jeudi 10 juin 2010

Big Maybelle - Got A Brand New Bag

Her mountainous stature matching the sheer soulful power of her massive vocal talent, Big Maybelle was one of the premier R&B chanteuses of the 1950s. Her deep, gravelly voice was as singular as her recorded output for Okeh and Savoy, which ranged from down-in-the-alley blues to pop-slanted ballads. In 1967, she even covered ? & the Mysterians' "96 Tears" (it was her final chart appearance). Alleged drug addiction leveled the mighty belter at the premature age of 47, but Maybelle packed a lot of living into her shortened lifespan.
Born Mabel Louise Smith, the singer strolled off with top honors at a Memphis amateur contest at the precocious age of eight. Gospel music was an important element in Maybelle's intense vocal style, but the church wasn't big enough to hold her talent. In 1936, she hooked up with Memphis bandleader Dave Clark; a few years later, Maybelle toured with the International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She debuted on wax with pianist Christine Chatman's combo on Decca in 1944, before signing with Cincinnati's King Records in 1947 for three singles of her own backed by trumpeter Hot Lips Page's band.
Producer Fred Mendelsohn discovered Smith in the Queen City, re-christened her Big Maybelle, and signed her to Columbia's OKeh R&B subsidiary in 1952. Her first Okeh platter, the unusual "Gabbin' Blues" (written by tunesmith Rose Marie McCoy and arranger Leroy Kirkland) swiftly hit, climbing to the upper reaches of the R&B charts. "Way Back Home" and "My Country Man" made it a 1953 hat trick for Maybelle and OKeh. In 1955, she cut a rendition of "Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On" a full two years before Louisiana piano pumper Jerry Lee Lewis got his hands and feet on it. Mendelsohn soon brought her over to Herman Lubinsky's Savoy diskery, where her tender rendition of the pop chestnut "Candy" proved another solid R&B hit in 1956. Maybelle rocked harder than ever at Savoy, her "Ring Dang Dilly," "That's a Pretty Good Love," and "Tell Me Who" benefiting from blistering backing by New York's top sessioneers. Her last Savoy date in 1959 reflected the changing trends in R&B; Howard Biggs' stately arrangements encompassed four violins. Director Bert Stern immortalized her vivid blues-belting image in his documentary Jazz on a Summer's Day, filmed in color at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.
Maybelle persevered throughout the '60s, recording for Brunswick, Scepter (her "Yesterday's Kisses" found her coping admirably with the uptown soul sound), Chess, Rojac (source of "96 Tears"), and other labels. But the good years were long gone when she slipped into a diabetic coma and passed away in a Cleveland hospital in 1972.

01 - 96 Tears
02 - Mellow Yellow
03 - That's Life
04 - There Must Be A Word
05 - Eleanor Rigby
06 - Love Is A Hurtin' Thing
07 - I Can't Control Myself
08 - Cabaret
09 - Black Is Black
10 - Coming On Strong
11 - Egg Plant That Ate Chicago
12 - Turn The World Around The Other Way

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vendredi 21 mai 2010

Robert Gordon & Link Wray - Wild Wild Women: Live 1978

Wild Wild Women is a hard-to-find live document of Robert Gordon with Link Wray, and I was so surprised with the sound quality when I first listened to it. How COOL! Anybody who ever saw video extracts from the 1978 live @ the Musikladen, Berlin, will be thrilled to hear the two sets coming from the same show.
Get fuzzed!

Artwork: Little Big Ian
(replaced the original one which was really awful!)

01 - The Way I Walk
02 - Twenty Flight Rock
03 - My Baby Left Me
04 - Lonesome Train
05 - Rumble
06 - Baby What You Want Me To Do
07 - Sea Cruise
08 - Red Hot
09 - Fire
10 - Summertime Blues
11 - Mystery Train
12 - Baby Let's Play House
13 - Rock Therapy
14 - The Way I Walk
15 - Mystery Train
16 - Lonesome Train
17 - I Sure Miss You
18 - Rumble
19 - Baby What You Want Me To Do
20 - Band Introduction
21 - Hot Dog! That Made Her Mad
22 - Fire
23 - The Fool
24 - Wild Wild Women

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vendredi 14 mai 2010

The Senders - Outrageous & Contagious

One, Two.. you know what to do!
Here's the new compilation of the Senders, which I'm sure will knock you dead! When aficionados of that rhythm 'n' blues band like me got bored to always hear the same recordings, Philippe Marcadé put his turban on & headed to his Ali Baba's rock 'n roll cave dusting his lost treasures. This CD contains a lot of previously unreleased tracks ("The Ritual Dance", "I Feel Stupid", "Fat Face", Fats Domino's "I'm Gonna Be A Wheel Someday", Shane Kai Ray's "Jungle Talk (I Want Some Of That)", Canned Heat's "Sandy's Blues", Jimmy Reed's "When Girls Do It", Lowell Fulson's "Tollin' Bells", Otis Rush's "Homework"...) and many tunes from the first EP's, singles and later albums + two great tracks featuring Johnny Thunders on studio & live @ Max's Kansas City.

I tell you, it's the one that'll make a bald man tear his hair!

Tracklist :

01 - You Really Piss Me Off
02 - The Ritual Dance
03 - Devil Shooting Dice
04 - I'm Gonna Be A Wheel
05 - Baby Glows In The Dark
06 - Don't F*** With Me
07 - Do The Do
08 - When I Die I'll Be A Ghost
09 - I Feel Stupid
10 - I Want Some Of That
11 - Homework
12 - Don't Mind Me
13 - Crazy Date
14 - Sixth Street
15 - Sandy's Blues
16 - Fat Face
17 - When Girls Do It
18 - It's Raining
19 - I Feel So Bad
20 - Tolling Bells
21 - On The Ferris Wheel
22 - No More Fooling Me
23 - The Living End (With Johnny Thunders)
24 - Daddy Rolling Stone (With Johnny Thunders)

Buy it HERE



dimanche 9 mai 2010

Scatman Crothers - Oh Yeah!

