2017 –André Bisson
Release Date : Oct 20, 2017
By Phillip Smith; Oct 21, 2017
It was a welcoming surprise to hear the smashing new release Break from André Bisson. It’s been a little over two years since I reviewed his previous album Left With the Blues. Though that recording won me over hook, line, and sinker, this album is even more captivating. Bisson masterfully taps into his Motown, blues, and gospel influences for these compositions, and then performs them with vibrant vocals along with a tight cast of musicians. With a guitar full of twangy goodness in hand, Bisson leads his core band composed of saxophonists Bil Holinaty and Gordon Aeichele, trumpeter/cellist Loretta Hale, bassist Mike Rowell, drummer Sean Bruce Parker, and Jesse O’Brian on piano/B3 organ/Wurlitzer.
I love how the title track “Break” latches on to me from the git-go. Bisson belts this one out of the park with fortitude. The feel-good vibe continues onward to “How Many Times”, a swinging and soulful track which gently walks the line between Sun and Stax. Utilizing the energizing sound of a room full of horns, and an expert rhythm section, Bisson pulls off a sweet callback to Vegas-era Elvis Presley. Swirling sounds of organ, bountiful blasts of brass, and a groovy sax solo puts me in my happy space when “Feelin’ Fine” jets out the speakers.
Bisson beautifully sings the blues on “Reflections”, a lovely and melancholy song delivered with a sad swirly melody. Then with the swagger of Joe Cocker, he takes on The Beatles’ “Elenor Rigby”, giving this only cover song on the album a total make-over.
Break, Bisson’s seventh album, undeniably shows just how much of an artist he truly is. This is indeed one terrific album.
The PhillyCheeze review of André Bisson’s “Left With the Blues” :