964

THAT DIT IT

MCA

February 1965 - 1972

THE 3B BLUES BOY

Ace

November 1952 - 1959

Né dans une famille religieuse, il prend son nom Bland de son beau-père Leroy Bridgeforth (qui se faisait appeler Leroy Bland). Bobby n'est jamais allé à l'école et demeurera illétré toute sa vie. En 1947, il s'installe à Memphis avec sa mère. Il fait d'abord partie d'une formation de gospel (The Miniatures). Mais, bientôt, il se produit sur la grande artère musicale de la ville - Beale Street - aux côtés de jeunes bluesmen comme lui : B.B. King, Roscoe Gordon, Johnny Ace. Repéré en 1951, il grave deux morceaux accompagnés par l'orchestre de Roscoe Gordon chez Sun qui seront finalement revendus à Chess. En parrallèle, Ike Turner le fait enregistrer une poignée de titres ("Crying all night long" avec Turner et Matt "Guitar" Murphy) pour le label Modern des frères Bihari. Ceux-ci seront remarqués par le DJ David James Mattis (animateur de radio sur WDIA) qui vient de fonder la firme Duke. Finalement, Bobby démarre chez Duke en août 1952 accompagné par son ami B.B. King et Johnny Ace ("Lovin' blues"). Malheureusement, ce début prometteur est interrompu par le service militaire. Pendant ce temps, Mattis a revendu Duke au producteur Don Robey (qui possède déjà Peacock). Libéré en 1954, Bobby peut reprendre sa carrière de chanteur au début de l'année 1955 au sein de la Johnny Ace Revue. En leader, il est entouré du groupe de Bill Harvey et surtout de Joe Scott - producteur et trompettiste - qui met au point ce son cuivré qui deviendra sa marque de fabrique. De plus, il accueillera dans sa formation de superbes guitaristes comme Roy Gaines, Clarence Hollimon et, bien sûr, Wayne Bennett. Bobby bénéficiera aussi d'excellentes compositions écrites notamment par Deadric Malone (alias Don Robey). Pourtant, malgré tout cela, les premières années ne génèrent qu'un succès modeste. Bobby travaille, alors, comme valet pour Junior Parker et chauffeur pour B.B. King. Son premier véritable hit est "Further on up the road" en août 1957. A partie de là, ses meilleurs morceaux voient le jour : "It's my life baby" (avec la guitare de Roy Gaines), "Woke up screaming" (avec la guitare de Clarence Hollimon), "I pity the fool", "Bobby's blues", "Stormy monday blues" (une version somptueuse avec la guitare de Wayne Bennett), "Turn on your love light", "36-22-36", "Blues in the night", "Sad feeling", "Rockin' in the same old boat". Au départ bien ancré dans le Blues, il va progressivement s'inspirer du Rhythm & Blues et de la Soul naissante. La série de 3 CDs "I pity the fool", "Turn on your love light" et "That dit it" présente l'intégralité de la production Duke.

