Montag, 13. April 2015

Jumpin´ With The Big Swing Bands

This one is made for dancin´. Made for swingin´!
It´s a Savoy Jazz compilation with some of the most famous and swingin´-est bands of that era, containing some rare and jumpin´ recordings.

"Jumping With the Big Swing Bands" collects various swing-era tracks by such popular dance band leaders as Louis Prima, Jimmie Lunceford, and Harry James. Included here are such rare cuts as Lunceford's "Sit Back and Ree-Lax" and "Shut Out."

Tracklist:

1. Call The Police - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
2. Robin Hood - Louis Prima & His Orchestra
3. Junction - Harry James & His Orchestra
4. Lester Young Tush - Earle Warren & His Orchestra
5. Cement Mixer - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
6. Hodge Podge - Harry James & His Orchestra
7. Margie - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
8. Down The Road A Piece - Ray McKinley & His Orchestra
9. Water Faucet - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
10. Boog It - Harry James & His Orchestra
11. Them Who Has Gets - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
12. Sand Storm - Ray McKinley & His Orchestra
13. Circus In Rhythm - Earle Warren & His Orchestra/Lester Young
14. Sit Back And Ree-lax - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
15. Headin' For Hallelujah - Harry James & His Orchestra
16. Hangover Square - Ray McKinley & His Orchestra
17. Shut Out - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
18. Brooklyn Boogie - Louis Prima & His Orchestra
19. Jimmies, The - Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
 
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Sonntag, 12. April 2015

VA - All That Jive (Savoy Jazz)

Image"All That Jive" (Savoy Jazz) compiles such iconic jive- and scat-oriented recordings as Dizzy Gillespie's "Oop Bop Sh'bam" and Slim Gaillard's "Flat Foot Floogie."

This is legendary stuff off the Savoy label and while it is available elsewhere, this is nonetheless a superb introduction to some classic jazz humor of the late '40s.

From the linernotes:"We hope this album brings back some of what´s often been missing in jazz for the past few decades - that sense of humor and lightheartedness which was there before the egg headed intellectuals discovered the music and started taking it - and themselves - way too seriously. Just have a ball and, while you´re at it, check out what´s being played, too. It´ll get you either way."

VA - All That Jive (Savoy Jazz)
(256 kbps)

Donnerstag, 2. April 2015

Howlin Wolf - Moanin´ In The Moonlight (1958)

Moanin' in the Moonlight was the debut album by American blues singer Howlin' Wolf. The album was a compilation of previously issued singles by Chess Records. It was originally released by Chess Records as a mono-format LP record in 1959. The album has been reissued several times, including a vinyl reissue in 1969 titled Evil.

The two earliest songs on Moanin' in the Moonlight were "Moanin' at Midnight" and "How Many More Years". These two songs were recorded at Sam Phillips' Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee on May 14, 1951 or August 1951. These two songs were sold to the Chess brothers, Leonard and Phil, who released them as a single on August 15, 1951. The rest of the songs on the album were recorded in Chicago, Illinois and were produced by either the Chess brothers and/or Willie Dixon.

In 1987 Moanin' in the Moonlight was given a W.C. Handy Award under the category of "Vintage/Reissue Album (US)". Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album as #153 on their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Robert Palmer has cited "How Many More Years" (recorded May 1951) as the first record to feature a distorted power chord, played by Willie Johnson on the electric guitar.

An essential listening of the highest order!

Tracklist:
Moanin' At Midnight2:43
How Many More Years2:58
Smokestack Lightnin'2:32
Baby, How Long2:18
No Place To Go2:31
All Night Boogie2:16
Evil3:01
I'm Leavin' You2:29
Moanin' For My Baby2:17
I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)2:47
Forty-Four3:02
Somebody In My Home2:59

Howlin Wolf - Moanin´ In The Moonlight (1958)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Chicago - The Blues - Today! Vol. 3


Notes from the original release of "Chicago/The Blues/Today Vol. 3":

Johnny Shines and Walter Horton sit around a table in Johnny’s apartment drinking a little from a fifth of Teacher’s, and after the television set in the next room is shut off the talk goes back to their early years in the blues. “Robert Johnson?” Shines laughs and shakes his head. “I ran with Robert for two years when I was first starting to sing. He was only a year or so older than I was and I was seventeen at that time. When? It must have been in 1933—in Helena, Arkansas.” Walter interrupts, “You couldn’t run with Robert for long; he wouldn’t stay in one place.” Johnny shrugs, “He did run off after we got here to Chicago. We were staying someplace—I don’t remember where it was—and he got up in the middle of the night and left. Just like that! I didn’t see him for five months.” Walter has another drink. “He was that kind of fellow. If anybody said to him ‘let’s go’ it didn’t matter to him where it was they were going, he’d just take off and go. It didn’t matter, either, what time of day or night it was.” Johnny Young leans against the bar where his band works on 47th Street, his broad, worried face perspiring from the last set. “I grew up in Vicksburg so I heard all them guys. Even Charley Patton. Of course he didn’t come to see me, I was too young. He come to see other people, but I was there anyway. The mandolin? I was playing that back in Vicksburg, but I did hear Charlie McCoy play, too. He was a mandolin player living over in Jackson that made some records about that time.”

