FORGET ABOUT Laura Palmer. Guess whom Koko Taylor has been recording with lately? Director David Lynch. For the results, we'll have to wait (again) for the American release of the movie "Wild at Heart," Lynch's recent Cannes Film Festival winner for which Taylor recorded two tunes, both composed by the director.
In the meantime, though, the blues queen has released the typically raucous and raunchy "Jump for Joy," an album that teams her with guitarist and fellow Chicago vet Lonnie Brooks and horn arranger Gene "Daddy G" Barge, a former mainstay of the Chess and Stax labels.
If the mix isn't nearly as novel, it's still extremely potent at times, especially when Taylor vents her spleen (and rafter-rattling lung power) on the accusatory "Fishing Trip," the once-burned by a friend, twice-shy "Stop Watching Your Enemies" and the album's emblematic coda "I Don't Want No Leftovers." Alligator Records, for whom Taylor records, prides itself on releasing "houserockin' music," and there are few voices better equipped for the job than Taylor's raspy shout.
Of course, "Jump for Joy" has its lighter moments -- the boisterous title track and the amusing exchanges between Taylor and Brooks on "It's a Dirty Job," to name two. But it's the boomingly defiant blues and Taylor's unusually subdued and moving performance of the ballad "Time Will Tell" that ultimately makes "Jump for Joy" the treat that it is.