Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bessie Smith. The World Greatest Blues Singer

Aunque las grabaciones de Bessie Smith (unos 160 temas correspondientes al período 1923-1933) han visto a lo largo de los años sucesivas reediciones en las más diversas formas y tamaños, desde recopilaciones sin el más mínimo rigor en todos los formatos habidos y por haber, hasta la supuesta "edición completa" oficial de Columbia en 5 cajas de CDs dobles, el asunto no queda tan definitivamente zanjado como podría parecer. Muy recientemente han aparecido dos nuevas integrales que se desmarcan de todo lo anteriormente editado por su incomparable calidad sonora; me refiero a las ediciones de JSP y Frog Records, remasterizadas por el insuperable John RT Davies, que incluyen algún que otro "extra" no disponible en las cajas Columbia. Sin embargo, tanto en la programación como en la presentación (horrorosa en el caso de Frog Records) sigue por delante la edición oficial, pero la de los 5 LPs de los años 70 más que la de CDs de los 90, en mi opinión. También hay curiosidades dignas de atención, como la remasterización "Jazz Classics In Digital Stereo" de Robert Parker, aunque ésta se reduce a un sólo álbum.


En vista del éxito, y dado que uno ha ido completando a lo largo de los años casi todo lo aparecido de/sobre esta irrepetible artista (incluidas varias ediciones de la biografía, ésta sí definitiva, a cargo de Chris Albertson), he optado por tomar lo mejor de ambos mundos y, en esta primera entrega, sugiero la programación del primer álbum doble Columbia (sus 16 primeras y 16 últimas grabaciones), con escaneados de esa maravillosa edición, pero con el audio tomado a 320kps de las colecciones Frog y JSP. En cualquier caso, estarán de acuerdo conmigo, el título no puede ser más acertado: la voz de blues (sin distinción de género) más grande de todos los tiempos.
-Jay Bee Rodriguez


01. Down Hearted Blues
02. Gulf Coast Blues

03. Aggravatin' Papa

04. Beale Street Mama

05. Baby Won't You Please Come Home

06. Oh Daddy Blues (You Won't Have No Mama At All)

07. 'Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do

08. Keeps On A-Rainin' (Papa He Can't Make No Time)

09. Mama's Got The Blues

10. Outside Of That

11. Bleeding Hearted Blues

12. Lady Luck Blues

13. Yodling Blues
14. Midnight Blues
15. If You Don't Know Who Will

16. Nobody In Town Can Bake A Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine

17. See If I'll Care
18. Baby Have Pitty On Me 19. On Revival Day (A Rhythmic Spiritual)
20. Moan, You Moaners

21. Hustlin' Dan

22. Black Mountain Blues

23. In The House Blues

24. Long Old Road

25. Blues Blues

26. Shipwreck Blues

27. Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl

28. Safety Mama
29. Do Your Duty
30. Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)

31. Take Me for a Buggy Ride

32. I'm Down in the Dumps


The Greatest


Thursday, November 18, 2010

La prodigiosa guitarra de Blind Blake (1926-32)

Sin duda, uno de los más brillantes e influyentes instrumentistas de los prodigiosos años 20, la guitarra de Arthur 'Blind' Blake fue uno de los secretos mejor guardados de la música americana hasta finales de los 60 y primeros 70, cuando guitarristas como Jorma Kaukonen, Ry Cooder o Stefan Grossman, entre otros, se ocuparon de hacerle justicia y también de divulgar sus trucos entre los aficionados (pero ya hacía algunos años que maestros como Reverend Gary Davis o el virginiano John Jackson se ocupaban de mantener vivo su legado). Blake forma, junto a Lonnie Johnson y Eddie Lang, el triunvirato de oro de la guitarra americana en la década de los 20, y sus discos resultan no sólo indispensables para cualquier aficionado o profesional de la guitarra acústica, sino que son también posiblemente los que ofrecen mayor variedad y consistencia, y los más asequibles del blues de pre-guerra (comparado con Lonnie Johnson, por ejemplo, otro maestro, vemos hasta qué punto la música de Blake admite ser disfrutada en antologías amplias y no sólo en el formato original de dos caras a 78 rpm).
Las grabaciones de Blind Blake (1926 a 1932) han ido siendo oportunamente recuperadas por las compañías Biograph, Yazoo y Document, entre otras, y más recientemente, en una integral de 5 CDs por el sello JSP, reconocidos expertos en remasterización de joyas vintage de jazz y blues.
-Jay Bee Rodríguez

01. Blind Arthur's Breakdown
02. C.C. Pill Blues
03. Black Biting Bee Blues (vo by Leola B. Wilson)
04. Hard Pushing Papa
05. Black Dog Blues
06. Georgia Bound
07. Hastings Street (with Charlie Spand, pno)
08. Skeedle Loo Doo Blues
09. Rope Stretching Blues
10. Chump Man Blues
11. Diddie Wa Diddie
12. Sweet Jivin' Mama
13. Itching Heel (vo by Irene Scrugs)
14. Too Tight Blues No. 2
15. Southern Rag
16. One Time Blues
17. Playing Policy Blues
18. Hey Hey Daddy Blues
19. Sweet Papa Low Down
20. Police Dog Blues
21. Wilson Dam (vo by Leola B. Wilson)
22. Come On Boys, Let's Do That Messin' Around
23. You Gonna Quit Me Blues
24. Let Your Love Come Down (vo by Bertha Henderson)
25. Bad Feeling Blues
26. Righteous Blues
27. Down The Country Blues (vo by Bertha Henderson)
28. Seaboard Stomp

hotjazzandcoolblues

............................

Police Dog Blues

by Blind Blake


This is Blake's only song in open E tuning (that I know of)
Ry Cooder does a faithful rendition on his eponymous first album, and
Jorma Kaukonen does good versions on "Splashdown" and "Quah". Cephas
and Wiggins do an interesting interpretation on "Guitar Man" and
Stephan Grossman has a few versions out.

