I'm Alright (Dialtone)
Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Oct. 21, 2011
Cornell DupreeI'm Alright (Dialtone)
The word Alright barely contains this knockout disc, so timeless it could have been cut at any point during the last five decades. Brimming with instrumentals led by the late Cornell Dupree, I'm Alright carves a mighty epitaph for the Fort Worth-born guitarist, who started with fellow hometown landmark King Curtis, played in the Atlantic Records stable, and recorded with Miles Davis. Dupree's originals ("CL Blues," "Doin' Alright") sit close and tight with fine R&B arrangements of "Grandma's Hands," "Ham," and "Help Me Make It Through the Night." Dupree, 68, died in May from complications of emphysema and knew this was his final LP, so I'm Alright bleeds with visceral, soulful love on "Erma's Shades," written for his beloved wife of 53 years, and ends in a quick heartbeat before sliding into an exquisite, wistful "Rainy Night in Georgia." That's Dupree's legacy, left here on Austin blues indie Dialtone Records and buoyed by Mike Flanigin's B-3 hum and Kaz Kazanoff's sweet sax behind it, plus sublime accompaniment from Nick Connelly, Barry "Frosty" Smith, Larry Fulcher, and Ronnie James. There's also a grace note on I'm Alright: Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears guitarist/bandleader Zach Ernst is noted as "Assistant to Mr. Dupree." Consider the torch passed.