A new album by Robin Trower is always a cause for optimism and celebration and this collaboration with New York’s Sari Schorr is celebration indeed.
Trower’s trademark has always been the slow Blues, powerful and emotive riffs and an ability to work with many different styles of musician – Jack Bruce, Maxi Priest, Gary Brooker and others – adapting his music to work with them. This time around, he has made changes to suit Sari’s smoky and emotional vocals. “I’ve worked with some great vocalists over the years but Sari is dynamite, just an absolute knockout,” reflects Trower. “This album really pushed me, made me write in different keys and arrange songs for her voice. I went more down the R&B route this time, because I knew she’d be great with that flavour. But the blues still underpins everything I do – and there’s definitely elements from my ’70s stuff in this new album.”
I must admit that I was hooked from the first notes of ‘Burn’ – his slow and sensuous Blues against her restrained, almost jazzy, vocal.
“The album with Sari started when Alan Robinson of Manhaton Records – who manages both of us – asked if I’d write something for her. The first thing I said to him was that I’d love to hear her sing ‘I Will Always Be Your Shelter’. It’s a really special song to me. I had to completely rearrange it for her. But I knew she’d be wonderful on that song and it all grew from there.”
The album seems to pick out the best skills of both of the artists. Always a pure tone from Trower, allowing Sari to weave her words around his guitar lines. Plenty of room for his solos and the combination is sublime.
This is one of those 1+1=3 albums. If you are a fan of Robin Trower or Sari Schorr, you will find plenty to please, but there is more to the story here and the combination adds up to more than the sum of the parts. One of the best albums I’ve heard this year.