B.B. King & Sons


Live in Japan


When B.B. King went to play in Japan at Nakano Sun Plaza on 9th August, 1990, the organizers assembled an all star backing band for B.B. King. Each of the backing musicians was handpicked and they represented the cream of the top players in Japan. Backing musicians include Mitsuyoshi Azuma on guitar and backing vocals, Ken Yoshida on bass, Akhiro Okachi on drums and Kyon on piano and organ. On top of that there was a 6 piece horn section. As if that was not enough, they invited guests musicians like June Yamagashi to play guitar, Malta to play alto sax, Masaki Ueda to sing, Issei Noro to play guitar. B.B.’s cousion Walter King conducted the show. It was really an all-star affair.

This to me is the best recording B.B. King had ever made all studio recordings included. The backing band was spot on, the horn section tighter than a camel’s you-know-what. The guest musicians paid respect to their idol and yet each of them were not over-awed and shined on stage. B.B. King is always great on stage, such an entertainer, such a voice, such guitar, such a voice and such presence. But on this occasion, B.B. was fantastic, he was magnificent and he weaved magic on stage like never before, he was mesmerizing. B.B. pulled out all the standards like Sweet Little Angel, Let The Good Times Roll, The Thrill Is Gone and others. When the guest musicians appeared on stage there was a new chemistry and songs you have heard hundred of time seem to have take on a new dimension.

On this show, B.B. attained perfection with his performance. But, as with most things in life, nothing is really perfect. The only problem with this CD is that is not generally available outside Japan. The recording was released under “Guitar Workshop Special” under the label Invitation serial number VICL-103. If you like B.B. King, look for this, it is well worth the trouble. I seldom pay much attention to the sound quality of the recording. They really have noithing to do with the music. When yoou Hi-fi morons talking about music, all you hear is whether the sound quality is good, whether it is hi-fi quality. These people listen to the sound of the recording and not the music. What is sound without music? But great recording qulality doesn't harm a great session. The quality of the recording on B.B. King & Sons is one the best I have ever heard. Well, it was recording in Japan, what do you expect?

In the very likey event that you cannot find B.B. King & Sons, there are a few B.B. King live recordings I can recommend :-


Now Appearing at Ole Miss


Live At Cook County Jail


Live At The Regal


These the best some of the best B.B. King live recordings, any one of them is worth having. After all these years, the thrill is still here when you listen to any of these recordings. If you are thinking of getting some of B.B. King's studio recording, do not buy Riding With The King recorded by B.B. King and Eric Clapton. This is the most watered down recording B.B. King has every done. As you know Mr. Clapton is all pop music these days and the recording is sickly sweet. Well, actually more sicky than sweet to my ear..

B.B.King in the early 50's