Corey Harris

Daily Bread (Rounder)

On his previous albums, Corey Harris seemed more archivist than entertainer, one who found inspiration in blues traditions and their link to African culture. He hasn't abandoned his quest with Daily Bread; it's imbued with a variety of idioms, including the blues, reggae, folk, jazz, gospel, and zydeco. This time, however, his approach is less scholarly and far more accessible, resulting in easy, breezy numbers such as "The Sweetest Fruit," "Big String," and "More Precious than Gold." The instrumental weave is subtle but assured, with violin, trumpet, and percussion buoying his supple guitar fretwork as the sound varies from the flighty light jazz of "Just in Time" to the politically charged turbulence of "The Bush Is Burning." Consistently compelling, this is Harris's best set yet.

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