Concertgoers know Allman Brothers guitarist Derek Trucks and his wife, vocalist Susan Tedeschi, have the most slammin’ 11-piece band in the land, and now the rest of us can hear why and spread the word. This double-CD, following up the pair’s excellent 2011 studio disc, Revelator, is indeed a revelation, pivoting on Oteil Burbridge’s state-of-the-art bass playing. On the cover title track and the original gem, “Midnight in Harlem,” Burbridge establishes his deep pocket role, with Jemmott-like syncopation and melodic peek-outs on his ’69 P/J-Bass. Switching to his Fodera 6 for the soulful “Learn How to Love,” Oteil really gets in gear behind Kebbi Williams’ sax solo, re-harmonizing the changes and adding a cascading rhythmic presence. Similarly, on “Bound for Glory,” he moves from Cogbill-style song support to mind locking solo arcs behind brother Kofi (on organ) and Trucks—starting at a whisper and building to runaway steamroller. “Nobody’s Free” unfurls more dramatic dynamics through Allman-style interplay with Trucks, and seething 16ths beneath Kofi ’s flute solo.
But wait, the jam-heavy disc two awaits! After ending a cover of Bobby Blue Bland’s “That Did It” with a quote from “Teentown,” off goes Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight.” Burbridge mines Jamerson’s original part on his 6 before turning Maurice Brown’s trumpet solo into a call and response that soon doubles up via darting Jaco-esque figures. With Kofi manning keyboard bass and modulating from Db to E, Oteil launches his solo journey, which ranges from dense chord melodies rendered gravityfree to stratospheric scat-and-pluck runs. Finally, in full-on finger-funk boogie mode, Burbridge gets in the cracks like a musical moss on “Love Has Something to Say.” A bass and groove tour de force that elevates the shining voices of Tedeschi and Trucks.