Born into a religious family, he takes his Bland name from his stepfather Leroy Bridgeforth (who called himself Leroy Bland). Bobby never went to school and remain illiterate all his life. In 1947, he moved to Memphis with his mother. He was first part of a gospel formation (The Miniatures). But soon he performed on Beale Street the city's great music artery along with young bluesmen like him : B.B. King, Roscoe Gordon, Johnny Ace. Discovered in 1951, he cut his first two tracks accompanied by Roscoe Gordon's orchestra at Sun that were eventually sold to Chess. In parallel, Ike Turner recorded him in a handful of songs ("Crying all night long" with Turner and Matt "Guitar" Murphy) for Bihari brothers' Modern label. These will be spotted by the DJ David James Mattis (radio host on WDlA) who just found the Duke label. Finally, Bobby starts at Duke in august 1952 accompanied by his friend B.B. King and Johnny Ace ("Lovin' blues"). Unfortunately, this promising start was interrupted by military service. During this time, Mattis resold Duke producer Don Robey (who already owns Peacock). Released in 1954, Bobby can resume his singing career at the beginning of 1955 within The Johnny Ace Review. As a leader, he is surrounded by the Bill Harvey group and especially Joe Scott - producer and trumpeter - who is developing his brassy sound that will become his trademark. In addition, he will host some amazing guitarists in his backing band like Roy Gaines, Clarence Hollimon and, of course, Wayne Bennett. Bobby will also benefit from excellent compositions written especially by Deadric Malone (aka Don Robey). Yet despite all this, the first years will generate only modest success. Bobby works then as a valet for Junior Parker and driver for B.B. King. His first real hit is "Further on up the road" in august 1957. Following this title, his best tracks are emerging : "It's my life baby" (with Roy Gaines on guitar), "Woke up screaming" (with Clarence Hollimon on guitar), "I pity the fool", "Bobby's blues", "Stormy monday blues" (a sumptuous version with Wayne Bennett on guitar), "Turn on your love light", "36-22-36", "Blues in the night", "Sad feeling", "Rockin' in the same old boat". Initially firmly rooted in the Blues, he will gradually be inspired by Rhythm & Blues and nascent Soul. The series of 3 CDs "I pity the fool", "Turn on your love light" and "That did it" presents the entire Duke production.

TWO STEPS FROM THE BLUES

Duke

ABC

MCA

Soul Jam

January 1957 - 1960 (std. version)

March 1956 - 1960 (exp. version)

Le premier LP officiel de Bobby "Blue" Bland - avec sa jolie photographie en couverture - contient quelques superbes titres comme "I pity the fool", "Little boy blue", "Don't cry no more", "I've been wrong so long". Mélangeant Memphis Blues, Rhythm & Blues et Gospel, Bobby pose les bases de ce qui deviendra la Soul Sudiste et plus généralement du Soul-Blues. Tout est parfait ici : sa voix chaude et profonde, la production de Don Robey, les arrangements de cuivres de Joe Scott, des musiciens impeccables (notamment le guitariste Wayne Bennett), une section rythmique efficace (Hamp Simmons, John "Jabo" Starks, futur batteur de James Brown). Le label Soul Jam a fait paraitre une version allongée de ce disque.

The first Bobby "Blue" Bland official LP - with its beautiful photography on the cover - contains some great songs like "I pity the fool", "Little boy blue", "Don't cry no more", "I've been wrong so long". Mixing Memphis Blues, Rhythm & Blues and Gospel, Bobby laid the foundations for what will become the Southern Soul and more generally Soul-Blues. Everything is perfect here : his warm and deep voice, Don Robey's production, Joe Scott's horn arrangements, impeccable musicians (including guitarist Wayne Bennett), an effective rhythm section (Hamp Simmons, John "Jabo" Starks, future James Brown's drummer). The Soul Jam label published an extended version of this disc.

CALL ON ME

Duke

Bluesway

MCA

Universal

1957 - May 1963

Ce deuxième LP puise à peu près dans la même période que "Two steps from the blues". Mais "Two steps from the blues" était enregistré à Houston tandis que "Call on me" provient de séances captées essentiellement à Los Angeles et Nashville. Un peu moins riche en pépites que son prédécesseur, on trouve néanmoins "The feeling is gone", "Wishing you well", "Bobby's blues", "Ain't it a good thing". Comme d'habitude, la section cuivres est étincelante : Joe Scott, Melvin Jackson, Pluma Davis, Clifford Scott, Jimmy Beck, Johnny Board, Bobby Forte, Rayfield Devers.

This second LP roughly draws in the same period as "Two steps from the blues". But "Two steps from the blues" was recorded in Houston while "Call on me" comes mainly from sessions captured in Los Angeles and Nashville. A little less rich than its predecessor, we find however "The feeling is gone", "Wishing you well", "Bobby's blues", "Ain't it a good thing". As usual, the horn section is shining : Joe Scott, Melvin Jackson, Pluma Davis, Clifford Scott, Jimmy Beck, Johnny Board, Bobby Strong, Rayfield Devers.

