01. Rockin' 'n' Boppin'
02. Flying Home
03. Walking Home
05. Waycross Mama Blues
08. Go Joe Go
01. Cornbread & Cabbage
02. Jay's Boogie
03. Doin' The Lindy Hop
04. Boogie Woogie Woman
05. Hog Maws Part 2
06. Dig It
07. Shtiggy Boom
08. Joe's Gone
09. The Hully
Download from here:
Bought second hand. There is damage to the inner sleeve which renders a small part of the notes unreadable.
We continue our tribute to the late Joe Houston with a Saxophonograph LP which hasn't been on the blog before.
I was saddened to read in the March edition of "Blues & Rhythm" that Joe Houston had passed away last December after a long period of ill health. One of my favourite LPs of the 1980s R&B reissue craze was "Rockin' At The Drive In" on Ace. This was a reworking of an LP originally issued on Combo in 1956. The honking sax was awesome, relentless even, and as for the cover art, ye gods! There in the car park of a Googie architecture drive in restaurant was the man himself, blowing his sax to an admiring crowd of teens plus DJ Art Laboe and, artfully placed in the picture, a couple of open top cars each about the size of a small house (by UK standards). 1950s California seemed impossibly cool to somebody living in gloomy, rain soaked Glasgow in the 1980s.
"Rockin' 'n' Boppin'" provides a good overview of Joe's 1950s recording career. The gatefold sleeve contains notes by Ken Mills which at times could be called "fervent" as he preaches the glories of the Southern California R&B scene and Joe's contribution thereto. Included in the notes is a section on another LP already on this blog, "Earthquake," which was released by Pathe Marconi in the early 1980s. This was a compilation mainly consisting of sides originally recorded for Imperial. Unfortunately some of the tracks were wrongly titled and the original versions of "Hurricane" and "Earthquake" were not actually on that LP. However, they are here on "Rockin' 'n' Boppin'!" Read Ken Mills's notes for the full story.
Original release info plus reviews culled from the pages of Billboard:
02. Flying Home - Cash 1013, c September 1955.
03. Walking Home - Cash 1013, c September 1955.
|Billboard, 1st October 1955|
05. Waycross Mama Blues - Freedom 1526, late 1949 /early 1950.
06. Moody - Bayou 004, May 1953. "Houston is the honking tenor type as he and the ork read off a riff-built instrumental for a good side."
07. Hurricane - Imperial 5196, July 1952. "The ork under Houston drives hard on a rhythm instrumental cleffed by the leader. Results are adequate."
08. Go Joe Go - Lucky 004, May 1954.
09. Cornbread & Cabbage - Hollywood 423, May 1953. "Houston shows a lot of sax on this side, a dynamic riff effort."
10. Jay's Boogie - Hollywood 423, May 1953. "More sax work with abandon by Houston, this time to a boogie beat by the ork."
11. Doin' The Lindy Hop - Modern 863, April 1952
12. Boogie Woogie Woman - Modern 879, August 1952. "A jump boogie gets a solid go from the ork and Lois Butler helps it along with her vocal. Material is not impressive."
13. Hog Maws Part 2 - Magnum 45-723, 1964.
14. Dig It - Modern 879, August 1952. "The ork enjoys itself jamming away on this riff item with lots of solo work featured thruout. Tune builds a bit, but not as much as it could. Jazz fanciers may like."
15. Shtiggy Boom - RPM 426, February 1955. "Swingy new rocker that has all the West Coast record firms excited is handed a driving reading by the Houston ork, with the sidemen on the vocal. Houston turns in some solid work on sax, and the side builds all the way. This could happen."
|Scan from Joan K|
16. Joe's Gone - RPM 426, February 1955. "And Joe Houston does go in this swinging instrumental side. Both jazz and blues fans will be interested in this wild cutting. Houston comes thru with excitement. Two potent juke sides."
17. The Hully - Combo 157, August 1959. "A blues-oriented instrumental with a rocking rhythm. Some good horn passages and interesting musical figures."
Now somebody get me a time machine. I gotta get back to 1950s LA!