Be Bop Wino Pages

Joan Selects - the complete Joan Selects Collection

Big Ten Inchers - 78rpm rips by El Enmascarado

Attention Mac Users!

Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

1. Use The Unarchiver - - see comments on Little Esther Bad Baad Girl post for details.

2. Use Keka - - see comments on Johnny Otis Presents post.

Friday 30 October 2009

Big Joe Turner - Jumpin' Tonight

There was never another blues shouter who could match Big Joe Turner for sheer volume (it was as though the guy was equipped with an internal echo chamber) or for the ability to bawl out verse after verse of real and righteous blues. His vast repertoire was acquired during a remarkably long career which stretched back to the bars and clubs of 1920s Kansas City and forward to the dawn of rock and roll in the studios of Atlantic Records in the 1950s and onward ever onward, yea even unto the 1980s, that accursed decade of synth pop and big hair.

This 1985 Pathe Marconi LP brings together tracks from two stages of Big Joe Turner’s long career. The first nine tracks were recorded for Aladdin in 1947 while the remainder are from a 1950 Imperial session at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio in New Orleans.

In truth these years were not a happy time for Joe. His records were selling poorly and the glory days of his partnership with boogie woogie pianist Pete Johnson were a fading memory. Back in 1938 they had travelled from KC to take part in John Hammond’s “From Spirituals To Swing” concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall and had taken The Big Apple by storm. There were successful records such as “Roll ‘Em Pete” and “Cherry Red” on Vocalion, Okeh and Decca. Their music was a precursor to post war rockin’ R&B and yet as swing gave way to rhythm and blues Big Joe found himself being elbowed aside (at least as far as record sales were concerned) by newer younger talents.

He recorded some terrific sides for National (1945 – 1947) and Swing Time (1949) but as the track list below shows, little of his Aladdin material was thought worthy of release at the time. This is a pity, because the reworking of “Roll ‘Em Pete”, “Ice Man Blues” and especially “Nobody In Mind” are all rousing blues. The released “Low Down Dog” and “Back Breaking Blues” are good rockers. The sides recorded with Wynonie are probably best regarded as curiosities, live versions of cutting contests, rather than potential chart breaking recordings.

With his Aladdin recordings failing to sell, Big Joe took to the road, playing clubs around the South and frequently stopping over in New Orleans where he recorded a session for Imperial with Dave Bartholomew’s band in 1950. The band line up included Herb Hardesty on sax, Fats Domino on piano and Earl Palmer on drums. Yet even with such sterling backing and Joe himself on fine form, the Imperial recordings stiffed.

A year later, however, with Joe signed on at Atlantic, his career would take a very different turn. And that, my rocking friends, was our previous post!

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

1. Battle Of The Blues (Part 1) * (unreleased until 1968)
2. Battle Of The Blues (Part 2) * (Aladdin 3036)
3. Going Home * #
4. Blues * #
5. Roll 'Em Pete #
6. Ice-Man Blues #
7. Nobody In Mind #
8. Low Down Dog (Aladdin 3013)
9. Back Breaking Blues (Aladdin 3070)
10. Story To Tell (Imperial 5090)
11. Jumpin' Tonight (Midnight Rockin’) (Imperial 5090)
12. Lucille (Imperial 5093)
13. Love My Baby (Little Bitty Baby) (Imperial 5093)
14. Blues Jump The Rabbit (Bayou 015)

* with Wynonie Harris
# = previously unreleased

tracks 1 – 4 recorded for Aladdin in New York, July 1947
tracks 5 – 9 recorded for Aladdin in San Francisco, November 1947
tracks 10 – 14 recorded for Imperial in New Orleans, April 1950

Recommended purchase:

The complete Aladdin and Imperial recordings are on this EMI America CD, "Jumpin' With Joe" which is now quite hard to find. The set is also available as an Amazon mp3 download at an amazingly cheap price. Go git it.

