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Monday 15 August 2016

Illinois Jacquet - King Jacquet

Side 1:
01. Jet Propulsion
02. King Jacquet
03. Try Me One More Time
04. Embryo
05. Riffin' At 24th Street
06. Mutton Leg
07. Symphony In Sid
08. A Jacquet For Jack The Bellboy

Side 2:
01. Bigfoot
02. Black Velvet
03. B-Yot
04. Adam's Alley
05. Blue Satin
06. Slow Down Baby
07. Hot Rod
08. You Gotta Change

Download from here:

It's time to get back to some hot tenor sax action with this 1977 French RCA compilation of sides recorded by Illinois Jacquet for RCA Victor in 1947, 1949 and 1950. This album follows on neatly from an LP I posted (and subsequently re-upped) many years ago - "Illinois Jacquet And His Tenor Sax" which is a 1980s Pathe Marconi reissue of a 1950s Aladdin LP. "King Jacquet" picks up where that album left off - Illinois recorded his last Aladdin session on November 28th 1947 and a few weeks later (December 18th, to be precise) he was in a New York studio recording his first session for Victor.

As I wrote in the "Illinois Jacquet And His Tenor Sax" post, this is the kind of music that is at the very core of Be Bop Wino - fiery swing-derived small group jazz, not be-bop, but that hard to define post-war style which hovered berween R&B and jazz. Jukebox Jazz, if you like.

The cover art is firmly in the 1970s, with a mature Illinois dressed in the style of the day. If like me you prefer your 1940s music accompanied by 1940s styles, then you may wish to make use of an alternative front cover I have included with the download. Like the alternative cover I included with the recent Gene Ammons / Leo Parker compilation, it's based on the Savoy Jazz / RCA reissue style.

Recording dates and personnel are included in the gatefold sleeve. I have listed the original release details of the tracks below.

The tracks on Side 1 were recorded at two sessions in New York City in December 1947 as follows:

December 18th, 1947 session : Jet Propulsion, King Jacquet, Try Me One More Time, Embroyo.

December 19th, 1947 session: Riffin' At 24th Street, Mutton Leg, Symphony In Sid, A Jacquet For Jack The Bellboy.

They were released on the following singles:

Riffin' at 24th Street  / King Jacquet - on RCA Victor 20-2702, released in February 1948.

Jet Propulsion / Try Me One More Time - on RCA Victor 20-2892, released in May 1948.

Mutton Leg / Symphony In Sid - on RCA Victor 20-3060, released in August 1948.

Embroyo / A Jacquet For Jack The Bellboy - on RCA Victor 20-3278, released in December, 1948.

The first four tracks on Side 2 were recorded in Los Angeles on April 6th, 1949 and were released as follows:

Adam's Alley / Black Velvet - on RCA Victor 22-0027, released in June, 1949.

B-Yot / Big Foot - on RCA Victor 22-0037, released in July 1949.

Track 5, Side 2, "Blue Satin" was recorded in New York City on December 14th, 1949 along with "Stay Away" (not on this LP). "Stay Away" was a vocal performance by Joe Bailey. The tracks were released as follows:

Stay Away / Blue Satin - on RCA Victor 22-0062, released in January 1950.

Ouch! This explains the absence of "Stay Away" from this LP.

The last three tracks on Side 2 were recorded in New York City on May 22nd, 1950, along with "My Old Gal" (not on this LP). "My Old Gal" was a vocal performance by Sid McKinney. The tracks were released as follows:

My Old Gal / You Gotta Change - on RCA Victor 22-0087 (78 rpm) and 50-0087 (45 rpm), released in June 1950.

Slow Down Baby / Hot Rod - on RCA Victor 22-0097 (78 rpm) and 50-0097 (45 rpm), released in August 1950.

This LP contains the complete RCA Victor output of the Illinois Jacquet band, apart from "Stay Away" and "My Old Gal." As noted in the track details above, both of these tracks are vocal performances backed by the Jacquet band.

I have listened to both of these tracks on the Properbox "The Illinois Jacquet Story" 4CD set. "Stay Away" has not worn well, and that's me being diplomatic. "My Old Gal" is rather better, i.e. a fair to mediocre swing ballad. The two Russell Jacquet vocal sides included on the LP are much better as they are sung in an R&B style and also leave solo space to the musicians.

Elsewhere on the blog - "Illinois Jacquet And His Tenor Sax"

Recommended purchase - "The Illinois Jacquet Story" (Properbox 49) - 4CDs covering 1944 - 1951. Includes Jazz at the Philharmonic sides from the first JATP concert in 1944, plus studio sides for Philo, Aladdin, Apollo, Savoy, Victor and Clef. Outstanding set. As with all Properbox sets, there is a substantial and well researched 40 page booklet (in this case compiled by Joop Visser) with detailed background information on Illinois and on the 79 tracks.

A couple of years ago I picked up "Illinois Jacquet - Six Classic Albums", a 4 CD set on the budget label Real Gone Jazz - RGJCD 392. There is no information booklet, in fact there is little information apart from the album titles, the year they were issued, and a list of musicians present on each album. The collection seems to include only tracks which were on the original issues of these albums, and omits tracks which were added on subsequent reissues. For instance "Illinois Jacquet And His Tenor Sax" only has 12 tracks here, as opposed to the 18 tracks on the Pathe Marconi reissue.

All in all it's a bit of a cheap 'n' cheerful approach, but if you're looking for a bunch of Illinois Jacquet tracks at a bargain price then you may care to indulge in a purchase.

Albums in the collection are: Illinois Jacquet Collates (1951); The Kid And The Brute (1954); Groovin' With Jacquet (1954); Illinois Jacquet and His Tenor Saxophone (1956); Swings The Thing (1957); Illinois Jacquet Flies Again (1958). There are also three bonus tracks from "Jazz By Jacquet" (1952). Available at a knock down price on Amazon Marketplace.

Note - there is a remarkably similar set on Avid Jazz - "Five Classic Albums." The same LPs as the Real Gone Jazz set, but omitting "Illinois Jacquet and His Tenor Sax" and the "Jazz By Jacquet" tracks. All squeezed on to 2 CDs and even cheaper than the "Six Classic Albums" set. Ah, the joys of public domain collections. They're practically giving the stuff away.


Anonymous said...

Many thanks, boogiewoody!

heylee said...

Thank you for sharing all things, Illinois Jacquet...always great.

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for commenting, folks. A lot of sax players are on this blog, but I think if I had to name my favourite, it would be Illinois Jacquet. Followed by Lynn Hope.


Anonymous said...

finally I decided to listen
Jacquet, (because of Leo Parker).
I had heard, of course, that name mentioned
many times, but seemed I was always too busy
to Illinois. My guess is, I'll like his tunes.
- Jay from the North.