Arthur Blythe & David Eyges Today's Blues

There was a period, 20 years ago, when Arthur Blythe was at the cutting edge. He had made stunning LPs for India Navigation and his big alto sound was up there with the likes of Julius Hemphill and Oliver Lake. He seemed on the verge of a brilliant career. He cut the big deal with Columbia Records, put out the glossy classic In The Tradition, then slowly things went sour. Fortunately, Blythe is a survivor and this duo project is the most intimate music he has ever made. These original blues variations showcase him at his most spontaneous and honest. David Eyges creates nimble impish lines on electric cello that range from the slow and passionate "Today's Blues" and "Encore" to the sprightly neo-bop, "Randy Andy." His split tone arco solo, "Prayer," demonstrates how he has merged classical technique with the radical blues virtuosity of Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins. As musical collaborations go, this raw gem is near perfect, sounding more and more like one of the last classics of the 20th century. (CIMP)