Sunday 25 October 2009

Big Joe Turner - Jumpin' With Joe

By 1951 Big Joe Turner could fairly be described as a “veteran” blues singer and just as fairly his career could have been described as going nowhere. In 1949 and 1950 he had released recordings on a dizzying variety of labels including Excelsior, Swing Time, MGM, Modern, National, Freedom, Imperial and Aladdin. In the spring of 1951 he fronted the Count Basie band at the Apollo, replacing an ill Jimmy Rushing. The gig proved to be a disaster as Joe, who was unfamiliar with the band’s arrangements, missed cues and fluffed endings.

With the jeers of the audience echoing in his ears, Big Joe headed for the Braddock Bar to drown his sorrows. Following closely behind was Atlantic Records honcho Ahmet Ertegun who had witnessed the Apollo debacle but who had also helped promote Joe back in the day, booking him and Pete Johnson for a concert in Washington DC in 1942. And so in the highly suitable surroundings of a barroom Ertegun informed Joe that he was going to record him.

Success came instantly with “Chains of Love”, written by Ertegun especially for Big Joe. The record was a massive hit, staying in the R&B charts for six months and peaking at number two. It also crossed over into the pop charts, reaching number thirty. Along with The Clovers and Ruth Brown, Big Joe established Atlantic as the top selling R&B label in the country. “Bump Miss Susie”, recorded at his first Atlantic session on April 19th, 1951, was a forerunner of the pounding, rocking R&B which would bring Big Joe success not only with rhythm and blues audiences, but also with the rapidly growing number of young rock and roll fans. “Honey Hush” and “Shake Rattle and Roll” both broke into the pop charts in 1953 and 1954.

Further frantic rockers on this LP include “Well Alright”, “Morning Noon and Night”, “Hide and Seek”, and “Flip Flop and Fly”, by which time Atlantic were making a more conscious effort to cater for the rock and roll youth market, rather than relying on young white hipsters picking up on rhythm and blues records. Just compare the arrangements on the early 1950s discs with those from the second half of the decade. Perhaps getting Big Joe to record something like “Teenage Letter” was taking things a bit too far. Although it’s the rockers which dominate this compilation, there are a few good blues performances too, especially “TV Mama” (with Elmore James on slide guitar) and the New Orleans-influenced “Ti-Ri-Lee”.

78 rpm issue of Flip Flop and Fly courtesy El Enmascadero Del Platter
78 rpm issue of Ti-Ri-Lee courtesy of El Enmascadero Del Platter
In the midst of R&B and rock and roll success Big Joe recorded an LP of blues arranged in the Kansas City style of his younger days – “Boss of the Blues.” With hindsight it can be seen as an insurance policy against the inevitable time when chart success would elude the veteran. And yea when that time came, our hero was well placed to attract a new audience of jazz fans and thus keep his career rolling on for a few more decades.

Many thanks to Joan for the folder of vintage label shots.

1984 Charly LP ripped from vinyl. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

1. Bump Miss Susie
2. Honey Hush
3. Oke-She-Moke-She-Pop
4. TV Mama
5. Shake, Rattle And Roll
6. In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down)
7. Well All Right
8. Ti-Ri-Lee
9. Morning Noon And Night
10. Hide And Seek
11. Flip Flop And Fly
12. The Chicken And The Hawk
13. Boogie Woogie Country Girl
14. Lipstick, Powder And Paint
15. Teenage Letter
16. We're Gonna Jump For Joy

Recommended purchase:

There are plenty of CD collections of Big Joe Turner’s Atlantic sides. The Rev-Ola CD “Flip Flop and Fly 1951 - 1955” is a fine 27 track compilation of the man’s Atlantic heyday.

Friday 23 October 2009

Tiny Bradshaw - Stomping Room Only

This is another old post revamped with an improved cover scan and new links. This 1983 Krazy Kat LP presents a nice mix of vocal and instrumental sides by the stonkingly rocking Tiny Bradshaw band. Tiny is in fine form, shouting the blues on classics such as “Walk That Mess”, “T-99”, “Well Oh Well” and “The Train Kept A-Rollin’.” The band is of course famous for having three of the all time honking tenor sax greats in its line up – Red Prysock, Sil Austin and Noble Watts, but this LP gives us a chance to appreciate the work of Rufus Gore who preceded and outlasted the three big names associated with the Bradshaw outfit.

