The Sirens Records


SR5011: Careless Love   -- Erwin Helfer


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“The Crescent City may have Dr. John, but for a considerably longer time, the Windy City has had Erwin Helfer, a blues and boogie master whose obscurity masks the great esteem which he is held by his fans and fellow musicians. With a series of fine albums for suburban Chicago label The Sirens, Helfer is chipping away at his cult status as he approaches his 70th birthday. Careless Love is the best of them in terms of its stylistic breadth and the easy elegance with which he connects those dots; among “two-fisted” pianists, he is the most genial as well as the most crafty. The music is lifted by a large-spirited sense of now, ranging from a reading of Hank Williams' “Jambalaya” on which second-line rhythm meets Caribbean tinge, to a jaunty, staggering “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”, to a languorous, time-lagging treatment of Thelonious Monk's “Blue Monk”…” More Press / Music CD Reviews»

Lloyd Sachs, No Depression March-April 2006

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Press / Music CD Reviews

"The Crescent City may have Dr. John, but for a considerably longer time, the Windy City has had Erwin Helfer, a blues and boogie master whose obscurity masks the great esteem which he is held by his fans and fellow musicians. With a series of fine albums for suburban Chicago label The Sirens, Helfer is chipping away at his cult status as he approaches his 70th birthday. Careless Love is the best of them in terms of its stylistic breadth and the easy elegance with which he connects those dots; among “two-fisted” pianists, he is the most genial as well as the most crafty. The music is lifted by a large-spirited sense of now, ranging from a reading of Hank Williams' “Jambalaya” on which second-line rhythm meets Caribbean tinge, to a jaunty, staggering “Just A Closer Walk With Thee”, to a languorous, time-lagging treatment of Thelonious Monk's “Blue Monk”. Even when drummer Avreeayl Ra, who comes from the jazz avant garde, and mainstream jazz bassist John Whitfield aren't quite on the same page as Helfer, his off-kilter overlapping figures, hammered accents and shrewd hesitations keep your ears pinned."

Lloyd Sachs, No Depression March-April 2006
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