One Kind Favor
B.B. King looks back at life on One Kind Favor, said Gary Graff in Allaboutjazz.com. For his first studio album in three years, the blues master pairs up with T-Bone Burnett, a producer who in the past has helped such rock luminaries as Robert Plant and John Mellencamp wax nostalgic. One Kind Favor is an “inspired outing” that’s wistful without being sentimental. The album returns the guitarist to his roots, and has been released to coincide with the Sept. 10 opening of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in his hometown of Indianola, Miss. Revisiting songs from the start of his career, King seems to have replaced “the fire of his youth with a confident authority.” On track after track, he “roars mightily for a man past 80,” said Rashod D. Ollison in the Baltimore Sun. But the arrangements “fail to generate much of a spark,” even with a rhythm section that includes Dr. John on piano. King’s own performance is “undiminished and authentic,” however, said Jon Pareles in The New York Times. On Big Bill Broonzy’s “Backwater Blues” and Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” he communicates the “ache, the anger, the elegance, and the edge” of the blues.