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Last Call

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During the last decade of his life, Jeff Healey devoted much of his energy to playing vintage jazz, rather than the blues-rock that had won him fame in the ‘80s. Last Call adds a bittersweet coda to the legendary Canadian singer/guitarist’s work with the Jazz Wizards, capturing him in an intimate studio setting. Backed only by pianist/clarinetist Ross Wooldridge and violinist Drew Jurecka, Healey shows his connoisseur’s knowledge of old-time jazz by offering both standards (“Pennies from Heaven,” “Deep Purple”) and obscure gems (“Holding My Honey’s Hand”). The performances here have a mellow tone to them, though Healey shows his virtuosity even at his most relaxed moments. Tunes like “Hong Kong Blues,” “Time On My Hands” and “Laura” find him singing in a warm, near-crooning manner, while “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” swings righteously. “The Wildcat” allows Healey and Jurecka to recapture the Parisian hot-jazz spirit of Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli. On “Some of These Days,” Jeff double-tracks his nimble acoustic guitar, then adds his own trumpet work.


Born: March 25, 1966 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

What made Jeff Healey different from other blues-rockers was also what kept some listeners from accepting him as anything other than a novelty: the fact that the blind guitarist played his Fender Stratocaster on his lap, not standing up. With the guitar in his lap, Healey could make unique bends and hammer-ons, making his licks different and more elastic than most of the competition. Unfortunately, his material leaned toward standard AOR blues-rock, which rarely let him cut loose, but when he did,...
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Last Call, Jeff Healey
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