Scatman Crothers' musical background :

By the age of 15 Crothers had taught himself enough to be playing in one of the local bars of Terre Haute frequented by Chicago gangsters, including Al Capone, looking to lie low. After time spent touring the with bands such as Montague's Kentucky Serenaders and Eddie Brown and His Tennesseans, Scatman Crothers spent some of the 1930s on the road with his own band. It was while performing in Ohio, in 1936, that Crothers met Helen Sullivan, from nearby Steubenville. They married in 1937 and stayed together for the rest of their lives.

The 1940s found Scatman's band working in Chicago, dabbling on the edges of the new Be-Bop scene. But by 1945 he had disbanded this group and he and Helen had moved to Hollywood to look for work with both his own small combo and as a sideman with other musician's. In 1946 he did a stint as the drummer with Slim Galliard's trio and this steady income helped him to settle on the West Coast.
After leaing the the Gaillard group, in 1948 Crothers was introduced to Phil Harris, a star of the radio and of Jack Benny's program in particular. They became friends and started wrighting songs together including "Chattanooga Shoeshine Boy. Crothers recorded two more hits that same year, "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "Dead Man's Blues." He became a regular guest on the show, and the pair would collaborate on records and in films for many years to come.

Now installed in Los Angeles, Scatman was in just the right place for picking up the film and TV work that would define his showbusiness career over the coming years.

Scatman's cinematographic background :

Scatman Crothers was never what you would call a film star, but he appeared in a whole string of films starting with Yes Sir, Mr. Bones (1951) and ending with the unlikely Transformers:the movie (1986). In between he had many small parts in around 50 movies ranging from the forgettable to classics such as by far the best film adaptation of a Stephen King novel, The Shining (1980) directed by Stanley Kubrick.

This film, with the perfectionist Kubrick directing, proved difficult for all involved. Jack Nicholson would not bother learning the lines given him until just before shooting a scene as he knew that yet another rewrite would be in his hands by then. Nicholson had to intervene with Kubrick after 70 takes of one scene drove Scatman to the edge of breakdown.

"That movie was all right to make, but you know Stanley likes to do a lot of takes. It gets kind of boring, but when you take a job you do it." - Scatman Crothers

The "Making of the Shining" documentary filmed by the director's 17 year old daughter Vivian, gives us a glimpse of the gruelling working methods on a Kubrick set, but also a look at Jack Nicholson, Scatman Crothers, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd and others involved talking about the overall positive experience it had been.

The hard work paid off though and Scatman Crothers won a Best Supporting Actor Saturn award in 1981 for his role as Dick Hallorann, the hotel chef who shares a physic talent with the young boy Danny (played by Danny Lloyd).

Scatman Crothers was good friends with Jack Nicholson, and they appeared in four films together: The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), The Fortune (1975), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), and The Shining (1980).

This is definitely my month's favorite album! Such a big man & deep voice..
If you like jump blues, jazz & rhythm 'n blues you should dig this groovy album.

01 - Exactly Like You
02 - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down (And Write Myself A Letter)
03 - Ghost Riders In The Sky
04 - September Song
05 - The Gal Looks Good
06 - Baby Won't You Please Come Home
07 - My Blue Heaven
08 - Nobody Knows Why
09 - St. James Infirmary
10 - The Best Things In Life Are Free
11 - I Got Rhythm
12 - Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
13 - Bonus Track: Blueberry Hill
14 - Bonus Track: I'm In Love Again

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mercredi 5 mai 2010

Slim Harpo - Sting It Then!

This CD is one of the most flukey and important live-blues documents you can find, rating right up there with B.B. King's Live at the Regal and the live Piano Red material from 1955. Recorded off the P.A. system at a 1961 show at the Sage Armory in Mobile, Alabama, it captures Slim Harpo in his only live concert document. Harpo's vocals are a little pushed back in the resulting recording, but his harmonica is caught really well (check out the playing and the clarity on the slow blues "You Know I Love You"), as are the guitars of Rudolph Richard and James Johnson, Willie "Tomcat" Parker's sax, and Sammy K. Brown's drums. Luckily, there's not much audience noise, so what we get is a close-up look at how the blues legend sounded on stage, doing classics like "I'm a King Bee," "Got Love if You Wants It," "Rainin' in My Heart" (his then-current hit), and songs like "Big Boss Man" and "Boogie Chillun," made famous by others. If the sound were slightly better, this would rate even higher, but any real fan should own this.
01 - Star-Time Announcement    
02 - I'm A King Bee
03 - Buzzin'
04 - I Got Love If You Want It
05 - You Know I Love You
06 - Lottie Mo
07 - Everybody Needs Somebody
08 - Big Boss Man
09 - Hold Me Tenderly
10 - I'll Take Care Of You
11 - Boogie Chillun
12 - Moody Blues
13 - Sugar Coated Love
14 - Star-Time Theme
15 - I'm A King Bee
16 - I Don't Play
17 - I Got Love If You Want It
18 - Little Liza Jane
19 - When The Saints Go Marching In
20 - Rainin' In My Heart 

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Jimmy Smith - The Cat

Request by Mark from Sour Jazz.

One of the essential Jimmy Smith albums that all record collections should contain. Moving from Blue Note to Verve, Smith swapped the small band for the large orchestra. The instrument Smith pioneered was the Hammond B3 organ, which had been labelled "the poor man's orchestra" because of the depth of sound it could create, so when that met a real orchestra under the guidance of arranger Lalo Schifrin the result is explosive. Especially when the orchestra itself contains musicians of the class of Kenny Burrell and Thad Jones. Now remastered the album hasn't a dull moment, with blues, pop and two cracking film scores (The Cat and "Main Title from The Carpetbaggers", which is used on BBC2's Money Programme). Then of course there is Smith's masterful playing that never fails to raise the hairs on the spine or get the fingers clicking. A cool, swinging, fun and indispensable record.

