Monday, 3 November 2014

Dance The Rock & Roll (Atlantic LP 8013)



Side 1
1. Willis Jackson - Gator's Groove
2. Chuck Calhoun - Hey Tiger
3. Tommy Ridgley - Jam Up
4. Arnett Cobb - Flying Home Mambo
5. Joe Morris - Wow!
6. Arnett Cobb - Mr Pogo
7. Frank Culley - Gone After Hours

Side 2
1. Arnett Cobb - Light Like That
2. Joe Morris - Weasel Walk
3. Frank Culley - Culley Flower
4. Willis Jackson - Rock! Rock! Rock!
5. Frank Culley - Hop 'N' Twist
6. Chuck Calhoun - Barrel House
7. Tiny Grimes - Midnight Special

LP cover from the PopBopRockTilUDrop blog.

LP originally released in 1958

Download from:


Ah yes, there's nothing like a bit of rock 'n' roll exploitation to bring in the money, and here's as fine an example as any, although with a lot more class than budget label "Hen Gates" albums. Atlantic Records, despite being the premier R&B label in the land, wasn't above recycling its back catalogue under a slightly misleading cover. They even had a Ray Charles twist album, and to describe the tracks on "Dance The Rock & Roll" as, well, rock 'n' roll, was surely stretching things a bit.

That said, from a 21st century perspective this is a fine collection of R&B sax tracks. They date from 1948 through to 1955. No doubt some of them could be considered to be genuine rock 'n' roll or as near as dammit, but Tiny Grimes, Joe Morris and Frank Culley surely don't come under that description. Fifty six years later, however, arguing over which tracks can be described as R&B, rock 'n' roll, or even jazz just doesn't seem to matter any more. It's a cracking collection of New York Big Beat Honk with, as well as the credited artists, Hal Singer, Sam "The Man" Taylor, Red Prysock, Lee Allen (on temporary transfer from New Orleans) and Johnny Griffin on board. "Chuck Calhoun" is the pseudonym of Jesse Stone who was very much the creator of the backbeat based Atlantic sound of the 1950s.

This is a reconstruction of the original LP. Twelve of the fourteen tracks are from the "Atlantic Honkers" double LP set. The exceptions are the Tiny Grimes and Tommy Ridgley tracks which are from the first two volumes of the double LP series "Atlantic Rhythm And Blues 1947 - 1974." The cover is from the admirable PopBopRockTilUDrop blog. It is probably the worst designed LP cover in the entire history of recorded music, but don't let that put you off. Download this latest episode of the Big Beat Honkfest and play loud, loud, loud!

The tracks:

1. Willis Jackson - Gator's Groove
2. Chuck Calhoun - Hey Tiger
3. Tommy Ridgley - Jam Up
4. Arnett Cobb - Flying Home Mambo
5. Joe Morris - Wow!
6. Arnett Cobb - Mr Pogo
7. Frank Culley - Gone After Hours
8. Arnett Cobb - Light Like That
9. Joe Morris - Weasel Walk
10. Frank Culley - Culley Flower
11. Willis Jackson - Rock! Rock! Rock!
12. Frank Culley - Hop 'N' Twist
13. Chuck Calhoun - Barrel House
14. Tiny Grimes - Midnight Special

Recording details:

Willis Jackson (tenor sax) - "Gator's Groove" and "Rock! Rock! Rock!" recorded in NYC on May 23rd, 1952. Rest of personnel unknown. "Rock! Rock! Rock!" originally released on Atlantic 976. "Gator's Groove" originally issued on Atlantic 975.

Chuck Calhoun and his Atlantic All-Stars - "Hey Tiger" and "Barrel House" recorded in NYC on 24th June, 1955. Personnel: Jesse Stone, aka "Chuck Calhoun" (leader, arranger); Hal Singer, Sam "The Man" Taylor (tenor saxes); Mickey Baker (guitar), rest unknown. Both sides originally released on Atlantic 1120.

Tommy Ridgley - "Jam Up" recorded in NYC, August 8th 1954. Personnel: Lee Allen (tenor sax); Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone sax); rest unknown. Originally released on Atlantic 1039.

Arnett Cobb - "Mr Pogo" recorded NYC, 19th April, 1954. Personnel: Ed Lewis (trumpet); Al Grey (trombone); Arnett Cobb (tenor sax); Charlie Ferguson (tenor and baritone saxes); George Rhodes (piano); Walter Buchanan (bass); Al Walker (drums); Bill Sanford (arranger). Originally released on Atlantic 1042.
"Light Like That" and "Flying Home Mambo" recorded in NYC on January 19th, 1955. Personnel same as for "Mr Pogo". Both sides originally released on Atlantic 1056.

Joe Morris - "Wow!" recorded in NYC on September 19th, 1948. "Weasel Walk" recorded in NYC on December 22nd, 1948. Personnel on both tracks:  Joe Morris (trumpet); Matthew Gee (trombone); Johnny Griffin (tenor sax); Bill McLemore (baritone sax); Elmo Hope (piano); Percy Heath (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums). Both sides originally released on Atlantic 870.

Frank Culley - "Hop 'n' Twist" (aka "Fish Tail") recorded in NYC, September 1949. Personnel: Frank Culley (tenor sax); Harry Van Walls (piano); rest unknown. Originally released on Atlantic 902.
"Gone After Hours" recorded in NYC, August 12th, 1950. Personnel as for "Hop 'n' Twist." Originally released on Atlantic 922.
"Culley Flower" recorded in NYC on 27th February, 1951. Personnel: Wallace Wilson (trumpet); Walter "Phatz" Morris (trombone); Frank Culley (tenor sax); Randy Weston (piano); Count Edmondson (bass); Connie Kay (drums). Originally released on Atlantic 935.

Tiny Grimes - "Midnight Special" (aka "See See Rider") recorded in Cleveland on May 1st, 1948. Personnel: The Tiny Grimes Quintet -  Red Prysock (tenor sax); Jimmy Saunders (piano); Tiny Grimes (guitar), Ike Isaacs (bass); Jerry Potter (drums). Originally released on Atlantic 865 (B side of "Annie Laurie"). 

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