The career of Tiny Bradshaw is looked at more closely on the post “A Tribute To The Late Tiny Bradshaw”, which concentrates more on his instrumental sides.

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

Stomping Room Only (Mega)

1. Walk That Mess
2. Bradshaw Boogie
3. T-99
4. Breaking Up The House
5. Well Oh Well
6. The Train Kept A-Rollin'
7. Cat Fruit
8. Stomping Room Only
9. Gravy Train
10. Newspaper Boy Blues
11. I'm Going To Have Myself A Ball
12. Long Time Baby
13. Mailman's Sack
14. The Blues Came Pouring Down
15. Heavy Juice
16. Cat Nap

Those of you (and that should be just about everyone who digs real R&B) who would like to investigate further are commanded to purchase the following CDs:

Breaking Up The House, a 2CD set on Proper which has tracks from Tiny’s big band days, through to his King sides.

Heavy Juice – The King Recordings 1950-55 on the Rev-Ola label.

If you come across a second hand copy of the old See For Miles CD, “The EP Collection …Plus”, grab it!

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Maxwell Davis - Father of West Coast R & B

Note: this is a revamped post from the old blog. It includes a much better front cover scan and new links.

This 1988 Ace LP compiled some of Maxwell Davis’ performances for the Modern label. It was beautifully presented in a gatefold sleeve with notes by Ray Topping. I’ve included the full sleeve in the download plus Joan’s scan of a rare 1956 (reissue of a 1954 10 inch album) Maxwell Davis LP on Aladdin. See here for the 1980's reissue of Maxwell Davis and his Tenor Sax.

Maxwell Davis was a true unsung hero of R&B. Tenor sax player, bandleader, arranger and producer, he worked for several Los Angeles labels, most notably Aladdin, in the 1940s and 1950s. The sleeve notes include a list of many of the R&B hits which he arranged, directed or played on. The artists on this list include Amos Milburn, Charles Brown, Floyd Dixon, Percy Mayfield, Etta James and B.B. King.

The music here includes sides from a series of recording dates with Gene Phillips in 1947/48: “Flying Home”, “Royal Boogie” and “Gene Jumps the Blues”. The version of “Flying Home” starts with a recreation of Illinois Jacquet’s solo on the 1942 hit version for Lionel Hampton and then builds on that solo. The Lloyd Glenn & His All Stars track is from a live concert. Maxwell recorded some sides for Modern in 1950 including “Boogie Cocktails” and “Bristol Drive”. The very cool “Bluesville” and “Thunderbird” date from 1954. Every track here is an instrumental and the styles covered include jazzy R&B and rock ‘n’ roll.

Ripped from vinyl at 320kbps. Password = greaseyspoon. Thanks to Joan for the vintage cover scan.

Download from here:

Father Of West Coast R&B (Zippy)

Or here:

Father of West Coast R&B (Mega)

1. Boogie Cocktails / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
2. Bristol Drive / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
3. Flying Home / Gene Phillips & His Orchestra
4. Royal Boogie / Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces
5. Resistor / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
6. Belmont Special / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
7. Jumpin' With Lloyd / Lloyd Glenn & His All Stars
8. Thunderbird / Maxwell Davis & His Rock'n'Roll Orchestra
9. Cool Diggin' / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
10. Bluesville / Maxwell Davis & His Rock'n'Roll Orchestra
11. Rocking With Maxie / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
12. Tempo Rock / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra
13. Gene Jumps The Blues / Gene Phillips & His Rhythm Aces
14. Boogie Cocktails / Maxwell Davis & His Orchestra

There is no direct equivalent of this collection on current issue from Ace, but if you like what you hear then you could purchase the two Gene Phillips CDs currently available from Ace: “Swinging the Blues” and “Drinkin’ and Stinkin’” which feature Maxwell Davis on some tracks. Ace own the Modern back catalogue and have a variety of CDs featuring West Coast R&B, notably the “Mellow Cats ‘n’ Kittens” series which goes into the late 1940s jump blues scene to a depth which borders on the obsessive. Great music though.

