Blues in daylight and wide-open space appears to further fuel the imperturbable
conviction of BARBEQUE BOB MAGLINTE AND THE RHYTHM ACES as they come roaring around the track for the start of ‘Chromo Jump’.
In the midst of direct, lucid, hard-blowing Blues we have a band where an enormous range of complex, intriguing styles and nuances are successfully performed with ease. While rawness is not a guise or excuse for these musicians, neither is the sophistication veneer deep. The two soloists, of exceptional emotional rapport, are equally exciting as ensemble players. The extensive vocabulary of The Rhythm Aces supports the inspiring passionate trumpet like blasts and multi-note passages from the harmonica while enabling the guitar to deliver introductions, obbligatos, and verses in independent time. Troy’s musicality is a spectacular hybrid of sophistication and rawness: transforming the sound of distortion into a ‘warm’ presence while marvelous choruses of bell-tone notes are spun with equal aplomb on songs spanning extreme tempos.
Though intimately familiar with a vast repertoire, neither is BBQ Bob interested in note-for-note replication of either his or another’s solos. It is not his playing style, or reason he was attracted to music, to rely or fall back on such approaches — his ‘master plan is always subject to spontaneous modification based on inspiration.’
Having the music of Eddie ‘Guitar Slim’ Jones, Big Walter Horton, Red Prysock, or Charlie Parker, Tiny Grimes, Jimmy Smith, for examples, on BBQ’s mind may find its way by notes or inspiration into his performance when he takes the bandstand but what is ultimately offered by his magic harmonica is a deep wide soulful swath of feeling based on shared and personal experience as he charms and satisfies both the uninitiated and the familiar with strong sincere delivery.
To a man the band performs with a depth that repeat listening will often reveal music not previously recalled. The maturity to express joy as well as sorrow belied the brief time they played together. In ’96 drummer Dan Bunge left for the West Coast, guitarist Troy Gonyea began freelancing, and bassist Gary Bergin continued playing jazz. BBQ has continued working with a small group of excellent, interchanging players, sometimes including Troy on guitar, who since 2001 has played with Kim Wilson’s Fabulous Thunderbirds and formed The Howl (featuring selfpenned hard Blues).
Emotions, eased by preaching blues-drenched musicians, made their way on breeze through the swaying audience, crossing over the waters of a City harbor, toward the horizon. Delivery without restriction, in boundless space, brewed a high-octane spirit between band and audience.
Accompanying the CD is a booklet that provides background on the tunes and insight into the band’s approach to the Blues.