01 - Theme From 'Joy House'
02 - The Cat (From Joy House)
03 - Basin Street Blues
04 - Main Title From 'The Carpetbaggers'
05 - Chicago Serenade
06 - St. Louis Blues
07 - Delon's Blues
08 - Blues In The Night

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vendredi 30 avril 2010

Benny Spellman - Fortune Teller

The deep bass voice of New Orleans R&B vocalist Benny Spellman boomed through loud and clear on many early 60's Allen Toussaint productions, but he enjoyed a major hit of his own in 1962, "Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)." Spellman spent some time with Huey "Piano" Smith & The Clowns before signing with Minit, where Toussaint utilized his deep pipes to full advantage as a backing vocalist behind Ernie K-Doe on "Mother-In-Law" and countless others. The Rolling Stones covered "Fortune Teller," the flip side of this hit. Spellman recorded through much of the '60s, his "Word Game" turning up on Atlantic in 1965, before he took a day gig as a beer salesman.

01 - Fortune Teller
02 - Stickin' Witcha Baby
03 - In The Night
04 - Every Now And Then
05 - 'Tain't It The Truth
06 - Life Is Too Short
07 - You Don't Love Me No More
08 - Talk About Love
09 - I Feel Good
10 - Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)
11 - I'll Never Leave You
12 - It's For You
13 - Word Game
14 - You Got To Get It
15 - Anywhere You Go
16 - 10-4 (Calling All Cars)

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Mickey Baker - Rock With A Sock

This 28-track collection rounds up sessions guitar player Mickey Baker cut as a leader between 1952-1957 for such labels as Savoy, Rainbow, Groove, MGM, and Vik. Baker is best-known for his duets with Sylvia Robinson as Mickey & Sylvia as well as his incredibly prolific and influential session work. As a leader, Baker tried various styles from rock & roll ("I'm Tired") to mambo ("Guitar Mambo") to acoustic blues ("Love Me Baby") to acoustic doo wop ("Oh, Happy Day") to tough blues ("Down to the Bottom," "You Better Heed My Warning") to jump blues ("Rock With a Sock," which features some hot sax by Warren Luckey) to jazz ("Chloe," "Ghost of a Chance"), trying his hand at instrumentals and vocals and always delivering high-energy, high-quality music. There are no lost classics hidden away here, but it is nice to hear Baker get a chance to step out on his own and rock. Baker's guitar playing is almost always energetic and unrestrained and his laconic vocals are a lot of fun. He also shows a more serious side on a date for Vik in 1957. The four tracks (all of which were never issued) are calm jazz ballads that Baker plays gently and with a great deal of finesse and feeling, and they show he could have had a career as a jazz player if he had wanted.

As a bonus, Bear Family adds five previously unreleased Mickey & Sylvia tracks to the end of the set. Four of the tracks are typical smooth and poppy Mickey & Sylvia fare, but "Can't Get You on the Phone" displays a slightly harder musical edge to go with their usual lighthearted lyrics and delivery. It is almost a shame that they included these tracks, as they take some of the focus off of Mickey Baker's solo work, but the tracks are of such a high quality that it doesn't detract from the listening pleasure one bit. Anyone with an interest in discovering the versatility of one of the great craftsmen and founding fathers of rock & roll should check out this CD. You'll soon be singing the praises of Mickey Baker to anyone who will listen. 

01 - Guitar Mambo
02 - Riverboat
03 - Love Me Baby
04 - Oh Happy Day
05 - Where Is My Honey
06 - I'm Tired
07 - Stranger Blues
08 - I Wish I Knew
09 - Down To The Bottom
10 - You Better Heed My Warning
11 - Midnight Hours
12 - Please Tell Me
13 - Shake Walkin'
14 - Greasy Spoon
15 - Bandstand Stomp (Ho Ho Ho)
16 - Rock With A Sock
17 - Old Devil Moon
18 - Guitarambo
19 - Spinnin' Rock Boogie
20 - Chloe
21 - Ghost Of A Chance
22 - Man I Love
23 - Bobi
24 - Hello Stranger - Mickey & Sylvia
25 - My Love - Mickey & Sylvia
26 - Woe, Woe Is Me - Mickey & Sylvia
27 - Can't Get You On The Phone - Mickey & Sylvia
28 - I'll Always Want You Near - Mickey & Sylvia

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mercredi 28 avril 2010

Honky Tonk! The King & Federal R&B Instrumentals

With Bill Doggett and Freddy King alone, the King/Federal labels had two of the most popular and significant instrumental R&B/rock hitmakers of the 1950s and early '60s. Both are represented by their most popular instrumental tracks (four by Doggett, three by King) here. But this compilation, assembling 24 instrumentals from 1948-1964, also demonstrates that King/Federal was quite active in the instrumental R&B field beyond its work with those two artists. In many of the 24 cuts (particularly the earliest ones), the label mined R&B/jazz crossover sounds with a smoky barroom flavor. Giving the sleeve a casual glance, most would assume that the material for the most part flopped upon release, but actually a few of these were big (if virtually forgotten) R&B hits, like Todd Rhodes' "Blues for the Red Boy" (from 1948), Earl Bostic's effervescent "Flamingo" (from 1951), and Sonny Thompson's shuffling "Long Gone" (1948), a groundbreaker in that it not only sat atop the R&B charts for a long time but also made the pop Top 30. Beyond that, things do get rather generic, even though there are some relatively big names like Mickey Baker and King Curtis (heard backing Washboard Bill) and future James Brown sideman Jimmy Nolen (who shines on blues guitar on the 1956 single "After Hours"/"Strollin' With Nolen"). There's no denying, however, that Doggett's massive and classic "Honky Tonk" (parts one and two are both here) and King's snazzy blues guitar instrumentals are easily the most worthwhile items on board. There is, however, one other great cut: Johnny "Guitar" Watson's astonishingly futuristic 1954 workout "Space Guitar" (released under the billing Young John Watson), one of the great relatively obscure classics of the mid-'50s.