Released in November 2011 - Wailin' Daddy: The Best Of Maxwell Davis (Fantastic Voyage FVTD130)

A 3CD collection compiled by Dave Penny for the Fantastic Voyage label. CD 1 has 30 tracks by Maxwell including some of the tracks on "Father Of west Coast R&B." The other 2 CDs are collections of 1940s and 1950s tracks he produced, arranged or played on as a sideman. Many obscure and little known gems are to be found here! The 20 page booklet has a biographical essay on Maxwell. Highly recommended.

Full review can be read here.

Monday 19 October 2009

C90 Savoy and National – Side B

As promised, here’s the second side of my old mixtape of Savoy and National sides from the mid forties to the early fifties. Honkin’, shoutin’, boogyin’ and bluesin’ from the dawn of R&B. The program has been uploaded as one continuous mp3 ripped from cassette (and before that, vinyl) at 192 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon.

Download from here:

Or here:

We’re Gonna Rock, We’re Gonna Roll – Wild Bill Moore
Cornbread – Hal Singer
Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin’ – Redd Lyte
Double Trouble Hop – Dee Williams and the California Playboys
My Brown Frame Baby – H-Bomb Ferguson
Wild Wig – Big Jay McNeely
Lunatic – John Hardee
Ain’t Gonna Quit You Baby – Helen Humes with the Dexter Gordon Orchestra
Blues Nocturne – Johnny Otis
Old Man River – The Ravens
Watch That Jive – Big Joe Turner
Preachin’ The Blues – H-Bomb Ferguson
Wine Cooler – T.J. Fowler
Mercy Mr. Percy – Varetta Dillard
Head Hunter – Johnny Otis
Let’s Make Love Tonight – Earl Williams with Lee Allen
The Eel – Lee Allen
35-30 (Fadeout) – Paul Williams

Sunday 18 October 2009

C90 Savoy and National - Side A

Here’s an idea I’ve “borrowed” from the boplicious Rockerstomp blog, where sometime back in the past Javi posted some cassettes he compiled in his rock’n’roll youth.

So it’s the Boogster’s Mixtape madness on this post. I’m clearing out Bebopwino Towers aka Chateau Despair prior to extensive and ruinously expensive renovations. From the depths of my vinyl cupboard I’ve salvaged several cases of cassette tapes, including a case of mixtapes I made up mostly between 10 and 15 years ago. There are titles like “Dig This!” (8 volumes), “The Cool and The Crazy”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Rampage” (4 volumes), “Rambunctious!”, and suchlike. Some are R&B, others are mixes of R&B, Rockabilly, Hillbilly, etc. One even includes 1930s jazz/drugs songs alongside early 1960s surf.

When I started listening to the tapes again I couldn’t remember what many of the tracks were or what albums I’d nicked them off. Then I found a bunch of tracklists, so we’re in business. I’m gonna try posting a few on the blog to see if any of you fans of good music are interested in this kind of format.

First up we have a C90 of R&B and some jazz from the Savoy and National labels. This post has Side A, and Side B will be along soon. I’ve converted each side to one long mp3 at 192 kbps. So we don’t have separate tracks. Just regard it as a low tech podcast.

Most of the tracks date from the mid to late 1940s which were the formative years of rhythm and blues. I won’t take up any more of your time with attempts at supplying info or descriptions of the music. Just let me say that there’s plenty of rootin’ and tootin’ and honkin’ and hootin’ for all you rockers and rollers and boppers and strollers out there

The tracks were taped from vinyl so not only do you get some tape hiss, you get the joyful sound of crackle and pop from the discs. Download this mp3 for some of my favourite sounds from some of my favourite labels.