HERE'S THE MAN

Duke

ABC

MCA

May 1961 - April 1962

Fantastique collection de morceaux Duke interprétés par Bobby "Blue" Bland. En effet, beaucoup de chefs d'oeuvre parsèment ce nouveau LP : "Stormy monday blues", "Turn on your love light", "36-22-36", "Ain't that lovin' you". Avec cette densité, "Here's the man" se hisse facilement au même haut niveau que "Two steps from the blues". Musiciens, arrangeurs, producteurs - toujours à leur meilleur - sont les mêmes que précédemment.

Fantastic collection of Duke songs sung by Bobby "Blue" Bland. Indeed, many masterpieces are compiled in this new LP : "Stormy monday blues", "Turn on your love light", "36-22-36", "Ain't that lovin' you". With this density," Here's the man " reaches easily the same high level than "Two steps from the blues". Musicians, arrangers, producers - always at their best - are the same as before.

AIN'T NOTHING YOU CAN DO

Duke

ABC

MCA

May 1963 - April 1964

Quatrième recueil Duke de Bobby Bland avec une pochette assez désuète. Celui-ci est un peu moins consistant mais on trouve, néanmoins, "Ain't nothing you can do", "Steal away" ou "I'm gonna cry". Même si la voix de Bobby et les arrangements sont toujours à la hauteur, la set-list contient moins de titres marquants.

Fourth Duke collection of Bobby Bland with a rather outmoded cover. This one is a little less consistent but there are, nevertheless, "Ain't nothing you can do", "Steal away" or "I'm gonna cry". Although Bobby's voice and arrangements are always up, the set-list contains fewer outstanding titles.

THE SOUL OF THE MAN

Duke

ABC

MCA

February 1964 - February 1966

Dans la seconde moitié des années 60, le succès s'amenuise lentement. Pourtant, Bobby et sa formation restent toujours en pleine forme comme en témoignent "Reach right out", "Dear Bobby (The note)", "Ain't nobody's business" et sa belle reprise de "Fever".

In the second half of the 60's, the success is shrinking slowly. But, Bobby and his band are still in good shape as evidenced by "Reach right out", "Dear Bobby (The note)", "Ain't nobody's business" and his beautiful cover of "Fever".

TOUCH OF THE BLUES

Duke

Island

ABC

MCA

April 1965 - February 1967

Toujours ce sublime son Soul-Blues avec une section cuivres encore une fois remarquable. Ici aussi, la sélection de titres reste passionnante du début à la fin et ce recueil figure aisément parmi les plus réussis de Bobby "Blue" Bland. Il faut écouter les superbes "Set me free", "That dit it", "Sweet loving", "Sad feeling", "Driftin' blues".

Always this great Soul-Blues sound with a remarkable horn section once again. Here too, titles selection remains exciting from beginning to end and that collection can easily be filed among the most achieved of Bobby "Blue" Bland. We must listen those superb titles "Set me free", "That did it", "Sweet loving", "Sad feeling", "Driftin' blues".

SPOTLIGHTING THE MAN

Duke

ABC

MCA

January 1968 - February 1969

Il s'agit du dernier recueil Duke de Bobby. Joe Scott a quitté le label et est remplacé par Melvin Jackson. De plus, Bobby, en manque de succès, se bat contre l'alcoolisme et la dépression. Son cocktail entre Rhythm & Blues cuivré et ballades Soul fonctionne encore correctement sur "Ask me 'bout nothin' but the blues", Gotta get to know you", "You ought to be ashamed", "Rockin' in the same old boat".

This is the last LP of Bobby at Duke. Joe Scott left the label and was replaced by Melvin Jackson. In addition, Bobby, in lack of success, is fighting against alcoholism and depression. His brassy Rhythm & Blues and Soul ballads cocktail still works correctly on "Ask me 'bout nothin' but the blues", "Gotta get to know you", "You ought to be ashamed", "Rockin' in the same old boat".