Open E tuning: EBEG#BE (open D also works)

These are the main chords:

E A E/C# E/C B
-----0----------0----------0-------------0-----------0---------
-----0----------2----------0-------------0-----------0---------
-----0----------1----------3-------------2-----------1---------
-----0----------0----------4-------------3-----------2---------
-----0----------2----------------------------------------------
-----0---------------------------------------------------------


harm.
(12)-------------(12)--------------|--------2------------------------
----(12)-------------(12)----------|-----0-----3-(4)---0-----------
--------(12)-------------(12)------|---------------------------------1
------------(12)-------------(12)--|----------------------------------
-----------------------------------|--0--------------------0--1--2--
-----------------------------------|-------------------------------

(2X) Verse: All my life I've been a travelin man
-0----------------------------||---0-------0--------------------------
-----3--2---0-----------------||--------0------------2-----------------
----------------------0-------||--------------------------1-----------
--------------0----3------0---||------0------0-----------------0----0--
------------------------------||-------------------2--------2--------
------------------------------||--0-------0-----------------------0--

All my life I've been a travelin
--0--------------------0--------0-------------------------------------
-----3--2--0-------------3-(4)-----2---------2--------2------------
--------------------0----------------------1--------1----------1------
------------0---3------0---------------0--------0---------0---------
----------------------------------2---------2--------2---------2------
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

man * Stayin' alone and doin' the best I can

---|-0-----------------------------------0-----------------0--------0------
---|----3--2--0--------------------------0-----------------0--------0------
---|--------------0------1----2-------3-----------------2--2-----1-------0-
---|----------0--3---0---2----3-------4-----------------3--------2-------0-
---|-----------------------------------------------------------------------
0--|--------------------------------------------------------------------0--

1st break (2X) harm.
--------7---------------9---||----------(12)-----------------(12)---
-8-(9)---------8-(9)--------||----------------(12)------------------
----------------------------||---------------------(12)-------------
-----------0---------------0||-0------------------------(12)--------
----------------------------||--------------------------------------
-0----------------------0---||----0---------------------------------


--------------------0----3-(4)--0------3p2p0----------0------------
-(12)---------------2--2------------------------2-------0---------
-----(12)--------1-------------------1-----------------------0-----
----------0-----------------------0-------------0----------3----0--
------------1h2---------2-------------2----------------0----------
-------------------------------------------------------------------

return to *

2nd break
-----------------------||--------------------------------------------
-----------------------||--------------------------------------------
------0--1---2---3---0-||----0-1--2--3--0---1--2--3--0--0---0---etc.-
----0----2---3---4---0-||--0---2--3--4--0---2--3--4--0--0---0--------
-----------------------||--------------------------------------------
-----------------------||--------------------------------------------

3rd break
-------------------------------------------------0---------------------
-----------------------------------------------------3--2--0-----------
------------------------------------------------------------------0-etc.
---------------------------------------------------------------3-------
---0----0----0----0----0----0----0-----0------0------------------------
-0----2----3----4----0----2----3----4------0---------------------------


4th break (4X)
-(12)-------------------||----------0------3---0-------3-2--0----0-
------(12)--------------||------------------------------------2----
-----------(12)---------||-------1--1---1-----------1--------------
-----------------(12)---||------------------------0-----------0----
------------------------||-1--2------------2-----------------------
------------------------||-----------------------------------------

-------------------0------------------------------------------------
--0-------------------3--2--0---------------------------------------
-------0---------------------------0------you get the idea----------
-----3--------------------------3-----0-----------------------------
--0-------0-----------------0---------------------------------------
---------------0----------------------------------------------------

Transcribed by MaxxDaddy

.........................................


Blind Arthur's Breakdown

by Blind Blake


Intro:
C A7 D7 G7 C A7 D7 G7
-2--3--4--3--2----0-----3---2----1----0----3----2----1-
-1--2--3--2--1----1-----2---1----0----1----2----1----0-
-1--2--3--2--1----0-----2---2----0----0----2----2----0-
-1--2--3--2--1----2-----2---0----0----2----2----0----0-
----------------3----0--------------3----0-------------
--------------------------2----3--------------2----3---

4x
---0----0----3--3--0-1-2----------3--1----0--||----0-----0-||
---1--4------2--2------1--------0---------1--||----3-----1-||
---0------------2-------------3---------0----||------------||
-----------------------0----------------2----||----2-----2-||
-3---------0--------------------------3------||-------0----||
-------------------2------3------------------||--0---------||

------------3-1---------0-3-1--------5--3---2----------------------------
--------------------0-3---------1----2------1----0---1--2--3---3---2--1--
---------0------0-3-------------0----2-----------0--2--3--4--------------
---------0----------------------2----2------0----------------------------
---0-1-2----------------------3----0-------------------------5---4--3--2-
-3----------------------------------------2----3-------------------------

-3--1----------0-3-------------2----------3--2---1--1--3-2-1-0-
-----------0-3---------3----1--1----------2--1---3--3--------1-
-------0-3-------------1----2--1-------------2---------------0-
----------------------2-----3--1-----------------------------2-
----------------------------3-----3-2-1-0--------------------3-
-------------------0------1------------------------------------

---2-2---3-3--2----1-------------------------------0---0-
---1-1---2-2--1----0--0---------------------3---3--1---1-
--------------------------------------------3---3--3---3-
-1-----2--------0--------------0-3-0---------------------
---------------------------0-3-------3-0--1-------3------
--------------2----3-----1--------------------1------3---

----------------------2--1-1-3-1------------2----0----3--2--1--1-
----------------------1-----------1-----1---1----1----2--1--0--0-
----------------------2-----------3-----2---1----0----2--2-------
---------0-3-3-2-1--0-------------2-----3---1----2------------0--
-----0-3-------------------------3-------------3----0------------
-1-1---------------------3------------1-----------------2---3----

-3---3/5--1-----3/5--1-----0--3/5-0--4--5-3--2--------------------
---------------------------1-----------------1---0-1-2-3--3-2-1-0-
---------------------------0---------------------0-2-3-4----------
---0---------0------0------------------------0--------------------
-------------------------3--------------0-----------------5-4-3-2-
-3--------3-----3-------------3------0------2---------------------

---1-----------0--------------2----3-0----3--2---1--------------------
---0------1--4-----3-----2----1----1------2--1---0--------------------
-------------------1-----3----2-----------2--2---0--------------------
---0------2--------2-----3------0-------------------1-0---1-0---1-0---
--------3--------------------------3----0---------------3-----3-----3-
-3----3----------0-----1----2---------------2--3----------------------

----------------------------3--1-------0-3-1---0------------------3-
-0--1--2-0--0-0--1--2--3-0----------0-3--------1------------------2-
-0-2--3--0--0-0-2--3--4--0-------0-3-----------0------------------2-
-------------------------------0------0-------------------------0---
---------------------------------------------3----0-1-2--0-1-2------
----------------------------3--------------------------3------3-----

---2-----------3---------------------0----------0----
---1--0--1--2--0-----8---8--7-6-5----5----------5----
---------------0---0---0-----------------------------
---0---------------------------------6---6~----7---7-
------3--2--1-----10--10---9--8-7--7---------0-------
-2-------------3-----------------------7--------0----

----------------------------------------3----1---3-0---------0-
-----------------------------------------------0-----1--1-1--1-
-----------------------------------------------------0--1-1--0-
---------------------0-3-4--0-3-4-------0----0----------1-1--2-
-0-3-4--0-3-4--0-3-4--------------0-1-2--------------3-------3-
-------------------------------------------3-------------------

