01. Blow Big Jay
02. Road House Boogie
03. Willie the Cool Cat
04. Midnight Dreams
05. Hoppin' With Hunter
06. K & H Boogie
08. Boogie in Front
01. Junie Flip
03. Real Crazy Cool
05. Deac's Blowout
06. Let's Split
07. Just Crazy
08. Penthouse Serenade
This 1985 Saxophonograph LP is the final installment of my Big Jay McNeely vinyl uploads to the blog. On consideration I may well have inadvertently saved the best for last. With the exception of the vocal ballad "Midnight Dreams" and the hep blues "Junie Flip", the music on this album rocks, swings, howls, honks and hoots like crazy. Moreover, the gatefold sleeve has an extended biographical essay (based on interviews) by Bill Millar. The same essay constitutes one of the chapters in his book "Let The Good Times Rock!"
The back cover of the LP has full details of the recording sessions for these tracks, February and April 1949 for the Exclusive sessions, January 1950 for the Aladdin session and August 1952 for the featured Federal tracks. As has become customary on Be Bop Wino I have added the details of the original single releases of the tracks.
Original release details:
Midnight Dreams / Blow Big Jay - Exclusive 90X - April 1949
Road House Boogie / Willie The Cool Cat - Exclusive 96X - May 1949
Hoppin' With Hunter / Tondalayo - Exclusive 108X - July 1949
K&H Boogie / Junie Flip - Exclusive 122X - ? 1949
Boogie In Front / Gingercake - Exclusive 149X - ?1949
Jaysfrantic / Deac's Blowout - Aladdin 3050 - March 1950
Let's Split / Real Crazy Cool - Aladdin 3242 - May 1954
This LP follows on from the previous post "Wild Wig!" which featured Big Jay's first recordings for Savoy. Indeed while the Savoy disc "The Deacon's Hop" was climbing the R&B chart to the number one spot in February 1949, Big Jay was already recording for Leon Rene's Exclusive label. Less than a year later he recorded four tracks for Aladdin, two of which were not released until 1954. The final two tracks on this collection are from Big Jay's first session for Federal in August 1952. In between the Aladdin and Federal sessions Big Jay recorded for Imperial from late 1950 until late 1951.
If you download all the Big Jay McNeely LPs available on this blog, then you will have almost all the tracks he issued in the 1940s and 1950s.
Above: "Wild Wig" is a homemade comp of Big Jay's eight sides for Savoy, recorded in November / December 1948.
"Road House Boogie" contains his Exclusive sides recorded in February / April 1949, his four Aladdin sides recorded in January / February 1950 and two sides recorded for Federal in August 1952, neither of which are on the Federal LP "Big "J" In 3-D".
"Deacon Rides Again" contains most of his Imperial sides, recorded between December 1950 and November 1951.
"Big "J" In 3-D" has twelve of his Federal sides, recorded between August 1952 and April 1954.
"The Best Of Big Jay McNeely" is a career spanning collection which duplicates some of the above, but also fills in a few gaps from the Imperial and Federal collections. Also included are two of the four tracks Big Jay recorded for Vee-Jay in March 1955, his late 1950s hit "There Is Something On Your Mind" recorded in Seattle in January 1958 for Hunter Hancock's Swingin' label, and an unreleased version of "Flying Home" also recorded for Swingin'.
Recommended for your bookshelf:
I can't stop raving about this book! "Nervous Man Nervous: Big Jay McNeely And The Rise Of The Honking Tenor Sax!" by Jim Dawson.
"Let The Good Times Rock!" by Bill Millar. An anthology of Bill's well researched liner notes for roots music albums, including Hillbilly, Rockabilly, Rock 'n' Roll, R&B, Doo-Wop, Swamp Rock and Blue-Eyed Soul. R&B artists featured are: Etta James, Albert Collins, Herb Hardesty, Gatemouth Brown, Ivory Joe Hunter, Stick McGhee, Big Jay McNeely, Young Jessie, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Big Jim Wynn, Bullmoose Jackson and Sonny Knight.