ANN ARBOR BLUES & JAZZ FESTIVAL 1972

Atlantic

September 1972

Bobby "Blue" Bland figure à l'affiche de ce prestigieux festival en 1972. Sur le microsillon proposé par Atlantic, il chante une version courte et puissante de "Ain't that loving you".

Bobby "Blue" Bland is featured in this prestigious festival in 1972. On this LP proposed by Atlantic, he sings a short and powerful version of "Ain't that loving you".

HIS CALIFORNIA ALBUM

ABC - Dunhill

BGO

MCA

1973

C'est l'album du changement. Après 20 ans passés chez Duke, la firme est rachetée par ABC Records. Bobby est, alors, placé sur le label Dunhill sous la supervision du jeune producteur Steve Barri. Celui-ci va tenter de donner un son plus contemporain à la musique de Bland : arrangements plus modernes, choix de reprises inattendu ("Help me through the day" de Leon Russell et "I've got to use my imagination" de Gladys Knight). Le résultat est excellent et Bobby retrouve une seconde jeunesse à travers quelques pièces remarquables : l'émouvant "This time I'm gone for good", "Up and down world", "It's not the spotlight" et le sensationnel "Goin' down slow" (avec un superbe solo d'orgue de Michael Omartian, également arrangeur).

This is the album of change. After 20 years at Duke, the firm was bought by ABC Records. Bobby is then placed on the Dunhill label under the supervision of young producer Steve Barri. Barri will attempt to give a more contemporary sound to Bland's music : modern arrangements, choice of unexpected covers ("Help me through the day" by Leon Russell and "I've got to use my imagination" by Gladys Knight). The result is excellent and Bobby found a second youth through some remarkable pieces : the moving "This time I'm gone for good", "Up and down world", "It's not the spotlight" and the sensational "Goin' down slow" (with a great organ solo by Michael Omartian also arranger).

DREAMER

ABC - Dunhill

BGO

MCA

1974 - 1975

Après le succès public et critique de "His california album", Bobby et Steve Barri conservent la même recette artistique : production élaborée avec cordes, cuivres et choristes ainsi qu'une section rythmique épaisse. Deux célèbres hits naitront de ces séances : "Ain't no love in the heart of the city" et "I wouldn't treat a dog (the way you treated me)". Mais, on peut aussi ressortir "I ain't gonna be the first to cry", "Yolanda", "24 hour blues". Tous les morceaux ont été enregistrés en 1974 sauf un qui date de l'année suivante.

After the public and critical success of "His california album", Bobby and Steve Barri keep the same artistic recipe : sophisticated production with strings, horns, singers and a heavy rhythm section. Two famous hits will emerge from those sessions : "Ain't no love in the heart of the city" and "I wouldn't treat a dog (the way you treated me)". But, we may also highlight "I ain't gonna be the first to cry", "Yolanda", "24 hour blues". All the tracks were recorded in 1974 except one which dates from the following year.

TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME LIVE

ABC - Dunhill

BGO

MCA

I LIKE TO LIVE THE LOVE

MCA

September 1974

Concert commun entre Bobby "Blue" Bland et son ami B.B. King sur une scène de Los Angeles. L'orchestre comprend des musiciens des deux artistes. Il existe d'évidence une belle complicité entre les deux hommes (ils discutent beaucoup ensemble tout au long du disque). Mais, en dépit de quelques beaux moments, tout reste souvent désespérément plat dans cette performance (notamment lors de ce medley interminable). Heureusement, certains morceaux méritent l'écoute comme "That's the way love is", "Don't cry no more", "Everybody wants to know why I sing the blues". Un disque finalement assez plaisant mais décevant de la part de deux artistes de cette stature.