01 - Honky Tonk, Pt. 1 - Bill Doggett
02 - Honky Tonk, Pt. 2 - Bill Doggett
03 - Hide Away - Freddie King
04 - Blues for the Red Boy - Todd Rhodes
05 - Flamingo - Earl Bostic & His Orchestra
06 - Long Gone, Pt. 1 - Sonny Thompson
07 - Long Gone, Pt. 2 - Sonny Thompson
09 - Big Push - Cal Green
10 - After Hours - Jimmy Nolen
11 - Slow Walk - Bill Doggett
12 - San-Ho-Zay - Freddie King
13 - Washboard Story - Mickey Baker, King Curtis, Washboard Bill
14 - Early in the Morning Blues - Johnny Otis, Johnny "Guitar" Watson
15 - Green's Blues - Cal Green
16 - Gainesville - Roy Gaines
17 - Strollin' With Nolen - Jimmy Nolen
18 - In the Morning - Mickey Baker, King Curtis, Washboard Bill
19 - Space Guitar - Johnny "Guitar" Watson
20 - Louisiana Hop - Pete "Guitar" Lewis
21 - River Boat Dock - Mickey Baker, King Curtis, Washboard Bill
22 - Let's Rock (Let's Surf Awhile) - Johnny Otis, Johnny "Guitar" Watson
23 - Stumble - Freddie King
24 - Hold It - Bill Doggett

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Jimmy Dean - Big Bad John

This was the album that established Jimmy Dean as a hitmaker in the early '60s, switching from mainly gospel material to country/pop. Along with his biggest hit, "Big Bad John," the other ten tracks include "Sixteen Tons" and the light country swing of "Night Train to Memphis" and "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette."

01 - Big Bad John
02 - I Won't Go Huntin' With You Jake (But I'll Go Chasin' Wimmin)
03 - Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)
04 - Dear Ivan
05 - To A Sleeping Beauty
06 - Cajun Queen
07 - P.T. 109
08 - Walk On Boy
09 - Little Bitty Big John
10 - Steel Men
11 - Little Black Book
12 - Please Pass The Biscuits
13 - Gonna Raise A Ruckus Tonight
14 - Day That Changed The World
15 - Gotta Travel On
16 - Sixteen Tons
17 - Oklahoma Bill
18 - Night Train To Memphis
19 - Make The Waterwheel Roll
20 - Lonesome Road
21 - Grasshopper Mac Clain
22 - Old Pappy's New Banjo
23 - You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
24 - Cajun Joe
25 - Nobody
26 - Kentucky Means Paradise

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mardi 13 avril 2010

Gino Washington - Love Bandit

In the early '60s, the growing crossover success of Berry Gordy's Tamla/Motown empire encouraged a lot of young Detroit singers, musicians, and hopeful entrepreneurs to explore the record business. There's a seemingly endless supply of Motor City soul (and rock) music from the era still being hunted down and sorted out to this day by collectors and discographers, from better-known small labels such as Golden World and Ric-Tic to one-off custom jobs.
One of those youths drawn to get the bug was Gino Washington, who launched his career with "I'm a Coward" in 1962 on legendarily obscure Detroit label Correc-Tone. His second release made enough noise locally to get picked up nationally by Wand, though the military draft would come calling before stardom did. Washington managed to do some recording during furloughs and put out a few singles during his service time -- and many, many more afterwards -- though his early commercial momentum was never regained.
His discography at Soulful Kinda Music lists a dizzying array of obscure releases continuing right into the 1980s, though few probably made it much beyond the city limits at the time. For those of us outside Detroit who aren't likely to find many of his original singles these days (or can't afford them), Washington's career has been ably documented by the inveterate record collectors over at Norton Records. Back about a decade or so ago came a "hits" collection, Out of This World, and following in 2002 was a second, more intriguing collection, Love Bandit.
While the first comp may contain the cream and be a better starting point for casual listeners, the second LP is a goldmine for rare soul collectors and serious Washington fans. After starting off with a couple tracks which could have made the defacto hits collection -- "Hey I'm a Love Bandit" and "Puppet on a String," the flip of his first single -- the album takes a quick left turn into collectordom.
Drawing on unreleased material from one-of-a-kind acetates, more tracks from his post-Army days and some production work for others, the Love Bandit album recalls the eclectic nature of some of the comps devoted to another prolific Detroit soul man, Andre Williams, both in the often raw sound quality and the diversity of styles on display. There's harder funk numbers such as "You Should Have Been True" or the James Brown turned sideways of Nathaniel Mayer's "I Don't Want No Bald Headed Woman Telling Me What to Do." There's the sweet, if raw, group soul of "Like My Baby" and "Rat Race," two sets of lyrics which use the same backing track! And there's the classic early-Motownesque sound of Pearl Jones' "My Man," and the Northern Soul classic "I Really Love You" by The Tomangoes. As usual with Norton releases, there's also well-written and informative liner notes telling the story for those who love the details.
Anyone who's a serious fan of '60s Detroit soul looking for something different would be well served by checking out both of Norton's reissues of Gino Washington's recordings, which remain in print on both LP and CD. While Washington never became a star, in an odd coincidence a similarly named Indiana soul singer named Geno Washington did become a star in England in the 1960s with the Ram Jam Band, doing a high-energy revue of American soul hits of the day. A couple of the group's LPs were released here by Kapp, suffering a similar fate to Gino's records stateside ... but that's another story.
(Norton, 2002)

01 - Hey I'm A Love Bandit
02 - Puppet On A String
03 - I Gotta Move On (Previously Unreleased)
04 - 'Til The End Of Time (Previously Unreleased)
05 - You Should Have Been True (Previously Unreleased)
06 - Like My Baby
07 - Everything Is Di-Jo-Be (Previously Unreleased)
08 - My Man
09 - Please Stay
10 - I Really Love You
11 - I Don't Want No Bald Headed Woman Telling Me What To Do (Previously Unreleased)
12 - Rat Race
13 - Doing The Popcorn
14 - Singing In The Rain (Previously Unreleased)
15 - Foxy Walk

Buy it on vinyl at Norton Records!

