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Dave Specter - Speculatin' - 2000

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Dave Specter - Speculatin' - 2000

Lossless (Flac Image File + Cue + Log + Audiochecker Log): 391 Mb | EAC Secure Mode Rip | Mp3 (CBR 320 kbps): 145 Mb | Front & Back Cover

Audio CD (June 6, 2000) - Original Release Date: May 2, 2000 - Number of Discs: 1 - Label: Delmark Records - Catalog Number: DE-744

Contemporary Blues, Electric Blues

Dave Specter - Speculatin' - 2000
Bio: In a relatively short time frame, Chicago guitarist Dave Specter has found his way onto the blues equivalent of the fast track. Just over a decade ago, the towering guitarist with the carefully coiffed hair first made his presence felt as a good-natured bouncer at B.L.U.E.S., a Windy City blues mecca. Now, he's got six acclaimed albums in the Delmark catalog, every one a satisfying, challenging mix of blues (Specter lists influences including T-Bone Walker, Pee Wee Crayton, Magic Sam, and Otis Rush) and jazz (Kenny Burrell's another of his main men).

The native of Chicago's Northwest side didn't even grab a guitar until he was 18 years old, inspired by his harp-blowing older brother Howard. While working at Jazz Record Mart and in the shipping department at Delmark he took guitar lessons from Sunnyland Slim's former guitarist Steve Freund. Once he gained some skills, Freund set him up with legendary drummer Sam Lay and Howlin Wolf's guitar player Hubert Sumlin for a tour. At this time he was also working at B.L.U.E.S., making valuable contacts on the job that led to sideman gigs with Johnny Littlejohn, Son Seals, and the Legendary Blues Band before he assembled his own outfit, the Bluebirds, in 1989.

Since Specter doesn't sing, he recruited deep-voiced crooner Barkin' Bill Smith as his first vocalist. The two shared the spotlight on Specter's alluring 1991 Delmark debut, Bluebird Blues. After Smith departed, Specter latched on to another West side veteran, Jesse Fortune, backing the singer on his 1993 Delmark set Fortune Tellin' Man. Dazzling harpist Tad Robinson took over frontman duties for the Bluebirds' 1994 disc Blueplicity and Live in Europe the next year. California harpman Lynwood Slim became the band's resident singer when Robinson left.

Jazz is growing increasingly prominent in Specter's evolving guitar attack. He imported legendary jazz organist Brother Jack McDuff to provide a Hammond B-3 cushion for his 1996 Delmark project Left Turn on Blue. In 1998 he returned with a new singer, Lenny Lynn, and a new record for Delmark, Blues Spoken Here. For 2000s Speculatin' Spector did away with vocals and cut 13 instrumentals. Is What It Is appeared in 2004, followed by Live in Chicago (a DVD of the same show was also issued) in 2008, all on the Delmark imprint.

Squeezing frequent European tours in between a myriad of local gigs, Specter wears his love for swinging blues tradition on his sleeve, and it fits him well. ~ Bill Dahl, All Music Guide

Dave Specter - Speculatin' - 2000

Product Description: Dave Specter returns with his best offering yet. He dispenses with a vocalist completely for this release and is much the better for it. His playing is excellent as usual. He is equally at home playing a stone blues like "Dark Hour Blues" as he is at playing a jazz tune like "The Mighty Burner" by Charles Earland. He also offers up some funk with a cover of the Meters "Look-Ka Py Py". One minute his playing reminds me of Magic Sam or Freddie King while on other tunes he sounds like Kenny Burrell or Wes Montgomery. His take on Dizzy Gillespie's "Birk's Works" is also interesting. His backing band includes Ken Saydak on keyboards who has played on many blues sessions including some with Johnny Winter.

Review: This is an all-instrumental disc that is exclusively neither blues nor jazz, but a blend of each. It marked the first time the tasty Chicago guitarist recorded only instrumentals, but folks who were Specter fans before this one could probably feel it coming. Though he has worked with some delightful vocalists (Barkin' Bill Smith, Lenny Lynn, Tad Robinson, and Lynwood Slim) he has sprinkled a few instrumentals into previous albums, and the format clearly suits him perfectly. For the most part, Specter is accompanied here by his working band and gives Rob Waters plenty of room to roam on Hammond B-3. Nine tunes are originals (one by Waters), and covers include Dizzy Gillespie's "Birk's Works," the Meters' "Look-Ka Py Py," and "Hot Cha" (a Willie Woods tune that became a hit for Junior Walker). The band also swings on soul-jazz organist Charles Earland's "The Mighty Burner" (the flipside to Earland's "More Today Than Yesterday").

You won't find many covers of this one, save a 1970 recording by Clarence Wheeler and the Enforcers. "At Whit's End" is Specter's tribute to his late compadre and guitar pal, Bob Whitman. The minor-key cha-cha spotlights Specter's frugal, delicately paced guitar style and Waters' rapid B-3 runs. "Blues A-La-King," with phrasing similar to some of B.B. Kings' earlier work, is a "backward" shuffle that best demonstrates how tight this band is. Specter and Waters adopt a marvelously aloof, sassy mood and take off together on the opening phrases of "The Haleiwa Shuffle," named for the artist's favorite Oahu getaway. The only song that doesn't fall in line with the general feeling here is "Dark Hour Blues," a slow and grinding stomp in the key of E through J.L. Hooker/Lightnin' Hopkins territory that is tacked on to the end of the disc. Still, it's proof positive that Specter can do it all. Speculatin has set the record straight: blues instrumentals are not just for breakfast anymore!”

Dave Specter - Speculatin' - 2000

Track Listing:

01 - At Whit's End - 4:54
Dave Specter - Speculatin' - 2000

02 - Blues A-La-King - 4:45
03 - Texas Top - 4:44
04 - The Mighty Burner - 4:24
05 - Birk's Works - 5:04
06 - Look-Ka Py Py - 5:28
07 - The Haleiwa Shuffle - 4:10
08 - Blues For Magic Sam - 5:17
09 - Hot Cha' - 6:05
10 - Jade's Dance - 4:33
11 - Minor Side Down - 5:34
12 - Speculatin' - 5:02
13 - Dark Hour Blues - 3:41


Dave Specter - guitar
Harlan Terson - bass
Rich Parenti - tenor saxophone
Rob Waters - Hammond B-3 organ
Jose Rendon - percussion

Dave Specter - Speculatin' - 2000

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