Joint concert with Bobby "Blue" Bland and his friend B.B. King on stage in Los Angeles. The orchestra includes musicians from both artists. There is obviously a great complicity between the two men (they discuss a lot together throughout the disc). But despite some beautiful moments, everything is often desperately flat in this performance (especially during the endless medley). Fortunately, some tracks are worth listening like "That's the way love is", "Don't cry no more", "Everybody wants to know why I sing the blues". Actually, a pleasant record but quite disappointing from two artists of this stature.

GET ON DOWN WITH BOBBY BLAND

ABC

MCA

1975

Enregistré à Nashville et aux studios Muscle Shoals, il s'agit d'un album un peu particulier dans la discographie de Bobby. Produit par Don Gant et Ron Chancey, il est consacré à la Country mais repris dans son style Soul-Blues. Si la voix de Bobby est parfaite, l'album souffre d'une production et d'arrangements envahissants.

Recorded in Nashville and Muscle Shoals studios, this is a rather special album in Bobby's discography. Produced by Don Gant and Ron Chancey, it is dedicated to Country but covered in his Soul-Blues style. If Bobby's voice is perfect, the album suffers from pervasive production and arrangements.

THE INTERNATIONAL BLUES FESTIVAL

P-Vine

November 1975

REALLY THE BLUES

Monad

Mid 1970's

Prestation scénique datant probablement du milieu des années 70. D'après la Blues Discography, les bandes furent produites par Alonzo King et Norman Hedman. La qualité sonore est plutôt correcte mais manque un peu d'homogénéité et de puissance. Par contre, l'ambiance chaleureuse est au rendez-vous sur "I pity the fool", "That's the way love is" et un beau medley. Les musiciens derrière Bobby sont restés inconnus.

Stage performance probably from the mid 70's. According to the Blues Discography, those tapes were produced by Alonzo King and Norman Hedman. The sound quality is pretty good but lacks a bit of consistency and power. However, warm atmosphere is here on "I pity the fool", "That's the way love is" and a beautiful medley. The musicians behind Bobby remained unknown.

TOGETHER AGAIN LIVE

ABC

Impulse

MCA

March 1976

Nouvelle prestation scénique commune de Bobby "Blue" Bland et de B.B. King. Le disque commence par une version explosive de "Let the good times roll" puis continue avec un "Feel so bad" rejouissant. On apprécie aussi deux medleys bien mieux maitrisés que dans "Together for the first time". Il n'existe pas beaucoup d'albums en public vraiment achevés de Bobby donc celui-ci possède une importance particulière dans sa discographie.

New joint stage performance of Bobby "Blue" Bland and B.B. King. The disc begins with an explosive version of "Let the good times roll" and then continues with a rejoicing version of "Feel so bad". We also appreciate two medleys better mastered than in "Together for the first time". There is not a lot of really completed public albums by Bobby so this one has a special significance in his discography.

REFLECTIONS IN BLUE

ABC

MCA

1975 - 1977

Placé une dernière fois sous la supervision de Steve Barri et de Michael Omartian, Bobby propose avec "Reflections in blue" un album fréquemment sous-estimé. Certes, la production et les arrangements sont un peu trop lourds mais la voix passionnée de Bobby sur "Soul of a man", "Sittin' on a poor man's throne" ou "I intend to take your place" suffit à contenter l'auditeur. On note aussi une reprise inattendue du "I got the same old blues" de J.J. Cale.

Placed one last time under the supervision of Steve Barri and Michael Omartian, Bobby offers with "Reflections in blue" a frequently underestimated album. Certainly, production and arrangements are a bit too heavy but the passionate voice of Bobby on "Soul of a man", "Sittin' on a poor man's throne" or "I intend to take your place" is enough to satisfy the listener. We also note an unexpected cover of "I got the same old blues" by J.J. Cale.

COME FLY WITH ME

ABC

MCA

1978

Premier d'une longue série de disques produits par Monk Higgins et Al Bell, "Come fly with me" présente un son qui mélange ballades Pop, Soul avec un peu de Funk et de Disco. Production commerciale et surchargée avec choristes, cordes, flûtes, synthétiseurs. Un album très ennuyeux.