Ripped from vinyl via cassette at 192 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

Or here:

Side A:

All Night Long – Johnny Otis
I Got Love For Sale – Big Joe Turner
The Twister – Paul Williams
I Ain’t Mad At You – Gatemouth Moore
Hollerin’ And Screamin’ – Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and his Be Boppers
The Milk Shake Stand – The Three Barons
Now’s The Time – Charlie Parker’s Reboppers
The Hucklebuck – Paul Williams
Double Crossing Blues – Little Esther and The Robins
T.J. Boogie – T.J. Fowler
I Keep Rollin’ On – Hot Lips Page
Smack That Mess – Clyde Hart, vocal – Joe Gregory
Rockin’ Blues – Mel Walker
Midnight Jump – Hal Singer
Red Hot Blues – T.J. Fowler
Boogie Guitar (fadeout) – Johnny Otis

Saturday 17 October 2009

Maxwell Davis And His Tenor Sax

My thanks to the anonymous donor who has sent in some great instrumental albums and has supplied this 1980s re-issue (on the Official label) of a Maxwell Davis album which was first released on Aladdin in 1954.

The influence of Maxwell Davis as a tenor sax player, producer, arranger, bandleader and A&R man permeates many other posts on the blog, a prime example being the post on Percy Mayfield: “The Voice Within”, where most of the tracks were arranged and backed by Maxwell.

1956 12 inch release

This album was originally released in 1954 as a 10-inch LP with only 8 tracks. It was part of a series of Aladdin LPs with titles ending in “… and his Tenor Sax”, the other releases being by Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet and Lynn Hope. In 1956 a 12-inch edition containing 11 tracks was released. In 1957 this 11 track version was re-released on the Aladdin budget subsidiary Score with a new title – “Blue Tango” and a new cover featuring an attractive young lady pouting provocatively at the camera. I have included an illustration of that cover for purely educational purposes while thoroughly deploring the use of sexist imagery to sell records. You can find similarly regrettable illustrations on the Both Sides Now website, from which I stole this example.

Budget release on Score, 1957

For better or for worse, this extended 1980s reissue on the Official label restores the original artwork to the album. However, the lack of a seductive temptress on the sleeve is more than compensated for by the music contained within.

Maxwell Davis originally hailed from Independence, Kansas where he was born in 1916. By the age of twelve he was practising hard on the saxophone having already tried the violin and piano. A few years later he had formed his own group and at the age of seventeen earned a berth in the territory band of Gene Coy. In 1937 he moved to Los Angeles and began working with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra before forming a small group for club gigs. As the war came to an end, the Los Angeles R&B scene boomed and Maxwell worked as a freelance musician and arranger for the numerous record companies which were springing up on the West Coast.

In 1948 he signed a contract with Aladdin Records which within a year became the top selling R&B label in the country. The late 40s and early fifties were the great years for Aladdin with Maxwell Davis working alongside top stars such as Amos Milburn, Charles Brown, Floyd Dixon and Peppermint Harris. The sides on this LP were recorded between November 1951 and November 1953, all of them being released on singles except “Kiss Me Again.” Of the three LPs which I have posted from this series, this is probably the “poppiest”, but is still essential listening for tenor sax fans.

By 1954 Maxwell was working full time for Modern where he worked on many of the sides which brought success for the label as the rock and roll era took off. Among the artists he worked with were Etta James, B.B. King, Richard Berry, Marvin & Johnny, The Teen Queens, Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Jesse Belvin. In the late sixties Maxwell was working on Modern’s re-activated Kent label, producing blues hits by Lowell Fulson, Z.Z. Hill and B.B. King. He was still working when he died of a heart attack in September 1970.
Most of the above information is from Ray Topping’s liner notes to the Ace LP “Father of West Coast R&B.”

Download from here:

Or from here:

Maxwell Davis And His Tenor Sax (Mega)

1. Blue Tango
2. Popsicle
3. Blue Shuffle
4. Glory Of Love
5. Hey, Good Lookin'
6. Joe Louis Story Theme
7. Gomain Nasai (Forgive Me)
8. Ooh!
9. Hey Boy
10. C'est Si Bon
11. Look Sharp
12. Strange Sensation
13. Kiss Me Again
14. Hot Point
15. No Other Love
16. Charmaine
Recommended purchase:
Wailin' Daddy: The Best Of Maxwell Davis (Fantastic Voyage FVTD130)

A 3CD collection compiled by Dave Penny for the Fantastic Voyage label. CD 1 has 30 tracks by Maxwell including some of the tracks on "Maxwell Davis And His Tenor Sax." The other 2 CDs are collections of 1940s and 1950s tracks he produced, arranged or played on as a sideman. Many obscure and little known gems are to be found here! The 20 page booklet has a biographical essay on Maxwell. Highly recommended.
Full review can be read here.

