Saturday, 30 July 2016

A World Of Blues (Imperial LP 9210)



Side 1:
01. Cold, Cold Feeling - T-Bone Walker
02. I Get So Weary - T-Bone Walker
03. Travelin' Blues - T-Bone Walker
04. The Sun Went Down - T-Bone Walker
05. Drifting Blues - Charles Brown
06. Black Night - Charles Brown

Side 2:
01. Trouble In Mind - Amos Milburn
02. Baby, Baby - Amos Milburn
03. Tired, Broke & Busted - Floyd Dixon
04. Call Operator #210 - Floyd Dixon
05. Rockin' & Rollin' - Lil' Son Jackson
06. Tend To Your Business - James Wayne

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This is a 1982 Pathe Marconi re-release of Imperial LP 9210 which was originally released in May 1963. Billboard Magazine rated it as a 4 star album in its 4th May 1963 issue. The Beach Boys "Diamond Head" LP only rated 3 stars, along with "Frank Kouba and His Gay Bohemians" and "The Best Of The Bossa Nova" by The Tides. The mind boggles. However that's all very much bye the bye, and a propos de rien. Read on and learn that this is a glorious LP, a great collection of 1940s / early 1950s blues gems from the vaults of Philo / Aladdin and Imperial.

We have four giants of West Coast R&B: T-Bone Walker, Charles Brown, Amos Milburn and Floyd Dixon, all of whom were particularly adept at evoking a late night, after hours atmosphere. The music brings to mind one of my favourite quotes from "Unsung Heroes Of Rock 'n' Roll" by Nick Tosches, to be specific, from the chapter on Amos Milburn: "...the ceaseless saxophones of salvation, the crossing and uncrossing of restless nylon knees, the eightfold path of the unfiltered Kool and the miracle of Our Lady of the After-Hours Joint." Words which sum up this LP better than anything I could possibly write.

The sides by Lil' Son Jackson and James Wayne stand apart from the sophisticated West Coast R&B stylings of the four "big hitters." Lil' Son's "Rockin' And Rollin'" has just one man and his guitar. While looking back to earlier hits by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, this disc also presages the "swamp blues" style of Slim Harpo. You can hear both sides of the original Imperial 78 on this post featuring rips by El Enmascarado - Rockin' And Rollin' / Peace Breaking People.

James Wayne's "Tend To Your Business" is a 1961 Imperial re-recording of his big 1951 hit for the Sittin' In With label. It was in the R&B top ten from May through to August 1951, reaching as high as number two in May. In the middle of June it was at number three, tucked in behind Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" and "60 Minute Man" by The Dominoes, and ahead of Nat "King" Cole's "Too Young" and Billy Eckstine's "I Apologize." The 1961 version is much slicker than the original. Unlike the Lil' Son Jackson track, it really breaks with the overall late night bluesy mood of the album.

James Wayne was an interesting character, to say the least. This article (Not Tending To His Business) by writer Graham Reid is a good overview of  the trials (literally) and tribulations of a true eccentric. There is a link in the article to a lengthy account by public defender Mort Borenstein of his efforts to keep Wayne out of a mental institution and also get him some of his royalties. "The People versus James Douglas Wayne" is worth setting aside twenty minutes or so for what develops into a rollercoaster ride through, well, just read it for yourselves. I intended to merely "dip in" to the article and was quickly hooked. 

This Pathe Marconi reissue had a slight problem. Two of the T-Bone tracks were not those listed on the sleeve and record label. Tracks 3 and 4 on Side 1 were not "Travelin' Blues" and "The Sun Went Down", but were in fact "The Hustle Is On" and "Evil Hearted Woman." Bizarre - especially as "The Hustle Is On" is an up tempo shuffle which just doesn't fit the "blues" atmosphere of most of the other tracks. For this post I've removed the two intruders and restored the original track list, so you get the album as it was originally conceived.

"A World Of Blues" did appear on the blog way back in 2007 and it falls into the category of "rips which I thought I lost in the great PC crash of 2009". As I mentioned in a recent post, I came across a box of CDs burned from these old rips and so here is the LP once more, re-ripped from what turned out to be a CD of mp3s and not an audio CD. There was a lot of surface noise on the original rip, so I've re-edited the files on Magix Audio Cleaning Lab MX to improve your listening experience. I've also included new scans of the front and back covers and the record labels.

