Big Jay McNeely - Blowin' Down the House: Big Jay's Latest & Greatest
This phenomenal sax player was driving audiences wild with his high energy stage show way back in the late '40s and early '50s and many fans today might be under the impression that the star has passed away.
Not so; Big Jay is still honkin' like crazy at 89-years of age, and while most of this album consists of vintage favorites like "Rock Candy," "Willie the Cool Cat" and "Big Jay's Hop," there are also five songs here that were recorded in 2016.
The new cuts are stacked at the top of the set list and some are done in the classic Big Jay style, including "Love is Stronger Than Hurt" where McNeely not only gives a shout-out to 1965 lyrically but also with the song's overall arrangement, which of course includes plenty of his trademark raunchy sax riffing.
While his artistic integrity is fully intact here, clearly McNeely will not be able to play much longer, and with that in mind Blowin' Down the House offers new fans an excellent introduction to a star who was having hit records before Elvis Presley ever walked into a recording studio.