First disc in a long series of records produced by Monk Higgins and Al Bell, "Come fly with me" has a sound that mixes Pop ballads, Soul with a little of Funk and Disco. Commercial and overloaded production with singers, strings, flutes, synthesizers. A very boring album.

I FEEL GOOD, I FEEL FINE

MCA

1979

SWEET VIBRATIONS

MCA

1980

D'après le texte imprimé sur la pochette, ce disque est une sorte d'hommage à Joe Scott (ancien producteur-arrangeur de Bobby chez Duke). Plusieurs de ses compositions sont d'ailleurs reprises ici. Bobby délivre avec aisance cette Soul-Blues cuivrée particulièrement efficace sur "Sweet vibrator", "Soul with a flavor" ainsi que sur le dansant "Hollywood woman" avec section rythmique dévastatrice et cuivres éclatants.

According to the text printed on the cover, this album is a kind of homage to Joe Scott (Bobby's former producer-arranger at Duke). Indeed, several of his compositions are included here. Bobby delivers with ease this particularly effective brassy Soul-Blues on "Sweet vibrator", "Soul with a flavor" and on the dancing "Hollywood woman" with devastating rhythm section and brilliant horns.

TRY ME I'M REAL

MCA

1981

Faisant la part belle aux ballades sucrées avec ensemble de cordes et choristes, l'album peut ennuyer un peu l'auditeur. Quelques pistes émergent tout de même comme la chanson-titre "Try me I'm real", "What a difference a day makes", "Givin' up the streets for love" (les deux premières bénéficiant de la superbe guitare de Freddy Robinson).

Featuring sweet ballads with strings ensemble and vocal backgrounds, the album can annoy the listener. Some sides still emerge as the title track "Try me I'm real", "What a difference a day makes", "Givin' up the streets for love" (the first two enhanced by the superb guitar of Freddy Robinson).

HERE WE GO AGAIN

MCA

1982

TELL MR BLAND

MCA

1983

LONG BEACH 1983

Charly

MERCY MERCY ME

Dressed to Kill

1983

La qualité sonore laisse franchement à désirer par moments. Il est dommage aussi de n'avoir aucune information sur ce concert : ni dates, lieux ou musiciens. En dépit de ces inconvénients, Bobby chante bien et semble en pleine forme. Il s'agit donc d'un disque en public assez sympathique quoique mineur.

The sound quality is sometimes pretty bad. It is also a shame not to have any information on this concert or dates, locations or musicians. Despite these drawbacks, Bobby sings well and seems in great shape. So, this is a pretty nice albeit minor live disc.

YOU'VE GOT ME LOVING YOU

MCA

1984

MEMBERS ONLY

Malaco

FIRST CLASS BLUES

Malaco

May 1985

En 1984, MCA (qui a racheté ABC en 1979) ne renouvelle pas le contrat de Bobby "Blue" Bland. Dave Clark - un promoteur, ami de Bobby - lui conseille de rejoindre le label sudiste Malaco. Placé sous la responsabilité des producteurs Wolf Stephenson et de Tommy Couch, il continue dans sa veine habituelle de Soul-Blues chaleureuse bénéficiant des compositeurs maison comme Tommy Tate, George Jackson, Mosley & Johnson, Larry Addison. La chanson-titre restera un de ses morceaux emblématiques. Mais, on trouve d'autres belles réussites comme "In the ghetto", "Straight from the shoulder", "Sweet surrender".

In 1984, MCA (which bought ABC in 1979) does not renew the contract of Bobby "Blue" Bland. Dave Clark - a promoter, friend of Bobby - advises him to join the southern label Malaco. Under the responsibility of producers Wolf Stephenson and Tommy Couch, he continues in his usual warm Soul-Blues vein benefiting of house composers like Tommy Tate, George Jackson, Mosley & Johnson, Larry Addison. The title track will remain one of his emblematic tracks. But there are other beautiful achievements like "In the ghetto", "Straight from the shoulder", "Sweet surrender".

