Zakiya Hooker – In The Mood | Album Review

zakiyahookeercdZakiya Hooker – In The Mood

Boogie With The Hook Records

www.zakiyahooker.com 

12 Tracks/44:51  Running Time

Not only does she have a receipt to sing the Blues as the opening track proclaims, but the strands of her famous father John Lee Hooker’s DNA saturate her artistic prowess.

Zakiya Hooker’s career was launched when she appeared with her dad at an Oakland show in 1991. By conventional standards, that start was a tad tardy. However, since then, her career has blossomed with critically acclaimed Cd’s, movie soundtracks, commercial advertisements and a global audience that encompasses her U.S. strongholds of the San Francisco Bay Area, her native Detroit and her current home base of Atlanta. She is hugely popular in Argentina and Europe as well.

In The Mood is produced by Zakiya’s talented,  bass playing, balladeer husband, Ollan Christopher Bell/AKA Chris James, founding member of the R&B vocal group, The Natural Four.

Taking advantage of Zakiya’s global popularity, Bell uses a bi-continental roster of musicians for this project.

From the East Bay of the San Francisco scene, guitarists  Bobby Young and Greg Crockett handle stateside guitar duties. Of Bobby Young, John Lee Hooker once said upon hearing Young’s version of “Red House,” “That’s the best I’ve heard “Red House” since Jimi died.”

Greg Crockett has written, produced and performed with Tower of Power, Bobby Womack, George Clinton and many others. He is a 2013 West Coast Blues Hall of Fame Inductee.

Omaha native and Bay Area funky stalwart, drummer Ron E. Beck was Tower of Power’s drummer from 1975 through 1978.

Rounding out the stateside contingent are Paul Palizzalo on harmonica, Jonathan Williams on keys with Anthony Reed and Ollan Bell on backing vocals.

The Argentine studio band consists of Federico Bozas on guitar and bass, Sebastian Lopez, guitar, Gonzalo Carmele, bass, Jose Luis Viggiano, drums, Gabriel de Pedro, keys, Martin Bustos, trombone, Claudio Martin Roman, trumpet and Ricardo Rico Rodriguez, sax.

Zakiya Hooker swings with the suave savviness of a Dinah Washington mixed with the Mississippi Delta grit of her dad.

Now to the CD. The title track is not to be confused with “I’m In The Mood” album released by John Lee Hooker in 1968. Eight of the eleven tracks on this album were co-written by Hooker and Bell, showcasing their lyrical camaraderie.

The caliber of production is  superlative and embraces Jazz and R & B as well as Blues. Track 3 “Drowning In Your Love,”  is one of two tracks  that Zakiya didn’t have a hand in co-writing. It showcases her Jazz chops against a guitar and piano melodic interplay with the horns augmenting rhythmically behind the beat.

Track 5 “Lets’s Do Something,”  has a snappy horn arrangement with a slick hook …skinny dippin’ baby’, you know that I ain’t trippin’.

Track 9 “One Step Two Two,” is a slow tempo rockin’ blues with killer background vocals that sound like a female trio but is actually Zakiya, Ollan and Anthony Reed.

This album is a melting pot of flavors and styles reflective of the Blues in the 21st century. All of the songs are great. The cover art though, doesn’t seem to match the content. All the dj’s have to do is play it!

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