Durand Jones – Durand Jones and the Indications: Deluxe Edition (2018)

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I randomly landed on the Durand Jones song “Now I’m Gone,” recorded live in Boston, when I was shuffling my iPhone and I remembered why I love this band. The interaction between drummer Aaron Frazer and guitarist Blake Rhein is sublime. When Durand Jones’ powerful, vintage voice kicks in, you are transported to a time when musicians played real instruments and singers conveyed emotions with real passion and talent.

The re-release of Durand Jones and the Indications’ self-titled 2016 debut album seemed initially strange to me. The original is hard to improve upon. It’s a perfect combination of R&B sweetness, rock swagger and funky grooves. It is no wonder the album was at the top of my list of Best Rock, Pop and Soul albums for 2016.

The original studio project is reproduced here for the deluxe edition of Durand Jones and the Indications, and has lost none of its luster. However, the extra material on this expanded reissue makes a great thing even better: As one who as never seen this powerhouse band live, the addition of 10 live songs recorded in Bloomington, Indiana and Boston, Massachusetts are welcome additions.

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Durand Jones joins Preston Frazier to discuss his debut album, and how the Louisiana-born soul-singing sensation’s roots inform his unique throwback sound.]

Band leader Durand Jones shines in the live setting. Employing a powerful and full baritone, Jones repeatedly rises to the occasion – evoking the type of performances his original compositions demand. Songs like “Giving Up” have a big-band swagger, with the mighty horn section providing a foil to the gospel-inspired Hammond B-3 organ. “I Can’t Do Without You” burns with the passion of a Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings song.

The arranging empathy between Jones, Frazer and Rhein is also evident from start to finish. “Make A Change” gives hints of Booker T and the MG’s-meets-John Legend and the Roots. “Can’t Keep My Cool” bristles like vintage James Brown.

After just one listen, I’m reminded why I love the original album so much. If you bought the Durand Jones and the Indications, the live songs are a worthy addition and come on the digital version. If you don’t have the original, sweet Jesus buy the deluxe release. What are you waiting for?

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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