2. Saturday Night (vocal – Tony Warren)
3. I Can't Get Started
4. Save The Bones For Henry Jones (vocal – Bob Merrell)
5. Ooh La La (vocal – Bob Merrell)
6. I Want To Be Loved (vocal – Billy Matthews)
7. Divorce Me COD Blues (vocal – Eddie Mack)
1. Shotgun Boogie (vocal – Eddie Mack)
2. You Talk A Little Trash
3. If It's True (vocal – Billy Matthews)
4. I Shoulda Been Thinkin' Instead Of Drinkin' (vocal – Bob Merrell)
5. Sound Track
6. Inflation Blues (vocal – Bob Merrell)
7. I'm Beginning To See The Light (vocal – Tony Warren)
Here’s the follow up to the previous Cootie Williams post, “Echoes Of Harlem.” This LP compiles tracks drawn from the years when star vocalist and alto sax player Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson had left the band. There are only four instrumental tracks here, so we get a good sample of vocal performances in contrasting styles by a variety of singers. The bulk of the tracks are from 1947, the year in which Cootie had to cut down the big band to a small combo, plus there are a couple of tracks from early 1945 (when Vinson was temporarily absent from the band) and a couple of 1950 tracks featuring the blues shouter Eddie Mack.
“Saturday Night (Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week) and “I’m Beginning To See The Light” date from a February 1945 session for Majestic. Both are vehicles for the Sinatra style singing of Tony Warren, with good swinging backing from the band.
Between May 1945 and September 1946 the Cootie Williams Orchestra recorded for Capitol Records, with Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson leaving after the July 1945 session. By January 1946 trumpeter and singer Bob Merrell (real name: Merrill) had joined the band and contributed three vocal performances in a July 1946 session for Capitol. In the final Capitol session in September 1946 he cut two more vocals for the band – “Ain’t Got No Blues Today” and “Bring ‘Em Down Front.”
In early 1947 the band was back with Majestic Records, recording four tracks – “I Can’t Get Started,” which is a tremendous instrumental showcase for Cootie’s trumpet playing, “Sound Track”, a rousing flagwaver, “Inflation Blues” on which Bob Merrell does a reasonable imitation of Louis Jordan, and “I Want To Be Loved” which is a lachrymose, lugubrious performance by Eckstine style warbler Billy Matthews.
In July 1947 The Cootie Williams Orchestra recorded their final session for Majestic and for the last time as a big band. There was another mournful oh-my-God-I’m –gonna-cut-my wrists track from Billy Matthews in “If It’s True” but also three rousing hoarse-voiced R&B shouters from Bob Merrell in “Ooh La La”, “Save The Bones For Henry Jones” and “I Shoulda Been Thinkin’ Instead Of Drinkin’.”
In December 1947 the now slimmed down Cootie Williams band had signed for Mercury and their first session for their new company included the blasting “Typhoon” which featured frantic sax action from Bill “Weasel” Parker. A few days later the band backed label mate Dinah Washington as the record companies frantically stockpiled sides before the start of the second AFM strike on 1st January 1948.
The recording ban was probably the main reason why the seven piece band’s next session for Mercury didn’t take place until March 1949. By this time Weasel Parker had left and had been replaced by Willis Jackson. From this session came the record that would earn Jackson his nickname – “Gator Tail Parts 1 and 2” – a frantic two part honkathon which unfortunately is not only not on this LP, it isn’t in my collection in any format whatsoever.
|Willis "Gator Tail" Jackson|
|Eddie Mack aka "Pigmeat Peterson"|
At the next and last Mercury session in September 1949, blues shouter Eddie Mack was added to the personnel. He was also present along with Willis Jackson at the November 1950 session for Derby. Included here are Eddie’s spirited renditions of two covers of country hits – Merle Travis’s “Divorce Me C.O.D.” and Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “Shotgun Boogie.” That was effectively the end of the R&B years for Cootie Williams and thus he fades from the annals of Be Bop Wino. In the late 1950s he returned to the jazz scene and in 1962 rejoined the Duke Ellington Orchestra, even staying on as a band member after the death of Duke. Cootie Williams died in New York City in September 1985.
Ripped from vinyl at 320 kbps.
Download from here:
2. Saturday Night
3. I Can't Get Started
4. Save The Bones For Henry Jones
5. Ooh La La
6. I Want To Be Loved
7. Divorce Me COD Blues
8. Shotgun Boogie
9. You Talk A Little Trash
10. If It's True
11. I Shoulda Been Thinkin' Instead Of Drinkin'
12. Sound Track
13. Inflation Blues
14. I'm Beginning To See The Light
Eddie Mack – The Complete Recordings 1947-1952 (Blue Moon BMCD 6026)
Eddie Mack’s real name was Mack Edmondson or Edmundson. He is remembered as being part of a lively Brooklyn blues scene centred on the Baby Grand Club. In 1949-50 he recorded three sessions for Apollo with the Bobby Smith band, which consisted mainly of musicians from the Erskine Hawkins Orchestra, plus Willis Jackson at the first of these sessions. During this time he also recorded several sessions with the Cootie Williams band. In 1952, under the name Pigmeat Pedersen, he recorded “Please Be Careful” with Lucky Millinder for King Records. He also recorded a couple of sides as Pigmeat Peterson for the King subsidiary Federal. His last recordings were for Savoy in July 1952.
Bob Merrill – The Complete Recordings 1943 – 1961 (Blue Moon BMCD 6041)
In April 1947 Bob Merrell (Merrill) recorded under his own name for Aladdin, backed by a combo which included Count Hastings and Sonny Payne, – “You Took My Woman” / “Blues Without Booze” (Aladdin 3002). In early 1949 he recorded three sides for Apollo with a small group featuring Ike Quebec – “I’ll Always Be In Love With You,” “Baby I’m Tired” and “I Want A Little Girl” released in various combinations as Apollo 404 and 410. In March 1949 he recorded a single for Abbey backed by Sam “The Man” Taylor and His Orchestra (including Paul Quinichette) – “Low Down Groove” / “The Blues Is Here Tonight” (Abbey 3010). Probably from the same session, he was also on a single credited to Sam “The Man” Taylor – “Pyramid Boogie” / “Rinky Dinks” (Abbey 62.) He was last heard of recording for Bargain in 1960-61 as Bobby “Mr Blues” Merrell – “I Ain’t Mad At You” / “I’m Gonna Set You Free” (Bargain 5002.)