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Jimmy Smith - Bashin': The Unpredictable Jimmy Smith

Although still a regular Blue Note artist (he would make four more albums for the company within the next year), Bashin' was organist Jimmy Smith's debut for Verve, a label that he would record extensively for during 1963-1972.
On the first half of the program (reissued in full on this CD), Smith was for the first time joined by a big band. Oliver Nelson provided the arrangements, trumpeter Joe Newman and altoist Phil Woods have a solo apiece, and "Walk on the Wild Side" became Smith's biggest hit up to that point. 
The final three numbers feature Smith's regular trio with guitarist Quentin Warren and drummer Donald Bailey swinging with soul as usual. The historical set (a bit of a turning point for Jimmy Smith's career) has its strong moments although it is not all that essential. 

01 - Walk On The Wild Side
02 - Ol' Man River
03 - In A Mellow Tone
04 - Step Right Up
05 - Beggar For The Blues
06 - Bashin'
07 - I'm An Old Cow Hand (From The Rio Grande)
08 - Bashin' (45 rpm Version)
09 - Ol' Man River (45 rpm Version)

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James Booker - Gonzo: More Than All The 45s

Numerous discs are available featuring the eccentric and tragic New Orleans R&B pianist James Booker usually performing solo, recorded during live gigs from the 1970s and early '80s. This disc provides an amazing collection of the earliest Booker on piano and organ backed by a full band.
Booker made his recording debut in 1954 with the Imperial single "Doing the Hambone," backed with "Thinking About My Baby." During the next few years he would release equally exciting, although sporadic, singles on Chess, Ace, Peacock, and Duke, supported by some of New Orleans finest R&B musicians, including the sax section of Lee Allen, Robert Parker, and Red Tyler, drummer Earl Palmer, and bassist Frank Fields.
The 1956 Chess singles "You're Near Me" and "Heavenly Angel" find Booker paired up on doo wop vocal duets with Arthur Booker (no relation). The remaining tracks are scorching dance numbers tied in with novelty/twist themes with catchy names such as "Teenage Rock," "Gonzo" (providing a national hit), "Cool Turkey," "The Duck," "The Crown," and "Beale Street Popeye."
This is exceptional New Orleans R&B that provides an important piece of the James Booker musical puzzle... Even french singer Nino Ferrer used to dig James Booker by turning the song "Big Nick" into a lyrical version called "Les Cornichons"!

01 -  Doing The Hambone
02 - Thinking About My Baby
03 - You're Near Me
04 - Heavenly Angel
05 - Teenage Rock
06 - Gonzo
07 - Cool Turkey
08 - Smacksie
09 - Kinda Happy
10 - Tubby Part 1
11 - Tubby Part 2
12 - Cross My Heart
13 - Big Nick
14 - Beale Street Popeye
15 - Memphis Twist
16 - The Duck
17 - The Crown

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dimanche 11 avril 2010

James Booker - Junco Partner

This solo disc by arguably the most brilliant of New Orleans' resplendent pianists shows off all the edge and genius he possessed. There may be moments on other discs of slightly more inspired playing (and this is arguable), but for a whole disc this one stands far from the crowd. You can hear some of the most awe-inspiring playing here that reflects the extremely broad background that he could, and did, draw from. You can hear his classical training and the brilliance of his interpretive skills in "Black Minute Waltz." He follows this with a version of Leadbelly's "Good Night Irene," which shows off his raucous bordello style of playing and voice. The disc goes on showing off the eclectic variety of influences that make up this man's music. This disc also displays the man's prodigious composing and arranging talents. Though he was regarded as eccentric and crazy, even by New Orleans' accepting standards (he was a flamboyant, black substance abuser, and a homosexual, who spent time both in Angola State Prison and a mental institution), he was considered a musical genius and thus given a certain amount of leeway. Very informative notes by Booker himself (some insight), Joe Boyd (the producer), and George Winston on Booker and his styling. An absolute must if you like New Orleans music.

01 - Black Minute Waltz
02 - Goodnight Irene
03 - Pixie
04 - On The Sunny Side Of The Street
05 - Make A Better World
06 - Junco Partner
07 - Put Out The Light
08 - Medley: Blues Minuet/Until The Real Thing Comes Along/Baby Won't You
09 - Pop's Dilemma
10 - I'll Be Seeing You

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mercredi 31 mars 2010

Howlin' Wolf - Rockin' The Blues : Live In Germany 1964

Ahouhouuuuu! Here's another gem of one of my all-time favorite bluesmen, Mr. Chester Burnett! The Wolf is joined on this set by his long-time guitarist Hubert Sumlin and Chicago greats Willie Dixon and Sunnyland Slim. This performance is one of the best examples of Howlin’ Wolf at the height of his powers when he was still an enormous influence on the British Blues movement. Wolf had toured the UK with The Folk Blues Festival before undertaking a solo tour of Germany shortly after The Rolling Stones had topped the Euro charts with their version of his “Little Red Rooster”.