Friday 16 October 2009

Illinois Jacquet And His Tenor Sax

Honk starts with Illinois Jacquet, more or less. Born in 1922 in Louisiana into a French speaking family which migrated to Houston, Texas when he was only six months old, Jean Baptiste Illinois Jacquet started his professional music career playing alto sax in a band formed by his older brothers. In 1937 he graduated to the legendary (though sadly unrecorded) territory band of Milt Larkins which included Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Arnett Cobb in its reed section. Jacquet became an admirer of Count Basie tenor sax man Herschel Evans, who died at the tragically young age of 30.

Determined to make it as a jazzman, Jacquet moved first to New York and then to Los Angeles where he studied music at the City College, and more importantly fell in with Nat “King” Cole who secured him a place as tenor sax player in Lionel Hampton’s new band which formed in May 1940. Alongside Jacquet sat fellow tenor sax player Dexter Gordon and on baritone sax was Jack McVea. In May 1942 the Hampton band recorded a version of “Flying Home” which featured a soaring solo by Jacquet which is often thought of as the start of the honking saxophone phenomenon. Jacquet left the Hampton outfit in January 1943 and his place was taken by Arnett Cobb whose big, BIG tenor tone blasted out on a second version of “Flying Home.”

After a short spell with the Cab Calloway band, Illinois stopped in Houston long enough to pick up his trumpet playing brother Russell and the pair hot footed it back to LA where they immersed themselves in the local music scene, forming a small group and jamming at Billy Berg’s Swing Club in Hollywood. Illinois also took part in jam sessions organised by Norman Granz and when the latter staged a jazz concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in July 1944, Jacquet was among the musicians who took part. His solo on “Blues” was perhaps the real birth of honk – a screeching, squealing, howling epic that drove the audience wild. As Jim Dawson wrote in “What Was The First Rock ‘N’ Roll Record?” – “This was clearly something new, a mixture of stage antics and musical pyrotechnics that, in only a few manic choruses blew open the boundaries of jazz and rhythm and blues.”

Among those who witnessed the enthusiasm that Illinois could generate with such wild performances were brothers Eddie and Leo Mesner, owners of The Philharmonic Music Store who set up their own record label in 1945, naming it Philo. Six months later, following objections by the Philco radio company, the label would be renamed Aladdin.

All of which brings us to this 1983 Pathe Marconi reissue of an LP which originally appeared in 1954 as a ten inch disc (Aladdin 708) and was re-released in 1956 as a twelve inch platter Aladdin 803). Once again I must thank Joan for the scan of an EP with tracks from the LP:

The first four tracks are from the very first Philo recording session in July 1945, with the two parter “Flying Home” being the first single released on Philo. The band includes Russell Jacquet and Johnny Otis. The rest of the tracks are from four sessions recorded for Aladdin during 1947 with various backing bands. The January session is with a big band which includes Joe Newman, Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Leo Parker and Bill Doggett among its personnel. The other sessions are with the small group usually billed as Illinois Jacquet and his All Stars, a band which included Leo Parker on baritone sax, Al Lucas on bass, Sir Charles Thompson on piano and Shadow Wilson on drums. This was a busy time for Illinois, as in between the sessions on this LP he also recorded for Savoy and Apollo (including backing Wynonie Harris). There was even time for a spell in the Count Basie band.

This music is a prime example of that unnameable genre that treads the line between R&B and jazz, although perhaps in this case veering more heavily towards the jazz side. But in the end categories don’t matter. When I listen to this LP I know I’m hearing the very stuff of Be Bop Wino Done Gone!