Transcription by Max Daddy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Best of the Mississippi Sheiks

The Mississippi Sheiks were one of the most popular string bands of the late '20s and early '30s. Formed in Jackson around 1926, the band blended country and blues fiddle music -- both old-fashioned and risqué -- and included guitarist Walter Vinson and fiddler Lonnie Chatmon, with frequent appearances by guitarists Bo Carter and Sam Chatmon, who were also busy with their own solo careers. The musicians were the sons of Ezell Chatmon, uncle of Charlie Patton and leader of an area string band that was popular around the turn of the century. The Mississippi Sheiks (who took their name from the Rudolph Valentino movie The Sheik) began recording for Okeh in 1930 and had their first and biggest success with "Sitting on Top of the World," which was a crossover hit and multi-million seller. In fact, the song became a national standard and has been recorded by Howlin' Wolf, Ray Charles and many more. The Mississippi Sheiks' popularity peaked in the early '30s, and their final recording session happened in 1935 for the Bluebird label. By the end of their career, the prolific and influential string band had recorded well over 60 songs, including the successful "Stop and Listen." ~ Joslyn Layne

Sony Legacy's remastered update of its out of print 1992 Mississippi Sheiks retrospective
sounds much better than its predecessor. Astonishingly, all 20 sides come from between 1930 and 1931. The Sheiks, who appeared in many configurations, were always represented by Walter Vinson (Jacobs) on vocals and guitar and Lonnie Chatmon on fiddle. But here their ranks are added to on numerous selections by either Bo Carter (Chatmon) and Sam Chatmon as well as Texas Alexander. All but two sides here were recorded for the OKeh label ("Please Don't Wake It Up" and the classic "I've Got Blood in My Eyes for You" were recorded for Columbia). While all the titles have been released previously, they've never been issued with sound quality this fine. Tracks include Sheiks favorites such as "The Jazz Fiddler," "Seen Better Days," "Honey Babe Let the Deal Go Down," "Your Good Man Caught the Train and Gone," and the amazing "Bootlegger's Blues." For punters seeking a single volume, this is it; for those seeking an introduction to some of the greatest string band blues ever recorded, look no further.~ Thom Jurek, Rovi

01. Still I'm Traveling On
02. Please Don't Wake It Up
03. Stop and Listen Blues No. 2
04. Sitting on Top of the World
05. The Jazz Fiddler
06. Seen Better Days
07. Driving That Thing
08. Bed Spring Poker
09. When You're Sick With the Blues
10. I've Got Blood in My Eyes for You
11. Things About Comin' My Way
12. Livin' in a Strain [#]
13. Last Stage Blues
14. Frost Texas Tornado Blues
15. Your Good Man Caught the Train and Gone
16. Unhappy Blues
17. Honey Babe Let the Deal Go Down
18. Ramrod Blues
19. West Jackson Blues [#]
20. Bootlegger's Blues

Sam Chatmon (Guitar, Vocals), Walter Vinson (Guitar, Vocals), Alger "Texas" Alexander (Vocals), Bo Chatmon (Violin, Vocals), Lonnie Chatmon (Violin).

hotjazzandcoolblues
............................

Monday, November 1, 2010

Robert Parker's Jazz Classics In Digital Stereo: New York

Robert Noel Parker (24 December 1936 – 30 December 2004) was an Australian sound engineer, jazz expert and broadcaster, well known for his radio series Jazz Classics in Digital Stereo.

Born in Sydney, Australia, he worked for the Commonwealth Film Unit then moved to Britain in 1964 to work in the film and television industry. On returning to Australia, he received a commission from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for a radio series on jazz.

As a collector of records from the age of twelve, he had built up a large collection of vintage music. He developed a system for transferring recordings to digital media, eliminating noise, adding stereo and enhancing acoustics. He first used an analogue machine, the Packman Audio Noise Suppressor, and later digital equipment from CEDAR Audio Ltd to transfer, retouch and enhance recordings.

With these techniques he produced reproductions of jazz records of the 1920's and earlier that are not only free of surface noise but reveal details, subtleties and a sense of presence that were not previously evident on the records, even in LP re-issues.

He used his enhanced 78rpm transfers in a long-running radio programme Jazz Classics in Digital Stereo, first broadcast in May 1982 by ABC Radio and later carried by BBC Radio 2, amongst other stations.

His transfer of "Milenberg Joys" performed by McKinney's Cotton Pickers was adopted by him as the theme tune for his broadcasts.

He settled back in Britain and set up his own studio in Devon, and followed on from his radio show with a series of vintage record transfers under the banners Jazz Classics in Digital Stereo and The Classic Years in Digital Stereo.


This is the third of four CDs in the Robert Parker series that reissues a cross section of early jazz recordings from a regional area. The music ranges from the famous (Jelly Roll Morton, Fletcher Henderson, Bessie Smith and Duke Ellington) to the lesser known (Charlie Johnson's Paradise Ten, Lloyd Scott and Freddy Jenkins). Veteran collectors will prefer to skip this sampler and get the complete sessions elsewhere but listeners just beginning to explore early jazz should find these early recordings (which range from pre-swing to some heated jams) worth investigating. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Track List

01
Jelly-Roll Morton & His Red Hot Peppers: Burnin' The Iceberg
02
King Oliver & His Orchestra: Strugglebuggy
03
Fletcher Henderson & His Orchestra: Sugar Foot Stomp
04
Bessie Smith Accompanied By James P. Johnson: Lock And Key
05
Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra: San
06
Miff Mole & His Little Molers: Imagination
07
Eddie Condon & His Footwarmers: Makin' Friends
08
Fats Waller & His Buddies: The Minor Drag
09
Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra: East St. Louis Toodle-Oo
10
Charlie Johnson & His Orchestra: Hot Bones & Rice
11
Luis Russell & His Orchestra: Dr. Blues
12
Fess Williams & His Royal Flush Orchestra: Feelin' Devilish
13
Lloyd Scott's Orchestra: Happy Hour
14
Casa Loma Orchestra, The: Casa Loma Stomp
15
Jungle Band, The: Dog Bottom
16
Cab Calloway & His Orchestra: Minnie The Moocher
17
Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra: Stratosphere
18
Clarence Williams' Washboard Five: Cushion Foot Stomp
19
Freddie Jenkins & His Harlem Seven: I Can't Dance
20
Eddie Lang - Joe Venuti & Their All Star Orchestra: Farewell Blues

hotjazzandcoolblues

Robert Parker's radio podcasts (recommended!)

.................................