The poor, hard city life in the Chicago slums has changed the Mississippi, the Alabama and Tennessee blues styles, but the ties between the old country music and the new city blues are still close. For the men in their twenties and thirties, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Jimmy Cotton, Buddy Guy, it’s less personal—it’s something that they’ve heard other people talking about—but for the men in their late forties and early fifties, Johnny Shines, Walter Horton, Johnny Young, it’s a direct, still living involvement. You sit at a crowded table trying to listen to Johnny Young over the noise of the people around you and the words of the blues could be from Tennessee in the 1930’s. “I asked sweet mama, let me be your kid...” He could have heard it on a Sleepy John Estes record, but it’s as much like the other things he sings as it is like Estes. Johnny stands on the low bandstand, his tie knotted in place and his coat still buttoned, despite the hot, stale air of the club. “I’m stealin’ back to my same old used to be...”

In the early 1950’s Johnny Shines came into a recording studio and did a piece called “Ramblin’” that came closer to the emotionalism and the musical style of Robert Johnson than anything else he has done before or since. He took a moment to remember, then nodded, “‘Ramblin’’ was really picked out of the sky. We got there to the studio and we didn’t have enough time and we didn’t have arrangements for anything; so I just started singing the first thing that came into my mind...” Without arrangements or much time Johnny went back to the first blues style that he’d known, and today he still sometimes puts the guitar in an old Mississippi open tuning and begins to
sing with some of Robert’s inflection and phrasing, the style as natural to Johnny as it was to Robert. The open tuning and the bottleneck go back even earlier for him. “I had an older brother, Willie Reed, who played, and I tried to learn from him, but I couldn’t make all the chords that he could...” Johnny grew up in Frazier, Tennessee, just north of Memphis. There’s a shopping center there now, but the rest of the town has become a suburb of Memphis. “...Then one day I ran into Howlin’ Wolf, who was young himself a that time, and I saw how he was playing with the open tuning and the slide. I said to myself, ‘If it’s that easy I can do it too.’ Wolf went away and left his guitar there and when he came back I was playing the same thing that he had just played...” A young man at 51, Johnny’s voice is one of the strongest and most exciting sounds in the Chicago blues today, and his music is a complex intermingling of the country and the city—the Delta melodic lines and the Chicago bass guitar and backbeat drumming—the South Side harmonic structure and the Delta verses, “Mister Boweevil, you done ate up all my cotton and corn...”

“Walter? I’ve known him most of my life.” “...The reason Johnny and I know what each other is going to play is that we started together when we were kids in Memphis.” The casual, drifting life of the early bluesmen kept the men close to each other and they drifted in twos or threes from job to job. Shines and Walter Horton started playing together in Memphis and they stayed together through the ragged years of the Depression, working at occasional jobs and running into each other when they were in the same town. Living not far from each other in Chicago and working with each other’s bands—“...When Johnny did ‘Ramblin’’ and ‘Brutal Hearted Woman’ he was working in my band in a club on West Madison...”—kept the country roots of their music strong and vigorous. A tall, nervous man, his face worn and scarred, Walter Horton, “Big Walter,” “Shakey Walter,” now limits his playing to a few sets with the bands working near his apartment on Indiana Avenue. When he’s feeling well he’s one of the most challenging harp men on the South Side. His health is poor and he works irregularly, but when he’s on the playing is magnificent, his thin body moving unsteadily across the bandstand, his face withdrawn and intent in the dim lights.

The blues backgrounds of Mississippi and Tennessee are woven into the fabric of the music that Johnny Shines and Walter Horton play. It’s in the shifting, restless sound of Johnny Young’s mandolin and in the insistent push of Johnny’s guitar accompaniments, in the verses of his blues and his singing style. The blues has changed in Chicago, but it’s still close to the country background, and it’s a music that has gone beyond the limits of its South Side neighborhoods. Memphis Charlie Musselwhite, who plays two harp duets with Walter Horton, is in his early twenties, and he’s white. He’s from the South and he’s grown up with the blues, so he’s been able to cross over into the South Side blues world. He was already playing when he came to Chicago, but Walter’s helped him, and when Charlie’s working with Johnny Young’s band Walter tries to get down on a Saturday night to do a set with him.

This is the blues in Chicago today—the new virtuosity of men like Junior Wells and Otis Rush, the country sound of J. B. Hutto and Homesick James, the exuberance of Jimmy Cotton and Otis Spann, the deep blues involvement of Johnny Shines. Johnny Young, and Walter Horton, the young men learning the style like Memphis Charlie. A new music has emerged out of the poverty and the anger of the South Side, a living music that has kept its own audience, its own expression, and its own truth. To hear it today all you have to do is take the El down to 40th or 47th Street...walk a few blocks through the empty streets...it’s fifty cents for a bottle of beer and as you sit at a table as close as you can get to the band the music fills the club around you like a sweet, intense voice that won’t stop singing...

I’d like to thank Bob Koester and Pete Welding, who have long been involved with the Chicago blues, for their help and their advice during the trips to Chicago that led to these recordings. Bob, on his Delmark label, and Pete, on his Testament label, have recorded a number of South Side bluesmen, and have done important work in bringing the Chicago music of today to a wider audience.

Chicago - The Blues - Today! Vol. 3
(192 kbps, ca. 56 MB)