Lisa Chavous and The Philadelphia Blues Messengers are a rock-solid innovative Philadelphia blues ensemble. The core quintet established their reputation as a good-time jam band performing groove-driven original music as well as inspired interpretations of the music of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Elmore James and other blues legends. They forged a connection to world beat music and avant-garde jazz through their long association with recently departed Philly saxophone legend Byard Lancaster and didgereedoo guru and percussion powerhouse Harold Smith. The Philadelphia Blues Messengers believe in the power of music to bring all people together, and in the power of the blues as an ancient connection to basic life energy.
Over the last decade, Lisa Chavous and the Philadelphia Blues Messengers have expanded the act to include a full horn section headed by Byard Lancaster's appointed heir, Donald Williams, on saxophones, and the legendary Billy Holloman on keys. Byard also introduced trumpeter Kenny Taylor to the band and Lisa brought on Bob Tokonitz on trombone. The presence of so many Philly jazz veterans has created a super-powered soul explosion of high-energy blues firepower. The stage shows are full of world class solos and sensitive collective improvisations that truly pay tribute to the legacy of Byard Lancaster's aggressive and lyrical body of work.
Lastly, one cannot say enough about the dynamic vocal power of Ms. Lisa Chavous and her personal connection to her audience. When she works a crowd, everyone feels personally touched. Again, it was Byard who brought her to the Messengers, and what spectacular connection. She is an earth-shaker and a dream-maker. She believes in herself and her gifts and every night she leaves it all on the stage. She has been compared to Irma Thomas, Tina Turner, Koko Talor, and Etta James, but she has truly with the Messengers come into her own powerful and uplifting style. Her connections to the jazz world are brought home in the collaborations on this CD with the tenor giant Odean Pope-- "No Sunshine" and "Let it Be." It is here that enchants us with softer nuances of gospel and jazz.
Get the CD, crank it up, and get your underground hustle on. Lisa Chavous and The Philadelphia Blues Messengers certainly deliver. One People, One World, One Blues.