King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band, 1923

Bueno, si alguna vez hubo unos clásicos del jazz tradicional, ¡aquí están! Remasterizados, por cierto, de forma insuperable, y con una presentación y documentación digna del contenido sonoro.
Joe King Oliver, contemporáneo de Ma Rainey, de Charley Patton, y de algunos otros escogidos padres fundadores, tuvo también un final prematuro y dramático (véase biografía a continuación), pero sus momentos de inspiración y gloria aún dejan sentir su huella, que será ya imperecedera. Canal Street Blues, Dipper Mouth Blues, Mable's Dream o Chimes Blues (y algunas de sus grabaciones posteriores también, por cierto) aseguran la definitiva estatura del maestro de Nueva Orleans. Aunque no hubiera existido Louis Armstrong (Weather Bird Rag, West End Blues).

-Jay Bee Rodríguez


.......................

Joe "King" Oliver was one of the most important figures in jazz. As an influential cornet player and leader of one of the classic early New Orleans jazz bands, Oliver is a link between the earliest New Orleans incarnation of
jazz and the achievements of a generation of brass players who developed their style in Chicago in the 1920s, including Oliver's protégé, Louis Armstrong. "By almost any measure," wrote critic Ted Gioia , "he stands out as a seminal figure in the history of the music."


Biography

Joseph Oliver was born on May 11, 1885. Some accounts establish his place of birth as a plantation near Donaldsville, Louisiana, where his mother worked as a cook, while others cite a house on Dryades Street in New Orleans. Little is known of his early years, and of his father. His mother, who may have worked as a servant for various white families, moved her children to several new addresses in New Orleans during Oliver's childhood. His older half-sister, Victoria Davis, took charge of him when their mother died in 1900.

Oliver found employment as butler to a white family in New Orleans when he was about seventeen, a job he kept for the next nine years. He was already active as a musician. Around 1899 he joined a children's brass band, formed by a Walter Kenehan, and performed on the trombone, and later the cornet, at funerals and parades. One of his eyes was damaged during a childhood accident, earning him the early nicknames of "Bad Eye" and "Monocles," and he often played with a hat tilted over the eye to disguise it.

Oliver played in a number of marching bands and, around 1910, started appearing in the nightclubs of New Orleans' red-light district, Storyville, the vibrant heart of the city's musical life. These early years of jazz saw intense competition in the raucous neighborhood's numerous clubs, cabarets and gambling den. As a performer at the Abadie Cabaret, Oliver attracted big audiences, and soon took over the job of his rival, Freddie Keppard, at Pete Lala's saloon club, a notorious meeting place for pimps, prostitutes and musicians. Oliver became leader of the Olympia Band around 1916 and also began playing with acclaimed trombonist and band leader Kid Ory, who claimed to have given Oliver the nickname of "King" as a tribute to his musical prowess.
The young Louis Armstrong was one of Oliver's most avid fans, spending time at Oliver's house and enjoying the cooking of Oliver's wife, Stella. Oliver, known for his good nature and generosity, became a father figure to his young disciple, offering musical advice and professional support, and even giving him one of his old cornets. "I prized that horn and guarded it with my life," said Armstrong, quoted in Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life. Oliver, he said, "was always willing to come to my rescue when I needed someone to tell me about life."

Oliver arrived in Chicago in early 1918, responding to invitations from two bands, Lawrence Duhe's Band at the prestigious Dreamland Café, and Bill Johnson's at the Royal Gardens. In January of 1920 Oliver formed his own band: the initial line-up included pianist Lil Hardin, Louis Armstrong's future wife. They played at the Dreamland Café every night until one a.m., and then at the Pekin Cabaret, a gangster favorite, until dawn. After a year of engagements in California, Oliver returned to Chicago in 1922 to launch King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band at the Lincoln Gardens. He was eager to add a second cornet to his band, so he sent a telegram to New Orleans, summoning his young protégé, Armstrong. Arriving in Chicago, Armstrong went straight from the train station onto the stage of the Lincoln Gardens.

Oliver's new line-up "made momentous musical sense," according to critic Gary Giddons in his book Visions of Jazz. "The band was a sensation, and its most widely noted effects were double-cornet breaks, seemingly improvised on the spot, yet played in perfect unison." Ted Gioia, in The History of Jazz, suggested that the Creole Jazz Band lacked the finesse of some New Orleans-bred, Chicago-based musical ensembles, but "its hot, dirty, swinging sound comes closest to the essence of the jazz experience." Other musicians crowded into Lincoln Gardens to hear them play.


When he invited Armstrong to join his band, Oliver was almost past his prime as a soloist, although his playing was still so powerful he was reputed to blow his horns to pieces every few months. By this time, Oliver's achievements as an individual musician, Giddon contended in Visions of Jazz, were secondary to his great gift as a band leader. Noted for his self-discipline as a player (he claimed to have spent ten years refining his tone) and his tough style of leadership, Oliver made strict demands of professionalism of his band. Driving "an ensemble that specialized in improvised polyphony," wrote Giddons, Oliver "created a music that is at once the apex of traditional New Orleans style and so far beyond its norm that there is little to compare with it."

But there is no doubt that Oliver left an important legacy as a player. Famous for his expressive, blues-inflected style of playing and skill at tonal improvisation, including an innovative use of mutes to create a 'wa-wa' sound and other theatrical effects, Oliver's bold New Orleans sound influenced a whole generation of jazz musicians. "His throaty, vocal sound inspired many imitators," said Gioia, "and represented, both conceptually and historically, a meeting ground of earlier and later jazz styles."


Oliver was slow to embrace the relatively new industry of recorded music. It offered little financial reward for musicians, and the finished product rarely captured the live energy or improvisational fire of its featured performers, because primitive technology meant each song had to be curtailed. On the bandstand, Oliver was wary of the possibilities of artistic theft, removing titles from music to ward off copycat bands attending his shows, and playing with a handkerchief over the valves so other musicians couldn't watch his fingerings. Recordings simply offered more opportunity for rival ensembles to plagiarize his signature sound.
But on April 5, 1923, King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band made its first recordings in the Gennett recording company's studio in Richmond, Indiana. The band--Oliver and Armstrong on cornet, Johnny Dodds on clarinet, Honore Dutrey on trombone, Lil Hardin on piano, Bill Johnson on banjo, and Baby Dodds on drums--spent two days in a hot room with poor acoustics, playing into a giant megaphone. These groundbreaking recordings included a show-stealing Armstrong in his first significant recorded solo (on the Oliver composition, "Chimes Blues"). Oliver's own plunger-muted solo in "Dippermouth Blues," was much imitated; under the title "Sugar Foot Stomp," the song became a jazz standard.