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

1. Flying Home, Part 1
2. Flying Home, Part 2
3. Uptown Boogie
4. Throw It Out Of Your Mind Baby
5. For Europeans Only
6. Big Dog
7. You Left Me All Alone
8. Jivin' With Jack The Bellboy
9. Blow Illinois Blow
10. Illinois Blows The Blues
11. Goofin' Off
12. Riffin' With Jacquet
13. Don't Push Daddy
14. Sahara Heat
15. It's Wild
16. Destination Moon
17. For Truly
18. I Surrender Dear

Recommended purchase - it just has to be the Properbox 4 CD set, "The Illinois Jacquet Story" which deals in detail with his recordings from July 1944 (including "Blues") up to May 1951.

Monday 12 October 2009

Lynn Hope And His Tenor Sax

This is the first “revamped” post from the old blog. This 1983 Pathe Marconi reissue of a Lynn Hope Aladdin LP was the second album I posted on the original Be Bop Wino. Looking back from two years down the line, the post definitely needed improving, especially the very poor front cover scan! So here is a re-up with new front and back cover scans and new links.

Lynn Hope was one of the top-selling R&B saxmen in the early ‘50’s. His hit-making formula was similar to that of Earl Bostic – take a well-known standard, give it an overheated arrangement, and watch the money roll in. He was a member of the King Kolax band before forming his own combo. He signed for Premium Records in 1950 where he recorded his big hit ‘Tenderly’, a re-recording of which is presented here. His stay at Premium was brief, as was a spell at Chess. He signed with Aladdin in late 1950 or early 1951 where he stayed until 1957. He recorded an album for King Records in 1960 (“The Maharajah of the Saxophone”) which featured former Bostic vibes player Gene Redd, and then faded from the music scene.

Although he failed to recreate the chart success of “Tenderly” during his tenure at Aladdin, Hope remained a big draw at live gigs for much of the 50’s. He was certainly an unusual sight – wearing a bejewelled turban and accompanied by a band resplendent in red fezzes. Two of his brothers and his sister were in the band, and like Lynn, they were converts to Islam. Although such an exotic stage appearance may have been the ideal complement to numbers such as the latin-tinged “Blues for Anna Bacoa” or the traditional Lebanese tune “Miserlou”, there is no doubt that Lynn’s conversion to Islam was sincere and he even made the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Although his forte was the ballad (“Tenderly”, “September Song”, and not on this compilation – “Poinciana” and “Star Dust”), Lynn manages to squeeze in a variety of styles but usually with a certain restraint. So you won’t get any Big Jay style honking and squealing but there is one searing piece of striptease jazz in “Summertime”. Overall the atmosphere is one of the exotic and romantic. Think Earl Bostic or Morris Lane in his “Magic Saxophone” phase.

This album was originally issued as a 10 inch LP (Aladdin 707) in 1954 with just eight tracks. In 1956 it was reissued as a 12 inch LP (Aladdin 805) with twelve tracks. The front cover remained identical through to this 1983 reissue. Thanks to Joan for the cover of an Aladdin EP with tracks from the LP:

Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

Lynn Hope And His Tenor Sax (Mega)

1. Tenderly
2. Driftin' (Goin' Home)
3. Hope, Skip And Jump
4. Blue Moon
5. Blues For Anna Bacoa
6. Eleven Til Two
7. Miserlou
8. Blow Lynn Blow
9. Move It
10. Don't Worry 'Bout Me
11. South Of The Border
12. September Song
13. Summertime
14. The Scrunch

If you want more Lynn Hope, then you’ll probably have to get yourself along to a second hand dealer.

This 1985 Saxophonograph LP (“Morocco”) was also issued as a CD and includes the original version of “Tenderly”:

Lynn Hope’s complete “Maharajah of the Saxophone” sessions for King are on this 1991 Charly CD (“Juicy!”), along with five tracks by Clifford Scott, sax player with the Bill Doggett band:

In 2006 the sadly now defunct Acrobat label issued this 25 track compilation (“Blow Lynn Blow”) of Lynn’s Aladdin sides. It may still be possible to pick up a new copy from some distributors.