THE BLUES IS ALRIGHT

Malaco

FIRST CLASS BLUES

Malaco

May 1985

Sur cette compilation consacrée aux artistes du label Malaco, Bobby interprète une nouvelle version de son classique "Two steps from the blues". Celle-ci a été gravé pendant les séances de "Members only".

On this compilation dedicated to Malaco label artists, Bobby interprets a new version of his classic "Two steps from the blues". It was cut during "Members only" sessions.

THE BLUES IS ALRIGHT vol.2

Malaco

FIRST CLASS BLUES

Malaco

May 1985

Dans cette nouvelle livraison dédiée aux artistes Malaco, Bobby reprend le vieux standard "St James infirmary".

In this new record dedicated to Malaco artists, Bobby covers the old standard "St James infirmary".

AFTER ALL

Malaco

FIRST CLASS BLUES

Malaco

1986

Même équipe de producteurs et musiciens pour ce disque dans la parfaite continuité de "Members only". L'ensemble n'est ni nouveau ni original mais bien réalisé. Un album agréable avec notamment "Walkin' talkin' singin' the blues", "I hear you thinking", "Angel" et "Sunday morning blues".

Same team of producers and musicians for this disc in perfect continuity of "Members only". The set is neither new nor original but well done. A pleasant album including "Walkin' talkin' singin' the blues", "I hear you thinking", "Angel" and "Sunday morning blues".

BLUES YOU CAN USE

Malaco

1987

A force d'appliquer la même recette à chaque fois, les albums finissent par se ressembler. Ici, le cocktail Soul-Blues de charme avec ensemble de cordes finit par lasser et manque sérieusement d'originalité.

By dint of applying the same recipe each time, albums eventually look alike. Here, the charming Soul-Blues cocktail with string ensemble is eventually boring and and lacks of originality.

MIDNIGHT RUN

Malaco

1989

Il y a quelques bons moments comme "Take off your shoes", "If I don't get involved", "Midnight run" et une délicate reprise du "Ain't no sunshine" de Bill Withers. Un album plutôt agréable mais qui reste, toutefois, bien conventionnel.

There are some good moments like "Take off your shoes", "If I don't get involved", "Midnight run" and a delicate cover of "Ain't no sunshine" by Bill Withers. An album rather pleasant but remains, however, too much conventional.

BLUES FROM THE MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL

Malaco

July 1989

Invité pour l'édition 1989 du festival de Montreux, Bobby retrouve sur scène le guitariste Wayne Bennett (qui fut son guitariste attitré chez Duke). Bobby chante quelques uns de ses standards avec plaisir et dynamisme ("Further on up the road").

Invited for the 1989 edition of the Montreux festival, Bobby finds again on stage guitarist Wayne Bennett (who was his regular guitarist at Duke). Bobby sings some of his standards with pleasure and dynamism ("Further on up the road").

PORTRAIT OF THE BLUES

Malaco

1991

Bien produit dans le style facilement identifiable de Malaco, ce disque manque un peu d'originalité mais reste plaisant grâce à des compositions intéressantes : "Ain't no love for sale", "Hurtin' love", "Just take my love", "I just won't be your fool anymore".

Although produced in the easily identifiable Malaco style, this album lacks a little originality but remains pleasant with interesting compositions : "Ain't no love for sale", "Hurtin' love", "Just take my love", "I just won't be your fool anymore".

LIVE & RIGHTEOUS

Rockbeat

1992 / 1999

YEARS OF TEARS

Malaco

1993

Cet album figure probablement parmi ses meilleurs chez Malaco avec "Members only". On y trouve quelques beaux Blues comme "There's a stranger in my house" et "Hole in the wall" ainsi que des ballades Soul parfaitement chantées ("Somewhere between right and wrong", "Years of tears to go"). Un album varié avec des composition achevées, une production efficace et des arrangements équilibrés.