And here are the facts on the tracks, Jack:

1. Cold, Cold Feeling - T-Bone Walker

Recorded in Los Angeles, December 1951. Personnel: T-Bone Walker (vocal, guitar); Edward Hale (alto sax); Maxwell Davis (tenor sax); Willard McDaniel (piano); Billy Hadnott (bass); Oscar Lee Bradley (drums).

Issued on Imperial single 5171, February 1952.

2. I Get So Weary - T-Bone Walker

Recorded in Los Angeles, August 20th, 1951. Personnel: T-Bone Walker (vocal, guitar); Edward Hale (alto sax); Maxwell Davis (tenor sax); Willard McDaniel (piano); Billy Hadnott (bass); Oscar Lee Bradley (drums). Also with unknown trumpet player.

Issued on Imperial single 5161, December 1951.

3. Travelin' Blues - T-Bone Walker

Recorded in Los Angeles, April 6th, 1950. Personnel: T-Bone Walker (vocal, guitar); Eddie Hutcherson (trumpet); Edward Hale (alto sax); Eddie Davis (tenor sax); Big Jim Wynn (baritone and alto saxes); Zell Kindred (piano); Buddy Woodson (bass); Robert "Snake" Sims (drums).

Released on Imperial single 5094, August 1950.

4. The Sun Went Down - T-Bone Walker

Recorded in Los Angeles, April 5th, 1950. Personnel: T-Bone Walker (vocal, guitar); Eddie Hutcherson (trumpet); Edward Hale (alto sax); Eddie Davis (tenor sax); Big Jim Wynn (baritone and alto saxes); Zell Kindred (piano); Buddy Woodson (bass); Robert "Snake" Sims (drums).

Released on Imperial single 5086, May 1950.

5. Drifting Blues - Johnny Moore's Three Blazers

Recorded in Los Angeles, September 11th, 1945. Personnel: Charles Brown (vocal, piano); Johnny Moore (guitar); Eddie Williams (bass); Johnny Otis (drums).

Released on Philo single 111, November 1945.

6. Black Night - Charles Brown

Recorded in Los Angeles, December 21st, 1950. Personnel: Charles Brown (vocal, piano); Maxwell Davis (tenor sax); Jesse Ervin (guitar); Wesley Prince (bass); unknown (drums).

Released on Aladdin single 3076, February 1951.

7. Trouble In Mind - Amos Milburn and his Aladdin Chickenshackers

Recorded in Los Angeles, January 29th, 1952. Personnel: Amos Milburn (vocal, piano); probably Maxwell Davis (tenor sax); unknown alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax; possibly Wayne Bennett (guitar); unknown bass and drums.

Released on Aladdin single 3124, February 1952.

8. Baby, Baby - Amos Milburn and his Aladdin Chickenshackers

Recorded in Los Angeles, March 26th, 1954. Personnel: Amos Milburn (vocal, piano) with unknown tenor sax, baritone sax, guitar, bass and drums.

Released on Aladdin single 3248, July 1954.

9. Tired, Broke And Busted - Floyd Dixon

Recorded in Los Angeles, May 12th, 1952. Personnel: Floyd Dixon (vocal, piano); Roy Hayes (guitar); Eddie Williams (bass); Nat "Monk" McFadden (drums).

Released on Aladdin single 3151, October 1952.

10. Call Operator 210 - Floyd Dixon

Recorded in Los Angeles, May 12th, 1952. Personnel: Floyd Dixon (vocal, piano); Roy Hayes (guitar); Eddie Williams (bass); Nat "Monk" McFadden (drums).

Released on Aladdin single 3135, June 1952.

11. Rockin' And Rollin' - Lil' Son Jackson

Recorded in Houston, Texas, December 16th, 1950. Personnel: Melvin Jackson aka "Lil' Son Jackson" (vocal, guitar).

Released on Imperial single 5113, February 1951.

12. Tend To Your Business - James Wayne

Recorded in New Orleans, February 22nd, 1961. Personnel: James "Wee Willie" Wayne (vocal); unknown tenor sax, piano, guitars, bass and drums.

Released on Imperial LP 9210 "A World Of Blues" in May 1963.

2 comments:

The Jackal said...

Dear Woodie,

Thanks for feeding my current Jump Blues tangent.
And for years of education and music history

boogiewoody said...

Cheers Mr Jackal. I never did get off my own Jump Blues tangent - I veered off on it around 1979 and have never looked back!