Many of Oliver's own compositions made high technical demands on musicians: Walter Allen and Brian Rust, in King Oliver, suggested that it is significant that, except for "Dipper Mouth Blues," "none of his early numbers were ever recorded by his contemporaries." His biggest hit, "Snag It," was written in the mid-1920s, and he co-wrote a number of popular tunes with his nephew, Dave Nelson, later in the decade, many of which were recorded for Victor. Popular versions of some of his songs were recorded by other artists, like Jelly Roll Morton ("Doctor Jazz"), Fletcher Henderson ("Snag It"), and Armstrong ("West End Blues").
The Gennett recording sessions helped build the band's profile, and soon they were recording for rival 'race records' label, OKeh, as well as Paramount and Columbia. But internal dissent over Oliver's paternalistic handling of salaries saw the ensemble splinter. Lil Hardin convinced Armstrong that his mentor was holding him back. In a 1950 interview with Downbeat magazine, excerpted in Louis Armstrong: An Extravagant Life, Hardin remembered Oliver admitting "that Louis could play better than he could. ... He said, 'As long as I keep him with me, he won't be able to get ahead of me, I'll still be the King.'"

At Hardin's urging, Armstrong left Oliver early in 1925, moving to New York at Fletcher Henderson's invitation. When he returned to Chicago, it was to star billing at the Dreamland Café, across the street from Oliver's new theater, the Plantation Café. The two musicians briefly reunited in 1926, after Armstrong separated from Hardin, but they were no longer close friends. Armstrong's fame had eclipsed that of the man he called "Papa Joe."
In the early years of the Depression, with clubs closing and many musicians out of work, Oliver realized he needed a new professional strategy. He formed a new band, the Dixie Syncopators, in 1926 and together they made a number of popular dance recordings for the Vocalion 'race' series, as Oliver tried to adapt his performance style to the emerging big band era.

Oliver, already stricken with the severe gum disease that would end his playing life, was forced to delegate many of the cornet solos. In 1927 he moved his band to New York--in Armstrong's opinion, too late in his career. He worked at the Savoy Ballroom and recorded for the Victor Company in 1929 and 1930. But he lost his savings when a Chicago bank failed and made the error of turning down work at the Cotton Club in 1927 (an engagement that made Duke Ellington famous) because he thought the pay too low. In 1931 Victor canceled his recording contract and Oliver made his last known recordings for Brunswick and Vocalion, before forming a new band to take on the road.

Touring in the depressed South was not an easy way to make money, and Oliver suffered a number of setbacks, missing gigs whenever his moribund tour vehicles broke down. By 1935 Oliver had lost all his teeth and found it difficult to perform. He kept touring with a third-rate band, many of whom mutinied over low pay, avoiding the big cities where he had a musical reputation to maintain. Armstrong was shocked to bump into Oliver in Savannah, Georgia, in 1937, stooped and poorly dressed, working as a peddler in the street; Armstrong and his band gave him money to buy new clothes.
For the last few years of his life, Oliver lived in a boarding house and worked fifteen hours a day as a janitor at a pool hall in Savannah. He had separated from his wife, Stella, many years earlier. Letters to his sister testify to his demoralization and extreme poverty, as well as his stubborn pride: he refused to appeal for help to the musical community, and kept hoping to save enough money to return to New York.

Discontinuing medical treatment for his high blood pressure because of the cost, Oliver fell into deep decline and died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 8, 1938. He was just 52 years old. His sister used rent money to pay for his body to be shipped to New York for a funeral attended by many musicians, including Clarence Williams and Louis Armstrong, who always maintained that Oliver died of a broken heart. He was buried without a headstone at Woodlawn cemetery in the Bronx. Despite his neglect by the jazz world during the last years of his life, almost all of Oliver's recordings are available on reissues, testimony to his significant musical legacy.

— Paula J.K. Morris

Track list

01. Just Gone

02. Canal Street Blues
03. Mandy Lee Blues
04. I'm Going Away to Wear You Off My Mind
05. Chimes Blues
06. Weather Bird Rag
07. Dipper Mouth Blues
08. Froggie Moore
09. Snake Rag
10. Snake Rag
11. Sweet Lovin' Man
12. High Society Rag
13. Sobbin' Blues
14. Where Did You Stay Last Night
15. Dipper Mouth Blues
16. Jazzin' Babies Blues
17. Alligator Hop
18. Zulu's Ball
19. Workingman Blues
20. Krooked Blues
21. Chattanooga Stomp
22. London (Cafe) Blues
23. Camp Meeting Blues
24. New Orleans Stomp
25. Buddy's Habit
26. Tears
27. I Ain't Gonna Tell Nobody
28. Room Rent Blues
29. Riverside Blues
30. Sweet Baby Doll
31. Working Man Blues
32. Mabel's Dream
33. Mabel's Dream (take 1)
34. Mabel's Dream (take 2)
35. The Southern Stomps (take 1)
36. The Southern Stomps (take 2)
37. Riverside Blues

Just buy it (you won't regret it)!
................................



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tommy Johnson & Co.: Canned Heat Blues

Una antología que nos quedaba de la serie RCA/Bluebird de los 90, incluyendo algunos indispensables clásicos grabados entre 1928 y 1930. La carreras discográficas de Tommy Johnson y su compañero de fatigas Ishman Bracey fueron breves (y maceradas a conciencia por los vapores etílicos del licor de fabricación casera) pero muy sustanciosas musicalmente, produciendo clásicos del género como "Big Road Blues" o el título que da nombre a esta recopilación, y la influencia de Tommy Johnson , en particular, resultaría decisiva en el blues de Mississippi (Robert Johnson, Arthur Crudup), sus ramificaciones (Floyd Jones, Robert Nighthawk, Muddy Waters, y sobre todo Howlin' Wolf) y sucedáneos (Canned Heat).

El tercer hombre en esta colección, Walter 'Furry' Lewis, el único de los tres que disfrutó de un "redescubrimiento" para el público blanco en los años 60, también guitarrista y también localizado básicamente en Memphis, presentaba un repertorio más amplio, próximo al de "songsters" como Mississippi John Hurt, incluyendo baladas como "Casey Jones" o "John Henry".
Sonido y envasado impecables también, en esta colección de clásicos sureños.
- Jay Bee Rodríguez


Furry Lewis

01.Furry's Blues
02.I Will Turn Your Money Green
03.Mistreatin' Mama
04.Dry Land Blues
05.Cannon Ball Blues
06.Kassie Jones Part 1
07.Kassie Jones Part 2
08.Judge Harsh Blues

Tommy Johnson

09.Cool Drink Of Water Blues
10. Big Road Blues
11.Bye Bye Blues
12.Maggie Campbell Blues
13.Canned Heat Blues
14.Lonesome Home Blues
15.Big Fat Mama Blues

Ishman Bracey

16.Saturday Blues
17.Left Alone Blues
18.Leavin' Town Blues
19.Brown Mama Blues
20.Trouble Hearted Blues
21.The Four Day Blues

hotjazzandcoolblues

.....................................


