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Chris Jagger - All The Best album review

A retrospective collection from the lesser-known Jagger

Cover art for Chris Jagger - All The Best album

With a career that has taken in stints as an actor, journalist, guitar maker and broadcaster as well as musician, it would be all too easy to sneer at Chris Jagger. And while the family connection has undoubtedly given Jagger minor access to artists such as David Gilmour and singer Sam Brown, both of whom guest here as well as brother Mick, taken on its own terms this 16-track retrospective from the past 20 years boasts just about enough merits to stand on its own two feet.

Naturally, the blues remains the obvious touchstone, but, as evidenced by Got Me (Where You Want Me) and On The Road, Jagger’s musical calling errs more on the side of spicy Cajun and country flavours. These are tracks that rollick along in their own easy-going fashion. Elsewhere, Law Against It rubs shoulders with early Dire Straits.

David Gilmour’s trademark slide guitar and sustained notes make their presence felt on It’s Amazing What People Throw Away and Junkman, but all too often it’s difficult to shake the feeling that, much like Jools Holland And His Rhythm And Blues Orchestra, Chris Jagger works far better in a live setting than on your stereo.

Julian Marszalek is the former Reviews Editor of The Blues Magazine. He has written about music for Music365, Yahoo! Music, The Quietus, The Guardian, NME and Shindig! among many others. As the Deputy Online News Editor at Xfm he revealed exclusively that Nick Cave’s second novel was on the way. During his two-decade career, he’s interviewed the likes of Keith Richards, Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and has been ranted at by John Lydon. He’s also in the select group of music journalists to have actually got on with Lou Reed. Marszalek taught music journalism at Middlesex University and co-ran the genre-fluid Stow Festival in Walthamstow for six years.