There are reasons aplenty for the music listening population's attention being swayed by Lead Belly. The songs that he sang were appealingly forthright and uncomplicated. His voice and powerful 12-string guitar were strong and enticing. Because of his magnetism, Lead Belly's music remains a touchstone in blues's evolution into rock, soul and jazz music.
Two years ago, Sunnyside released drummer Adam Nussbaum's first true recording as a leader, and fantastic tribute to one of his idols, The Lead Belly Project. Nussbaum's band of saxophonist Ohad Talmor and dual guitarists, Steve Cardenas and Nate Radley, ably channeled a program of Lead Belly tunes chosen by the leader, mainly culled from the Folkway Recordings 10-inch records Nussbaum grew up listening to. The project allowed Nussbaum to show another side of his musical character that he hadn't previously been able to showcase regularly during his remarkable forty-year career.
In July of 2019, Nussbam and the ensemble returned to Talmor's home studio, Seeds, in Brooklyn. They recorded with no separation between the musicians and entirely live. The musicians' comfort with the material and each other can be heard in the results, as the pieces have an emotional intimacy that goes beyond their prior efforts. The result of these recordings can be heard on their new album, Lead Belly Reimagined.
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