Jay Bee Rodríguez (hca, gtr) plays
Tommy Johnson's "Canned Heat Blues"
on You Tube



Saturday, October 2, 2010

Grappelli & Venuti: Venupelli Blues

Un poco de nostalgia -y de swing- para disipar la tontería postvacacional.
Hace ma o meno unos 30 abriles, allá por el verano de 1980, mientras en la radio sonaban no sólo esas moderneces madrileñas hoy tan "legendarias" para los políticos y el pueblo lanar, sino también cosas de Bob Marley, Ritchie Havens o Vinicius de Moraes, casi al mismo tiempo que tuve a bien descubrir el sorprendente swing europeo (Django Reinhardt) o el laberinto de Thelonious Monk, pasé por una repentina obsesión por los violines y los fiddles que, naturalmente, dejó una huella bastante profunda -y no sólo en mi inseparable colección de cassettes. Bluegrass y Old Time (el mejor antídoto contra la pereza), las suites y los conciertos de Bach (mano de santo), Paganini por Salvatore Accardo (inolvidable), los Hermanos Balfa a ritmo de vals cajun y two-step, y otras maravillas varias (algún día dedicaremos una entradita a los fiddles de Blues, por ejemplo). Y, cómo no, el maestro Grappelli.

Sí, la discografía de Monsieur Grappelli no es moco de pavo, pero con el debido respeto al Quintette Du Hot Club de France y demás, debo decir que esta saludable reunión con el maestro americano, el gran Joe Venuti, y la inestimable cooperación de George Wein al piano y Barney Kessell a la guitarra, puede ser tranquilamente la guinda de todo el pastel. Aunque la grabación original es de 1969 (pocos meses después de otra magnífica reunión con Kessell, "Limehouse Blues"), el disco se editó en España once años después, en una serie de Affinity entre maravillas de Coltrane o Wes Montgomery en directo, por cierto. Y, bueno, ahí está. Sólo hagan la prueba con una tía-abuela que no sepa nada de jazz o alguien similar: pónganle ese "I Can't Give You" o ese vertiginoso "After You've Gone" unos instantes y verán si no acaba convertida al Evangelio del Swing per secula seculorum...


1- I Can't Give Anything But Love :-O
2- My One And Only Love
3- After You've Gone :-O
4-Undecided
5-Venupelli Blues
6-Tea For Two
7-I'll Never Be The Same


............................................


Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Piano Blues, Vol. 3: Vocalion 1928-1930


Cow Cow Davenport
Back In The Alley
Bert M. Mays
Michigan River Blues
Joe Dean
I'm So Glad I'm 21 Years Old Today
Lee Green
Memphis Fives
Jim Clarke
Fat Fanny Stomp
Cow Cow Davenport
Cow Cow Blues
Romeo Nelson
Gettin' Dirty Just Shakn' That Thing
Dan Stewart
New Orleans Blues
Pine Top Smith
Pine Top's Boogie Woogie
Bert M. Mays
You Can't Come In
Montana Taylor
Indiana Avenue Stomp
Cow Cow Davenport
Slum Gullion Stomp
Pine Top Smith
Pine Top Blues
Montana Taylor
Detroit Rocks
Tampa Red
Black Hearted Blues
Pine Top Smith
Jump Steady Blues
Joe Dean
Mexico Bound Blues
Romeo Nelson
Head Rag Hop
Cow Cow Davenport
Texas Shout
Montana Taylor
Whoop And Holler Stomp
....................................


....................................

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Piano Blues Vol. 2: Brunswick 1928-1930


Lucille Bogan
Alley Boogie (1930)
Charles 'Speck' Pertum
Gamblers Blues (1929)
John Oscar
Whoopee Mama Blues (1930)
Freddie 'Redd' Nicholson
You Gonna Miss Me Blues (1930)
Eddie Miller
Freight Train Blues (1929)
Shorty George
Jones Law Blues (1929)
Charles 'Speck' Pertum
Weak Eye Blues (1929)
Bob Call
31 Blues (1929)
Henry Brown
Stump 'Em Down (1929)
Eddie Miller
Good Jelly Blues (1929)
Lucille Bogan
New Way Blues (1928)
Freddie 'Redd' Nicholson
Freddie's Got The Blues (1930)
Charles 'Speck' Pertum
Harvest Moon Blues (1929)
Mary Johnson
Dawn Of Day Blues (1930)
Eddie Miller
School Day Blues (1929)
Mozelle Anderson
Tight In Chicago (1930)

hotjazzandbluesclub

.............................

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Piano Blues Vol. 1: Paramount 1929-30

He aquí la que, a más de 30 años de su publicación, puede perfectamente seguir siendo la colección definitiva de clásicos del piano de blues. ¡LPs, sí señor! Una serie de 20 álbumes que el sello inglés Magpie, especializado en grabaciones de pre-guerra, tuvo a bien inaugurar en 1977 bajo la tutela de Francis Smith, con la inestimable colaboración de Bob Hall y Richard Noblett.
Haciendo por fin justicia a una de las grandes tradiciones musicales del siglo XX americano, la serie The Piano Blues tenía todos los ingredientes para convertirse en indispensable (y así fue considerada por la crítica especializada y los aficionados de la época, por cierto): una selección de intérpretes y temas inmejorable, un sonido magnífico (las mejores copias disponibles de entre algunas de las más importantes colecciones de 78s), documentadas notas e información discográfica, y hasta un diseño de cubiertas completamente profesional que no hecho sino ganar atractivo con el paso del tiempo. En los años 90, con la agonía del soporte vinilo, una parte (sólo una parte) de esta gran serie se recuperaría, merced a la compañía americana Yazoo-Sanatchie, en formato CD, pero, vamos, ni punto de comparación... ¡
ésta es la buena!


Charlie Spand

- Moanin' The Blues
- Mississippi Blues
Blind Leroy Garnett
- Chain 'Em Down
- Louisiana Glide
Little Brother Montgomery
- No Special Rider
- Vicksburg Blues
Wesley Wallace
- Fanny Lee Blues
- No. 29
Louise Johnson
- By The Moon And Stars
- All Night Long Blues
Will Ezell
- Pitchin' Boogie
- Heifer Dust
Charles Avery
- Dearborn St. Breakdown
James Wiggins
- Forty-Four Blues
Henry Brown
- Henry Brown Blues
Blind Blake & Charlie Spand
- Hastings St.

hotjazzandbluesclub

............................

