Writing in the album sleeve-notes, producer Sid Seidenberg says: "Recording his forty-first album on his birthday in New York was a highlight of B.B.'s career. Returning from one of his most successful tours, in Europe where he played at most of the continent's jazz festivals. B.B. King went into the studio with "his friends" from Blues and Jazz and began to express himself."
Blues 'N' Jazz is a terrific documentation of King's big band during the '80s, sexed up just perfectly with choice guest stars. Tenor saxophonist Arnett Cobb's presence was duly noted by hipsters one and all in a decade when soulful saxophonists once taken for granted began to be feted, even lauded with documentary films. Shorted on appreciation as always, although some of the Grammy glory must have rubbed off, the journeymen of the King road band enterprise give off a huge part of this project's glow. Damning with faint praise, critics approaching the album from retrospect admit that it is a different stew entirely then later King hits sarcastically dubbed "blues lite." Sure it is, since King's touring ensemble always plays with a lot more heart than that.