NAT SIMPKINS

100x1Black.gif (41 bytes) Spare Ribs
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CD Cover

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1. Muchacho (listen)
2. Rib Joint
3. Slo Movin Freight
4. Arnett is Comin To Town
5. Autumn In New York
6. Calypso Gal
7. Sandys Song
8. Gospel Truth
9. Cleanhead Shuffle

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Nat Simpkins-Saxophone, Eric Johnson-Guitar, Dave Braham-Organ,  Cecil Brooks III-Drums, Ralph Dorsey-Congas

"Simpkins is one of the few modern-day practitioners of the ‘Texas tenor’' sound, a swaggering big-toned style that stirs R&B grit with down-home blow-it-all-out improvising."

- Bob Young, Boston Herald

"Simpkins’ sax allegiance is steeped in the Texas tenor tradition and it is obvious he's listened long and hard to ‘Fathead’ Newman, Illinois Jacquet, Clifford Scott and others."

- Larry Hollis, Cadence

In 1992 Nat Simpkins recorded his first CD as a leader, "Just Friends," which Houston Person produced for Muse Records. Simpkins brought in two of his mentors on sax to play with him on his debut: Buddy Tate and Houston with the rhythm section of Major Holley, Stan Hope, and Grady Tate. Simpkins more than held his own on this great album that presented three generations of "Texas Tenors". The follow-up CD, "Cookin With Some Barbeque," is a classic tenor and organ date featuring Nat with organist Gloria Coleman, guitarist Russell Malone, and drummer Cecil Brooks III.

When just friends get together and cook up some barbeque they usually come up with some "Spare Ribs". For Simpkins' latest CD, Cecil Brooks brought in fellow bandmates from Pittsburgh, guitarist Eric Johnson andorganist Dave Braham. This date is recorded in the spirit of classic soul jazz albums by Jimmy Smith with Stanley Turrentine and Jack McDuff with Houston Person and Gene Ammons, updated with some 90's technology and contemporary song material. Except for one Vernon Duke standard, Simpkins wrote all the tunes. His originals fill the bill perfectly.

"Spare Ribs" is a well planned barbeque. The tunes are nicely arranged and they all cook! "Muchacho" is a 32 bar Latin tune reminiscent of Santana's "Evil Ways." "Rib Joint" is a Bb shuffle in the style of Jimmy Smith. "Slo Movin Freight" is a 6/4 down-home blues groove. "Arnett Is Comin To Town" is a 16 bar minor blues which features Simpkins in a Turrentine groove. Vernon Duke's beautiful ballad "Autumn in New York" follows, then the relaxed, playful "Calypso Gal," and the contemporary sounding "Sandys Song" with Simpkins in a Grover Washington mood on alto. "Gospel Truth" takes us to church with some soulful preaching a la Jimmy McGriff. "Cleanhead Shuffle" closes the album on just the right blue note. There is something for everybody on this one. Nat Simpkins is ready to carry on the soulful tenor tradition. "Spare Ribs" adds a new chapter to the soul jazz genre and holds the promise of a long and fruitful career.

Bluejay Records
Phone: (978) 526-4254
Fax: (978) 526-8492
staff@bluejayrecords.com
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