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

VA - Legends of the Blues, volume One


This CD serves as a perfect introduction to pre-war blues for the novice since it contains fine examples of the music of 20 blues artists: Bessie Smith, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie Johnson, Bo Carter, Blind Willie McTell, Lonnie Johnson, Charley Patton, Leroy Carr, Josh White, Leadbelly, Peetie Wheatstraw, Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller, Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Minnie, Bukka White, Muddy Waters, Big Joe Williams and Son House. Four selections are from the '20s, Son House's "Death Letter" is from 1965, and otherwise the music dates from 1931-1947. The who's who roster includes practically every early great (Tampa Red is missing but Washboard Sam and the first Sonny Boy Williamson appear as sidemen) and, with nine previously unreleased selections (both alternate takes and "new" performances), this CD is an essential purchase for both beginning and veteran collectors alike. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide


01. St. Louis Blues - Bessie Smith
02. Match Box Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
03. Ain't No Tellin' - Mississippi John Hurt
04. Lord, I Just Can't Keep from Crying - Blind Willie Johnson
05. Pig Meat Is What I Crave - Bo Carter
06. Southern Can Is Mine - Blind Willie McTell
07. Low Down St. Louis Blues - Lonnie Johnson
08. Revenue Man Blues - Charley Patton
09. Stormy Night Blues - Leroy Carr
10. I Believe I'll Make a Change - Josh White
11. Fort Worth and Dallas Blues - Leadbelly
12. Sweet Home Blues - Peetie Wheatstraw
13. Stop Breakin' Down Blues - Robert Johnson
14. Truckin' My Blues Away, No. 2 - Blind Boy Fuller
15. Spreadin' Snake Blues - Big Bill Broonzy
16. Nothing in Rambling - Memphis Minnie
17. Fixin' to Die Blues - Bukka White
18. Hard Day Blues - Muddy Waters
19. Don't You Leave Me Here - Big Joe Williams
20. Death Letter - Son House

hotjazzandcoolblues
...........................................

Stuff Smith, Stephane Grappelli, Svend Asmussen and Jean Luc-Ponty: Violin Summit

Violin Summit featured Stuff Smith, Stephane Grappelli, Svend Asmussen and Jean Luc-Ponty (with pianist Kenny Drew, bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, drummer Alex Riel) in concert (September 30, 1966). The music came off quite well, in large part probably because the four violinists were paired in different sets with all four actually featured together on only one take, "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing." ~ Bob Rusch, Cadence, All Music Guide



Summit Soul
Pent-Up House
Timmie's Blues
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
Pennies from Heaven
Only Time Will Tell
Hot Toddy

line-up:

Jean-Luc Ponty - Violin
Stéphane Grappelli - Violin
Svend Asmussen - Violin
Stuff Smith - Violin
Kenny Drew - Piano
Niels-Henning Pedersen - Bass
Alex Riel - Drums

hotjazzandcoolblues

............................

Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra 1936-38: Heart Full of Rhythm

Recopilación de algunos de los mejores registros Decca de la segunda mitad de los años 30, incluyendo clásicos como "On The Sunny Side of the Street" y "Struttin' With Some Barbecue", y dos versiones sensacionales de "Swing That Music". El acompañamiento corre a cargo de la Orquesta de Louis Russell y Jimmy Dorsey, entre otros.

Some of Louis Armstrong's better Decca recordings from the 1936-1938 period are reissued on this CD. Inferior to the much more "complete" series undertaken by the European Classics label, this set nevertheless does have some classics from Satchmo including two versions of "Swing That Music," a remake of "Mahogany Hall Stomp," "Once in a While," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Jubilee," and "Struttin' With Some Barbeque." The backup band (the remains of Luis Russell's Orchestra) does not have a great deal to do, although trombonist J.C. Higginbottham gets in a few good solos. But this is largely Armstrong's show (both instrumentally and vocally) and he comes up with some masterful statements. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

01. I Come from a Musical Family
02. Somebody Stole My Heart
03. If We Never Meet Again
04. Lyin' to Myself
05. Ev'ntide
06. Swing That Music
07. Mahogany Hall Stomp
08. Skeleton in the Closet
09. Dippermouth Blues
10. Swing That Music
11. Public Melody Number One
12. Yours and Mine
13. Alexander's Ragtime Band
14. I've Got a Heart Full of Rhythm
15. Sun Showers
16. Once in a While
17. On the Sunny Side of the Street
18. Satchel Mouth Swing
19. Jubilee
20. Struttin' With Some Barbecue

hotjazzandcoolblues

............................

Jay Bee Rodríguez's
Some Hot Blues Harp
:
"Swing That Music"
on You Tube

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sonny Boy Williamson (I) - Throw a Boogie Woogie



Eight indispensable Bluebird sides dating from 1937-38 -- right at the very beginning of his reign as king of blues harpists -- that display precisely why Williamson was such a revered innovator (and continues to be even now). Highlights include his classic &"Good Morning School Girl" and "Sugar Mama Blues." He shares the disc with itinerant rambler Big Joe Williams, whose eight 1937-41 selections include six featuring Sonny Boy playing harp behind the nine-string guitarist. -Bill Dahl, All Music Guide


1. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
2. Sugar Mama Blues
3. Got the Bottle Up and Gone
4. Early in the Morning
5. Black Gal Blues
6. Moonshine
7. Whiskey Headed Blues
8. You Give an Account
9. Rootin' Ground Hog
10. Brother James
11. Peach Orchard Mama
12. Crawling King Snake
13. Highway 49
14. Please Don't Go
15. North Wind Blues
16. Throw a Boogie Woogie

hot jazz and cool blues

................................

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Historias de la Radio

Me doy una vuelta por algunas sites hispanas para variar (tengo una profunda y justificada alergia a la Red en castellano, se siente) y me encuentro ¡toma ya! al indispensable Cifu pinchando nada menos que el concierto de Louis en Pasadena de 1951 y las primeras grabaciones de Bessie, entre otros manjares:

http://www.rtve.es/podcast/radio-clasica/jazz-porque-si/

Desde que se inventó eso de los podcast y además empecé a no salir de casa jamás sin el mp4 en el bolsillo, he vuelto a hacerle otra vez un mínimo caso al medio (a la radio), pero sin pasarse tampoco, que hay todavía mucha buena música enlatada por (volver a) escuchar y la vida es breve.
Por si alguien, a estas alturas del partido, aún no tiene el gusto de conocerlo, lo resumiré sucintamente: Juan Claudio Cifuentes Cifu es El Mejor en lo suyo. En realidad, se lo dije una vez a él personalmente, hace unos años, aún a sabiendas de que no es mucho decir, teniendo en cuenta el panorama tétrico de los media españoles en general y radiofónicos en particular. Personalmente (y creo que, por lo menos, desde los tiempos del descacharrante Alfonso Arús a las 6 de la mañana en no recuerdo qué emisora) sólo hay dos tipos que me obliguen moralmente a enchufar el transistor con una mínima regularidad, y uno de ellos es El Cifu, que afortunadamente, sigue al pie del cañón. Lo demás "es feo", y me interesa tánto como la tele o el estreno de "Matrix 4". Un pimiento (sin relleno).
Además, se da la circunstancia de que se trata de una emisora pública, con lo cual
a) no hay anuncios
b) la estamos pagando puntualmente todos los meses con los impuestos (qué cosas).

