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Robben Ford reminds us of his place high amongst guitar’s world rankings

Treading carefully between the land mines of self-indulgence, Robben Ford's album Pure does not disappoint

Robben Ford: Pure album artwork
(Image: © EarMusic)

A career fusing jazz, rock and blues means Robben Ford was never going to disappoint in producing another perfect overlap of the three. 

White Rock Beer… 8 Cents and Blues For Lonnie Johnson are the clearest of crossovers, then Balafon wafts in, melding whistle-clean tones with a synth injection, making for an unexpected yet sophisticated contrast in textures that is repeated through the title track, although the latter has an Eastern feel not quite blending with the rest. 

A melodic top line flows through Milam Palmo and Go, although the latter draws one more to the groove shuffle hidden beneath the brass. A Dragon’s Tail opens with a Hank Marvin guitar twang followed by an exquisitely dramatic solo, and If You Want Me To saves the best bass line until last.

As always, Robben Ford treads perfectly between the land mines of self-indulgence. He has nothing left to prove, but that isn’t stopping him.