Saturday 10 October 2009

Amos Milburn - 13 Unreleased Masters

Back around 1980, when I started getting into the R&B sounds of the 1940s and 1950s, one name I was always on the lookout for in my searches through the record bins was Amos Milburn. For a few years all I could find was a scratched-to-hell copy of a 1978 United Artists LP called “Chicken Shack Boogie”. Then along came a series of reissue LPs of the great man himself on Pathé Marconi: “Let’s Have A Party”, “Vicious Vicious Vodka” and another LP named after one of his biggest hits: “Chicken Shack Boogie”.

Which brings me to the latest offering here on Bebopwino – one of those Amos Milburn LPs from Pathé Marconi – “13 Unreleased Masters”. It’s something of a cliché for reviewers to claim that a collection of unreleased tracks stacks up well against the released output of a performer, but in this case it’s true, bud, it’s true. And listening to these tracks while processing them from vinyl brought back to me the reasons why I became such a big fan of Amos Milburn all those years ago.

He’s one of those rare artists to whom I could happily listen for hour after hour. His piano playing ability combined with his smoky, slightly hoarse voice meant that he was equally at home with boogie woogie, early rock and roll, blues and ballads. You could imagine him performing in a rowdy dance hall or in the more intimate setting of a barroom or late night club.

This small but career-spanning collection shows the various sides of Amos. “Shake, Shake” is from late in his Aladdin career when he was no longer hitting the R&B charts. In December 1956 he recorded a session at Cosimo Matassa’s studio in New Orleans. The best known track from that session is his pounding reworking of “Chicken Shack Boogie”, but “Shake, Shake” can’t hope to equal that masterpiece. It may be rock and roll by-the-numbers, but Lee Allen’s tenor sax solo just about saves it. “I’ll Be True” recorded earlier in the year in Los Angeles is a nice pleading ballad which suits Amos’ voice perfectly. “After Awhile” is a good New Orleans influenced easy rocker recorded in LA in 1954.

“Without Someone To Call Your Own” and “Sorrowful Heart” are from a session recorded in New York in June 1953 with Sam “The Man” Taylor and Mickey “Guitar” Baker included in the backing band. “Without Someone …” is a fine moody blues, with “Sorrowful Heart” being a rather subdued ballad performance. “Stormy Weather”, the final track on side 1 of the LP, is a terrific performance recorded in LA in August 1952.

The seven tracks on side 2 were all recorded in LA in 1947 under the direction of Maxwell Davis. The storming “Nickel Plated Baby” (with nice guitar work by an unnamed player) dates from April while the rest of the tracks are from the November 19th session which produced the first version of “Chicken Shack Boogie.” One possible reason for these sides remaining unreleased is that they were recorded when an AFM strike was looming (to start on January 1st 1948) and record companies were frantically stockpiling masters to enable them to keep issuing material through the recording ban.

“I’m Gonna Leave You” is a rollicking boogie with great sax by Maxwell Davis “Hard Driving Blues” is either an instructional course on how to maintain your automobile at peak performance, or it’s a piece of utter filth. Here at Bebopwino our unofficial motto is “fun for all the family”, so any double entendres are purely in the minds of our listeners. Now go wash your brains out.

The final four tracks are all “slows”. The ballads “Rapture In Bloom” and “Don’t Tell Her” have no accompanying sax and sound uncannily like the King Cole Trio, which is no bad thing. “My Tortured Mind” and “It’s A Married Woman” are slow blues with sax fills by the maestro, Maxwell Davis.

The front cover of this LP is adapted from the cover of the 1952 Aladdin LP “Rockin’ The Boogie.” Thanks to Joan for a copy of that cover.

Ripped from slightly crackly vinyl at 320 kbps.

Download from here:

1. Shake, Shake
2. I'll Be True
3. After Awhile
4. Without Someone To Call Your Own
5. Sorrowful Heart
6. Stormy Weather
7. I'm Gonna Leave You
8. Hard Driving Blues
9. Nickel Plated Baby
10. Rapture In Bloom
11. Don't Tell Her
12. My Tortured Mind
13. It's A Married Woman