1 - Shake It For Me
2 - Love Me
3 - Dust My Broom
4 - I Didn't Mean To Hurt Your Feelings
5 - Rockin' The Blues
6 - All My Life
7 - Going Down Slow
8 - Howlin' For My Darling
9 - Forty-Four

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samedi 20 mars 2010

Little Milton - Stax Profiles

Although Little Milton (Milton Campbell) is chiefly remembered for his fine Chess Records sides from the '60s, his stay at Stax Records in the early '70s saw him expand his palette with horns and strings in a more soul-oriented direction, and in many ways it was his most creative period. He never strayed too far from the blues, particularly as a guitarist, but his Stax sides increasingly showcased his amazingly expressive singing, and his intense vocals on the best of these tracks is nothing short of redemptive. This generous single-disc overview of Milton's Stax years (it comes in at a little over 70 minutes in length) has a little bit of everything, from live tracks featuring his precision guitar skills to fully arranged sessions with horns and strings that spotlight his voice. The opener, a live take of "Let Me Down Easy" from the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival featuring the odd, driving drum skills of Calep Emphrey, is an emotional tour de force and is easily one of the most powerful tracks here, with Milton singing like a desperate, displaced angel. Another live cut, a version of Willie Dixon's "I Can't Quit You Baby" recorded at the Summit Club in Los Angeles in 1972, showcases Milton's lead guitar work, which is reminiscent of B.B. King but with a larger and more raw tone. Highlighting the studio tracks are the impressive "Walkin' the Back Streets and Crying" from 1972 and the loose, garage-feel of 1971's delightful "I'm Living off the Love You Give," which edges into Motown territory with its romping rhythm, backing chorus, and efficient use of both horns and a string section. Another clear highpoint here is Milton's 1973 take on Roy Hawkins' (by way of B.B. King) "The Thrill Is Gone," which is simply an ominous, desperate gem with an eerie string chart played by the Memphis Symphony. Little Milton's Chess years still contain his most clearly defined work, but as he stretched out a bit with Stax, Milton revealed that his guitar and vocal skills weren't just restricted to blues pieces. That he didn't have more commercial success with Stax is a bit of a mystery. 
(Steve Leggett)

01 - Let Me Down Easy [Live]
02 - I Can't Quit You Baby [Live]
03 - That's What Love Will Make You Do
04 - Walking The Backstreets And Crying
05 - Blind Man [Live]
06 - The Thrill Is Gone
07 - If That Ain't A Reason (For Your Woman To Leave You)
08 - Behind Closed Doors
09 - If You Talk In Your Sleep
10 - Tin Pan Alley
11 - I'm Living Off The Love You Give
12 - Blue Monday
13 - Lovin' Stick
14 - Little Bluebird

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mardi 2 mars 2010

Flamin' Groovies - Live At L'Olympia, 1975

Line-Up :
Chris Wilson - Vocals & Guitar
Cyril Jordan - Guitar & Vocals
George Alexander - Bass & Vocals
James Ferrell - Guitar
David Wright - Drums

Here's another Flamin' Groovies bootleg live recorded at l'Olympia in Paris, 1975.
All rock 'n roll lovers should appreciate it! The sound is quite nice, and the show very powerful.
Have a groovy time!

(Artwork by Little Big Ian)

01 - She Said Yeah
02 - Let The Boy Rock 'N' Roll
03 - St. Louis Blues
04 - Sometimes
05 - Teenage Head
06 - Yes It's True
07 - Misery
08 - Sweet Little Sixteen (Removed, Official Released on Marilyn USMLP 1020)
09 - Fall On You
10 - Please Please Me
11 - Please Please Girl
12 - Don't You Lie To Me
13 - Married Woman
14 - Shake Some Action
15 - Miss Amanda Jones
16 - Under My Thumb
17 - Big City
18 - Jumpin' Jack Flash

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jeudi 25 février 2010

Bob McFadden & Dor - Songs Our Mummy Taught Us

Robert "Bob" McFadden (19 January 1923 — 7 January 2000) was a singer and voiceover actor best known for his many contributions to animated cartoons. His best known characters were Milton the Monster, Cool McCool, and the ThunderCats' Snarf. In cereal commercials, he played Franken Berry and others.
McFadden was born in East Liverpool, Ohio and was in the United States Navy in World War II when he got his start as a singer and impressionist. He went on to do an opening act for the likes of Harry Belafonte in Pittsburgh where he worked at a steel mill. McFadden continued in this vein for years until a move to New York in the mid 1960s, which resulted in a great deal of voice-over work in commercials and animation. In the late 1950s he collaborated with Rod McKuen on a single entitled "The Mummy", the "B" side "The Beat Generation" parodied the then-emerging literary community of the name; on this record, McKuen used the pseudonym "Dor" and later claimed that Bill Haley & His Comets were the band used for the recording session, though this has not been confirmed. McFadden and McKuen also released a full-length album in 1959 called "Songs Our Mummy Taught Us" (Brunswick 54056). In 1963, McFadden released the parody album "Fast, Fast Relief From TV Commercials" (Audio Fidelity AFSD 6112).
He lived in Leonia, New Jersey. McFadden continued to work until the late 1980s, when poor health put him into retirement. He died in Delray Beach, Florida in 2000, twelve days before he would have turned 77.

01 - The Mummy
02 - The Shreik Of Agony (Shreik Of Agony-Cha Cha Cha)
03 - Shake, Rattle And Roll
04 - I Dig You Baby
05 - Frankie And Igor At A Rock And Roll Party
06 - Noisy Village
07 - Son Of The Mummy
08 - More Sing Along With The Mummy
09 - Bingo
10 - The Children Cross The Bridge/Inter/Colonel Bogey March
11 - The Beat Generation
12 - The Beverly Hills Telephone Directory Cha Cha Cha

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mercredi 24 février 2010

Cozy Cole - Cozy Cole Hits!

Who ever said jazz drummers couldn't rock??
Here we have one of the greatest & wildest drummers, Mr. Cozy Cole himself!
This is a very hard-to-find album, in which figures his best known masterpiece, "Topsy Parts I & II", and a lot of lost treasures.
Every single song starts with a "big" voice introduction, which makes me smile everytime, and of course the Allan Hartwell big band is really heavy.
I wouldn't say it's definitely my favorite jazz album, because it doesn't seem only restricted to that kind of music to me.. it's somethin' like "Big Beat"! Yeah that's it, if you dig that sound!

