Greg Piccolo may hail from Rhode Island but he is definitely a Texas tenor. The word "homage" may suggest an atmosphere of quiet reverence but that's not what you will find in this rousing session. Piccolo is paying homage to the influences- Texas tenors - who led him to two decades with the ultimate blues band," Roomful of Blues" and his subsequent solo career. The tenor is an emotional instrument. The Texas style is deeply emotional-raw, earthy with a BIG sound-whether hard- driving the blues or caressing a ballad. Piccolo is very much in that tradition and his rhythm section, spurred by Reese Wynans on organ (two tracks) and piano, belongs there too.
There are just two ballads on this CD, both played soulfully. "Over the Rainbow" reflects the great Ben Webster while "You Left Me Alone," Illinois Jacquet's first composition (incredible!) will leave you feeling glad that he was jilted at the tender age of fourteen. The bulk of the tracks are roof raisin' blues including two more tunes by Jacquet. Red Prysock is honored with "Soft", "Red's Blues" and an energetic "Handclappin'." That favorite of the "can't clap on two and four" set , "Night and Day," is given the hard-driving Piccolo treatment based on Lockjaw Davis's arrangement. Clifford Scott ,Gene Ammons and Prez are also recognized. Then there's Joe Houston of Austin TX! Piccolo and company go all out on his down and dirty "Blow Joe Blow."
You'll enjoy this uninhibited blues-drenched session. My personal fantasy is to hear Piccolo paired with a swinging Hammond B-3. Hope it happens!