This album is probably among his best in Malaco with "Members only". There are some beautiful blues like "There's a stranger in my house" and "Hole in the wall" and the perfectly sung Soul ballads ("Somewhere between right and wrong", "Years of tears to go"). A varied album with achieved composition, effective production and balanced arrangements.

Z. ZELEBRATION

Malaco

1994

SAD STREET

Malaco

1995

En juin 1995, il dut subir un pontage coronarien. A la suite de cette intervention chirurgicale, Bobby dut ralentir un peu ses activités. On trouve dans ce nouvel album de nombreux titres signés par Robert Johnson & Sam Mosley. "I wanna tell you about the blues", "I had a dream last night", "Double trouble" et l'excellent "Sad street" figurent parmi les meilleurs moments de ce disque. Une curiosité : la reprise de "Tonight's the night" (un titre de Rod Stewart).

In june 1995, he had to undergo a coronary bypass surgery. Following this surgical operation, Bobby had to slow down his activities. There are many titles in this new album signed by Robert Johnson & Sam Mosley. "I wanna tell you about the blues", "I had a dream last night", "Double trouble" and the excellent "Sad street" are among the highlights of this disc. A curiosity : the cover of "Tonight's the night" (a Rod Stewart's title).

LIVE ON BEALE STREET

Malaco

1997

Concert au New Daisy Theatre de Memphis. Bobby est accompagné par son groupe régulier, dynamique et puissant. Vocalement, il semble en forme idéale et le concert est très plaisant à l'écoute. Dommage que certains standards prometteurs soient expédiés trop vite. A la fin de la représentation, Bobby invite sur scène Bobby Rush et Johnnie Taylor.

Concert at the Memphis' New Daisy Theatre. Bobby is accompanied by his dynamic and powerful regular band. Vocally, he seems in perfect shape and the concert is really enjoyable. Too bad that some promising standards are dispatched too quickly. At the end of the show, Bobby invited onstage Bobby Rush and Johnnie Taylor.

MEMPHIS MONDAY MORNING

Malaco

May 1985 / 1998

Les années passent et Bobby chante avec toujours autant de savoir-faire sa Soul-Blues élégante même si sa voix a un peu déclinée : "I don't want no kickin' in my stall", "There's a rat loose in my house", "Memphis monday morning". A noter que le dernier titre de l'album ("Lookin' for some tush") est un inédit de 1985 gravé lors des sessions de "Members only".

Years pass and Bobby sings always with great skill his elegant Soul-Blues although his voice slightly declined : "I don't want no kickin' in my stall", "There's a rat loose in my house", "Memphis monday morning". Note that the last track of the album ("Lookin' for some tush") is an unpublished title from 1985 cut during "Members only" sessions.

BLUES AT MIDNIGHT

Malaco

2003

A plus de 70 ans, Bobby "Blue" Bland propose un nouvel album toujours fidèle au label Malaco. Sa voix est maintenant moins puissante, moins assurée. Mais, la musique reste toujours aussi efficace : "Where do I go from here", "I caught the blues from someone else", "I've got the blues at midnight" et le titre final "Ghetto nights". Il s'agit de son dernier album studio. Bobby continuera à tourner les années qui suivent. Il décède en juin 2013 dans sa maison de Germantown.

More than 70 years old, Bobby "Blue" Bland proposes a new album always faithful to Malaco label. His voice is now less powerful, less assured. But music remains still effective, "Where do I go from here", "I caught the blues from someone else", "I've got the blues at midnight" and the final track "Ghetto nights". This is his last studio album. Bobby will continue to tour the following years. He died in june 2013 at his home in Germantown.

AIN'T THAT LOVING YOU

Setco

?

Obscur concert vraisemblablement de la dernière partie de sa carrière. La qualité sonore est plutôt correcte. Par contre, les informations concernant le lieu, la date et les musiciens sont inexistantes. Un disque assez dispensable malgré quelques bons moments.

Obscure concert dating probably from the last part of his career. The sound quality is quite correct. However, information about the location, date and musicians is missing. A fairly dispensable record despite some good moments.