01 - Topsy I (Original Version)
02 - Bad
03 - Turvy I
04 - Afro-Caravan
05 - Topsy-Turvy I
06 - Topsy II (Original Version)
07 - Charleston
08 - Turvy II
09 - Late & Crazy
10 - Topsy-Turvy II
11 - Crescendo
12 - Topsy (Part I)
13 - Topsy (Part II)
14 - North Beach
15 - Let There Be Drums
16 - Ol' Man Mose
17 - Sing! Sing! Sing! (With A Swing)
18 - Big Noise From Winnetka (Part I)
19 - Big Noise From Winnetka (Part II)
20 - Christopher Columbus
21 - A Cozy Beat
22 - Rockin' Drummer
23 - Indian Love Call (Part I)
24 - Indian Love Call (Part II)

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lundi 15 février 2010

R.I.P. Dale Hawkins

The rock & roll tornado lost his long battle with cancer, on february the 13th.
Dale's music will never be forgotten, he had a lot of wild presence in his voice and all the instrumentals were outstanding. I don't really know what to say about him because I didn't know him personally, but I can confirm he was a real cool cat.
My thoughts go to his family...

samedi 13 février 2010

The Equals - A Retrospective Journey

Line-Up :
Derv Gordon - Lead vocals 
Lincoln Gordon - Guitar 
Eddy Grant - Guitar 
Pat Lloyd - Bass guitar 
John Hall - Drums

What to say about this awesome & forgotten band? At first, I didn't know this band before watching a Senders live video @ CBGB's, covering "Baby Come Back".. yeah, I came across internet, listening to the original version, and instantly thought "Damn, I sure have heard this tune at least three times!". So four times a fool! Whatever...
Some call The Equals a "skinhead band", others a "pop group", personnally I'd define it as true R&B.

From Wikipedia :
They started rehearsing on a council estate at Hornsey Rise, North London in 1965. In 1966 the group released the "Hold Me Closer" / "Baby Come Back" single, which did not capture much attention in the United Kingdom. However, in Germany and The Netherlands it went to #1 - a position its re-issue would later reach in the UK. Thus, the racially mixed London group gave President Records their only number one hit. A gold disc was presented to the group in June 1968 for a combined one million sales of the record. The year 1968 saw the release of "I Get So Excited" which appeared in the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart. It was reported in September 1969 that all five members of the group had been injured in Germany, when their car ran off a motorway in a gale.
A string of single releases followed up to 1970, all of which charted in the UK. The group also attracted attention as one of the few racially integrated bands of the 1960s, which was reflected in the group's name: The Equals.
Following a collapsed lung and heart infection which put him out of action at the beginning of 1971, Grant went home to Guyana. He promptly left The Equals to pursue his solo career. In the late 1970s and early 1980s released several Top 40 singles, including "Living On The Front Line", "Electric Avenue" and "Romancing the Stone". Grant also topped the UK Singles Chart in 1982 with "I Don't Wanna Dance". Although The Equals never charted again after Grant's departure, they remained a popular live act, performing into the late 1970s and beyond.
In the late 1970s, The Clash recorded a successful cover version of The Equals' song "Police On My Back". In 2006 Willie Nile released his cover of "Police on My Back" on his Streets of New York CD.
The Equals' song "Green Light" was covered by The Detroit Cobras, on their 2007 album, Tied & True.
The song "Baby Come Back" refused to go away. It returned in 1994, when Pato Banton scored an unexpected UK number one with his cover.

01 - Baby Come Back
02 - I Get So Excited
03 - Laurel And Hardy
04 - Viva Bobby Joe
05 - I Won't Be There
06 - Michael And The Slipper Tree
07 - Green Light
08 - Help Me Simone
09 - Have I The Right
10 - I Can't Let You Go
11 - Police On My Back
12 - Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys
13 - Diversion
14 - Honey Gum
15 - I Can See, But You Don't Know
16 - Funky Funky
17 - Softly Softly
18 - Rub A Dub Dub
19 - Giddy Up A Ding Dong
20 - Hold Me Closer

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Here's a great gig in Germany, '66 :
1: Baby Come Back/2: Baby You're Sad/3: I Won't Be There/4: Hold Me Closer

And here's the great cover of "Baby Come Back" by The Senders @ CBGB's, '90 :

mercredi 20 janvier 2010

Ike Turner - 1958-1959

(Also known as "King Cobra : The Chicago Sessions")

Ever the hustler, Ike Turner found himself picking up some extra money on a road trip through Chicago recording for Cobra Records both as a bandleader and sideman. After contributing the sparkle to several Otis Rush classics (an alternate of one of them, "Keep On Loving Me Baby" is found here) and some early Buddy Guy sides, Ike Turner also recorded a handful of sides, scant few of them seeing release until now. This CD collects them all up, including surviving alternate versions, and is a delightful fly on the wall invite to a 1950's Chicago blues session.
A rare gem & must-have for all fans of R&B!

01 - Matchbox (Version B)
02 - (I Know) You Don't Love Me
03 - You Keep On Worrying Me
04 - Box Top
05 - I'm Gonna Forget About You
06 - Down And Out
07 - You've Got To Lose
08 - Walking Down The Aisle
09 - Matchbox (Version B) [Alternate Take]
10 - Tell Me Darling
11 - I'll Weep No More
12 - Keep On Lovin' Me Baby [Alternate Take]
13 - (I Know) You Don't Love Me [Alternate Take]
14 - You Keep On Worrying Me [Alternate Take]
15 - I'm Gonna Forget About You [Alternate Take]
16 - You've Got To Lose [Alternate Take]
17 - Walking Down The Aisle [Alternate Take]
18 - Tell Me Darling [Alternate Take]
19 - I'll Weep No More [Alternate Take]
20 - Matchbox (Version A)

