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Thursday, 22 November 2018

Jericho Alley Blues Flash Volume 1

Side One:
01. Good Woman Blues - B. Brown And His McVouts
02. Do Right Mind - Haskell Sadler And His Orchestra
03. Gone For Good - Haskell Sadler And His Orchestra
04. Hurry Hurry Baby - Sidney Maiden And His Ramblers
05. Everything Is Wrong - Sidney Maiden And His Ramblers
06. Shake 'Em Up - Slim Green
07. Jericho Alley - Slim Green

Side Two:
01. Are You Alright? - Paul Clifton
02. It Ain't To Play With - Sheryl Crowley
03. Just A Night Girl - Sheryl Crowley
04. Sweet Pea - Sweet Pea Walker
05. Gonna Hold On - Frank Patt And His Orchestra
06. You Gonna Pay For It Baby - Frank Patt And His Orchestra
07. I'm Your Slave - Frank Patt And His Orchestra

Jericho Alley Blues Flash Volume 1 (Zippy)

The Be Bop Wino blues roadtrip stays in Los Angeles with this rousing comp of sides recorded for Charlie Reynolds' label Flash Records. Parallels have been drawn between Charlie Reynolds and John Dolphin in that both LA entrepreneurs started out as record shop owners and both expanded into recording and running their own record labels out of their respective back shops. Flash Records didn't enjoy anything like the success of the Dolphin labels although they did have two hits - with The Jayhawks original version of "Stranded In The Jungle" in 1956, and with a Gus Jenkins instrumental "Tricky" in 1957.

There were around 35 singles released on Flash and its two associated labels, Pull and Canton. Although the releases covered a variety of R&B styles including a generous helping of doo wop, this compilation concentrates on basic blues and fits right in with our recent posts from Charlie B. The first 5 tracks on Side 1 originate from the first Flash recording session in June 1955 which featured B. Brown (vocals, drums), Haskell Sadler (vocal, guitar) and Sidney Maiden (vocal, harmonica). Three singles were issued, one each under the name of each artist and all in a real "back in the alley" blues style. The sides by Slim Green are if anything even more basic but the driving guitar / harp blues vibe is taken up again on Side 2 by Paul Clifton, Sweet Pea Walker and Frank Patt (with Gus Jenkins). The two sides by Sheryl Crowley have slightly more of an R&B feel, but they fit right in with the general blues hollerin' going on here.

There are excellent sleevenotes by Les Cook and the original release numbers are also included on the back cover. The notes are obviously meant for both volumes of this collection as they refer to sides by Gus Jenkins and Guitar Shorty which don't feature on Volume One. Unfortunately I don't have Volume Two, but if you're interested in hearing more from Flash Records, Ace (UK) have a double CD set out - "The Flash Records Story." You can find out more as well as listen to sound samples on the Ace website here:

I've got a copy on order, so I'll be able to add a short review to this post next week.

Also of interest is a Flash Records discography on the website here:

Note that the discography doesn't include issues on Canton and Pull.

Next stop on the blues tour is Memphis. All aboard!

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