Master of the Telecaster's last Alligator recording, and his favorite. Jimmy McGriff on organ, Mel Brown on guitar, the Uptown Horns. Grammy nominee. "Razor sharp attack...funky, slow-burning intensity"--WASHINGTON POST
ALBERT COLLINS, Guitar and vocals
MEL BROWN, Rhythm guitar
JIMMY MCGRIFF OR ALLEN BATTS(*), Keyboards
JOHNNY B. GAYDEN, Bass
MORRIS JENNINGS, Drums and percussions
THE UPTOWN HORNS:
CRISPIN CIOE, Alto and baritone sax
BOB FUNK, Trombone
ARNO HECHT, Tenor sax
HOLLYWOOD PAUL LITTERAL, Trumpet
PRODUCED BY ALBERT COLLINS, BRUCE IGLAUER AND DICK SHURMAN
ENGINEERED AND MIXED BY JUSTIN NIEBANK
ASSISTED BY J. DAWSON MILLER
RECORDED AND MIXED AT STREETERVILLE STUDIOS, CHICAGO, IL
COVER AND LINER PHOTOS BY PAUL NATKIN/PHOTO RESERVE
BACK COVER PHOTOS BY SUSAN MATTES
COVER DESIGN BY SKIP WILLIAMSON
MASTERED BY TOM COYNE AT FRANKFORD/WAYNE, NEW YORK, NY
JIMMY McGRIFF APPEARS COURTESY OF MILESTONE RECORDS
HORNS ARRANGED BY THE UPTOWN HORNS AND ALBERT COLLINS
It's been a pretty amazing year and a half for Albert Collins. Eighteen months ago, he was already one of the most renowned blues musicians anywhere -- "the most powerful blues guitarist in the world," as Musician magazine called him. But since then, literally billions of people have seen or heard Albert for the first time either live, on television, or on the radio. And a whole lot of folks have found out that Albert Collins makes the lines between blues, rock 'n' roll, funk and jazz seem irrelevant.
Since his electrifying appearance at the Live Aid concert with George Thorogood, Albert has barnstormed his way across Europe (twice), and pulled sellout crowds, as well as two national TV appearances, on his first tour of Australia. He's played for fifty thousand people from the steps of the Texas State House in Austin, and been awarded the key to the city of Houston after headlining the Juneteenth Festival there (seems like Texas finally got around to noticing one of its most famous sons). He's played for an audience of four million on NBC Radio's "Live At The Hard Rock," where he first joined forces with the extraordinary Uptown Horns. He's jammed with Stevie Ray Vaughan in L.A. and Toronto, and cut a single with David Bowie in New York. He's recorded an award-winning album, Showdown! with two of his best known proteges, Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland. And he's brought a star-studded Carnegie Hall audience to its feet with one of his patented hundred-feet-of-guitar-cord strolls through the crowd, while the cameras rolled for an upcoming TV special.
For his new album, Cold Snap (his seventh on Alligator and the twelfth of his career), the "Master of the Telecaster" put together a "dream" session with some of the blues, rock, jazz and funk players he most admires. Jimmy McGriff, the famed jazz organist, has been an idol of Albert's for years and a major influence on the Collins guitar style. They hadn't jammed together for over a decade, but Jimmy locked in behind Albert's guitar like they'd played together every day. Mel Brown, whose own funky jazz albums are guitar fanatic's collector's items, has played with Albert many times at Antone's in Austin, and he was eager to fly in for the session. Morris Jennings is the powerhouse drummer on hundreds of records (including Roy Buchanan's recent Alligator albums) and Albert was dying to check him out in the studio. And Johnny B. Gayden -- well, he's the sparkplug of The Icebreakers, Albert's-award-winning touring band, and he's simply a great bass player. Finally, The Uptown Horns,whose crackling sound has been heard on the road and in the studio with everyone from Robert Plant to James Brown to Twisted Sister, came in from New York to create some up-to-the-minute horn parts for Albert. All in all, Albert says, "the album was like a dream come true."
If you've been listening to Albert Collins for years, you already know about the icy guitar, the wry vocals and the amazing energy. But look out, because there's a whole new legion of fans who are just discovering Albert. Seems like he's getting the whole world up on its feet and shakin'!
-- BRUCE IGLAUER