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lundi 18 janvier 2010

Lonesome Sundown - I'm A Mojo Man

Lonesome Sundown (his real name was Cornelius Green) had a little bit more Delta and Chicago blues in him than most of his Louisiana labelmates who recorded for producer J.D. Miller. Not that Sundown's sound isn't solidly in the so-called swamp blues tradition, but where Slim Harpo, Silas Hogan, and the other Excello artists worked from a laconic, Jimmy Reed-like shuffle, Sundown quickened the pace (at least for an Excello act) to a nastier level, and with Miller's reverb-laden production, ended up sounding a little bit like Jimmy Reed on speed, particularly on tracks like "Don't Go." Not that Lonesome Sundown couldn't do the patented Louisiana blues shuffle when he chose to, as his signature tune, "I'm A Mojo Man," shows, or even improve on the pattern, as with the loose-limbed and brilliant "I'm A Samplin' Man," but he seemed most at home doing more standard blues fare like the modern-sounding "My Home Is A Prison." This collection from Ace Records essentially reproduces the same set that is available from Excello Records, only with a different running order. Although Sundown made a comeback of sorts with a mid-'70s album from Alligator Records, these Excello sides are the ones you need.

1 - Gonna Stick To You Baby
2 - I'm A Mojo Man
3 - I Stood By
4 - Don't Go
5 - Lonely Lonely Me
6 - You Know I Love You
7 - Learn To Treat Me Better
8 - Lonesome Lonely Blues
9 - I'm Glad She's Mine
10 - Sundown Blues
11 - My Home Ain't Here
12 - What You Wanna Do For It
13 - I Woke Up Cryin' (Oh What A Dream)
14 - When I Had I Didn't Need (Now I Need, Don't Have A Dime)
15 - I'm A Samplin' Man
16 - Hoo Doo Woman Blues
17 - It's Easy When You Know How
18 - I Got A Broken Heart
19 - Don't Say A Word
20 - Lost Without Love
21 - Leave My Money Alone
22 - My Home Is A Prison
23 - Lonesome Whistler

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vendredi 15 janvier 2010

The Howlin' Wolf Story - The Secret History Of Rock & Roll

DVD Rip (2003)

The Howlin' Wolf Story was directed by Don McGlynn, director of Charles Mingus: Triumph Of The Underdog and many other prize-winning film biographies. It was produced by Joe Lauro, whose company, Historic Films, Inc., supplied much of the footage for Martin Scorsese's blues series on PBS. Their in-depth look at Wolf's life and music includes astounding, rare film footage and never-before-seen photos of Wolf stalking the stage at the 1964 American Folk Blues Festival, on the TV show "Shindig" in 1965, at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival, and in the Chicago clubs in the '50s and '60s. It also includes entertaining and revealing new interviews with Hubert Sumlin, Jody Williams, Billy Boy Arnold, Sam Lay, Paul Burlison, Wolf's stepdaughters Barbara and Bettye, Dick Shurman, and many other people who played with and knew Wolf in his heyday. This is the definitive documentary about the Wolf—the most complete, personal, and exciting look at the blues legend ever put to film! The DVD includes :

- 90-minute director's cut (30 minutes of additional footage not seen in theaters)

- Rare footage of Howlin' Wolf presented by the Rolling Stones on Shindig performing "How Many More Years?"

- First presentation of previously unknown or unavailable performance footage

- Drummer Sam Lay's rare, never-before-seen home movies of stars of the Chicago Blues clubs from the early '60s

- Newly discovered photos of Howlin' Wolf and his band

 - First filmed interview with Howlin' Wolf's family

 - Exclusive interviews with Hubert Sumlin, Billy Boy Arnold, Marshall Chess, and many others

 A legitimate reason for which I share this documentary on download is that the DVD isn't available in France, and only exists on Zone 1 (America). I think the anti-piracy authorities can't blame me for that, firstly because Howlin' Wolf was dead a long time ago and I'm sure he wouldn't care about all these bullshits, and secondly because if it was available on the good standard in Europe (Zone 2), I sure would have bought it quickly as a big fan of the Howlin' Wolf! A shame..
Enjoy the devil's music, and I'd be glad to have your point of view on the documentary & reply to you.

Download links in comments (movie split on 6 parts to extract all together)

mardi 5 janvier 2010

Neil Innes - How Sweet To Be An Idiot

Line-up :
Neil Innes - Vocals, guitar
Ollie Halsall - Lead guitar, organ
Andy Roberts - Rhythm guitar
Dave Richards - Bass
Mike Kelli - Drums
Backing vocals by The Mucrons

Neil Innes' first solo album is split between tongue-in-cheek parody and straight pop songs akin to the sort of things he did with his first post-Bonzos project, the World. Sometimes the line between the two is imperceptible, as in the Roy Wood-like '50s pastiche "Momma B." However, as in Innes' best Bonzo Dog Band material, even the sillest songs on How Sweet to Be an Idiot, "Topless-A-Go-Go" and the title track, which later became a standard of Innes' stage performances with Monty Python, are solidly melodic Beatlesque pop. Recorded in between albums by Innes' primary project at the time, the rock and poetry supergroup GRIMMS, the album features that group's Andy Roberts, as well as Ollie Halsall, who would become Innes' musical partner in the Rutles half of a decade later, playing bass and singing the Dirk McQuickly parts that Eric Idle would mime to in the All You Need Is Cash film. The playing, as expected, is terrific, but as with many albums of the mid-'70s, there's an unfortunate sterility to Innes' self-production. Everything is just slightly too clean and precise. There are times when this is effective, especially on straight pop songs like "Dream," "Song for Yvonne," and especially the Wings-like "This Love of Ours," but a little of the anarchist spirit of the Bonzos would go a long way.
(Stewart Mason - Allmusic)

01 - Prologue
02 - Momma Bee
03 - Immortal Invisible
04 - Topless-A-Go-Go
05 - Feel No Shame
06 - How Sweet To Be An Idiot
07 - Dream On
08 - L'Amour Perdu
09 - Song For Yvonne
10 - This Love Of Ours
11 - Singing A Song Is Easy

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