This is a collection of jubilant renditions of some of Healey’s favorite tunes, to be sure, but it’s also a window to the soul. Healey doesn’t just sing and play guitar here, either. He introduces a trumpet to the proceedings, showing off yet another dimension of his musical character.
“Forget about the weather, ‘cuz I think it’s simply grand,” Healey begins on “Holding My Honey’s Hand.” The opening track is imperfect and sweet, with the stripped-down performance still giving room for a groovy little patch of soloing.
Last Call features Healey along with Drew Jurecka on violin and Ross Wooldridge on piano and clarinet. The little group is the perfect fit for these songs and the arrangements never overwhelm. Healey’s joy for playing these songs is made clear because of the spaciousness and splendor offered by the group.
The slick piano sway of “Time on My Hands” melts gracefully with Wooldridge’s flourish on “Laura.” Both tracks enable Healey to take the role of a forlorn nightclub crooner with smooth, hazy control and subtle tone.
Last Call is one of those posthumous records that only makes us miss the artist more. In revealing another facet to the legendary Jeff Healey’s inspiring career, this album takes a more than rightful place in the distinctive discography of one of the most talented, passionate Canadian musicians of all time.