Various Artists: Blues For Big Walter (EllerSoul )

Stellar collection of gob iron specialists salute the master.

TODO alt text

Little Walter had the hits and the flash reputation, but as bandleader, soloist and musical visionary, it was the hulking Big Walter Horton who arguably had the edge. Belated recognition of Horton’s voluminous skills and soul-scorching power is delivered here in a righteous and expansive manner.

The many facets of his art – unerring delicacy and murderous intent (Mark Hummel’s Hard Hearted Woman) , searing rebuke and natural grace (Kim Wilson’s opening Someday) – are present in abundance. Sugar Ray Norcia’s 18-minute medley is a multi-flavoured suite blowing Walter’s legend through carousing good times, south of the border intrigue and transcendent release. Bob Corritore, Ronnie Owens and more all go the extra mile for a maestro, which is no more than Walter deserves.