Saludos, Cifu, y ¡a por ellos, que son feos y cobardes!

..................

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Descubriendo a Bix... ¡a estas alturas!

Pues sí, acabo -ayer por la tarde, como quien dice- de descubrir a Bix Beiderbecke, la impresionante corneta que "suena como cuando una chica te dice que sí". Y lo mejor de todo es que no me avergüenza lo más mínimo reconocerlo, más bien todo lo contrario: los felices 20 son la leche, en cuestiones musicales, y de hecho, recomendaría los discos de esa época también por sus indudables cualidades terapéuticas, porque es una música que, directamente, y para empezar, te hace feliz. Lo curioso es que, después de más de veinte años disfrutando a los Hot Five de Louis y a los Guindillas de Jelly Roll Morton, tanto como a Django y a Basie, a Monk y a Bill Evans, a Coltrane y a Sonny Rollins; después de casi tres décadas saboreando las joyas sonoras de Bessie (¡ah, esos LPs dobles maravillosos de los 70!), de Blind Blake, de Lonnie Johnson y todo el blues clásico habido y por haber... resulta que ¡había ignorado por completo al primer santo del jazz, al legendario Bix Beiderbecke!
¿Por qué? Pues no lo sé. Quizás por aquello de que lo de las "leyendas" en la música me ha olido siempre a titular de prensa amarillenta-rockera, y me fío más en principio de un músico que haya llevado una vida larga y más o menos fructífera, con tropecientas grabaciones a ser posible, y haya dejado este mundo de forma más o menos apacible -sin jubilarse nunca, por supuesto-, como Muddy Waters o Louis Armstrong, sin ir más lejos. Quizás por llevar la contraria a los críticos de jazz, que ya aburren con sus loas a "Kind of Blue" y demás. O tal vez, sencillamente, porque Beiderbecke era, a fin de cuentas, "un poco blanco" (el aficionado al jazz y al blues que diga que no es racista, miente como un bellaco y lo sabe). Craso error, mea culpa, y todo eso.
Pero, bueno, el caso es que en los últimos dos o tres años me ha dado la fiebre de redescubrir a los maestros de los 1920's, con ayuda del piano, la guitarra, la armónica (bueno, cualquier día me compro también una corneta en Si bemol a ver qué pasa), y sí, quizás, no escucha uno de igual manera a los Hot Five con veintitántos años que con cuarenta y tantos. Pero, en fin, el caso es que volver a escuchar casi a diario a Louis y a Bessie me ha llevado, entre otras cosas, a descubrir ahora a un puñado de magistrales trompeteros añejos como Jabbo Smith y Henry Red Allen (y otros posteriores también, como Ruby Braff o Bobby Hackett) y, por ende, al malogrado lider de los Wolverines. Es muy cierto que no pocas de las grabaciones de Bix, con las orquestas de Godlkette o Whiteman, suponen la desdicha acústica de soportar la intervenciones vocales de algún que otro indocumentado blanquito (no necesariamente Bing Crosby, por cierto) que casi rompe el hechizo de la manera más burda. Pero aún así, (y ahora comprendo perfectamente a la legión de aficionados que se han visto obligados durante décadas a superar ese inconveniente de los cantantes ridículos, siempre por una buena causa), cuando entra esa corneta dorada... ¡amigo, el arcángel Gabriel en persona tocando hot jazz!.

-Jay Bee Rodríguez

I'm Coming Virginia
(Donald Heywood)
OKeh 40843 . May 13, 1927. New York City, NY
FRANK TRUMBAUER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Bix Beiderbecke (cnt); Bill Rank (tb); Frank Trumbauer (Cms); Doc Ryker (as); Don Murray (cl, bar); Irving Riskin (p); Eddie Lang (g, bj); Chauncey Morehouse (d)).

..........................................

Friday, May 28, 2010

Great Blues Guitarists: String Dazzlers (1924-1940)

Ten excellent blues guitarists are heard on 20 selections dating from 1924-40 on this enjoyable CD reissue from the Columbia/ Legacy series. Included are Sylvester Weaver (the first blues guitarist to record an unaccompanied solo), the team of Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang (who are heard on a pair of duets and with singer Texas Alexander), the influential Big Bill Broonzy (superb on "How You Want It Done?"), the always passionate Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, Casey Bill Weldon, Blind Lemon Jefferson ("Black Snake Moan"), Joshua White and Tampa Red. Three previously unheard selections are included on this fine overview but completists will probably prefer to skip over the set in favor of the more comprehensive Document CD's. ~ Scott Yanow


01. Hot Fingers - Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang
02. A Handful of Riffs -
Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang
03. Work Ox Blues - Texas Alexander with Lonnie Johnson
04. I'm Busy and You Can't Come In - Sylvester Weaver
05. Georgia Rag - Blind Willie McTell
06. Warm It up to Me - Blind Willie McTell
07. When the War Was On - Blind Willie Johnson
08. Nobody's Fault But Mine - Blind Willie Johnson
09. How You Want It Done? - Big Bill Broonzy
10. Getting Older Every Day - Big Bill Broonzy
11. Guitar Swing - Casey Bill Weldon
12. Bull Frog Moan - Lonnie Johnson, Eddie Lang
13. Black Snake Moan - Blind Lemon Jefferson
14. Little Brother Blues - Josh White
15. Prodigal Son - Josh White
16. Denver Blues - Tampa Red
17. Away Down in the Alley Blues - Lonnie Johnson
18. I Love You, Mary Lou - Lonnie Johnson


hot jazz and cool blues

..............................

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Barrelhouse Boogie: Jimmy Yancey, Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson (1936-41)

Antologías más o menos interesantes de boogie-woogie hay por ahí unas cuantas. Ésta tiene varias particularidades que la convierten en indispensable: sonido inmaculado (estamos en los años 30); presentación gráfica y documental impecables también, como corresponde a toda la serie de blues de RCA-Bluebird de los 90, y una selección de temas que resulta muy acertada y representativa del estilo, además de incluir dos joyas, dos: las únicas intervenciones vocales de la carrera discográfica del maestro Jimmy Yancey. El padre fundador del Boogie con mayúsculas fue también, a juzgar por ellas (Crying In My Sleep, Death Letter Blues), un magnífico cantante de la onda tranqui y sombría, y sólo podemos lamentar que, debido a las siempre tendenciosas ocurrencias de los productores de turno, a nadie se le ocurriera grabar su voz en otras ocasiones. No es el único Yancey que quiero en mi colección, pero puede muy bien ser la introducción perfecta.
-Jay Bee Rodríguez



The four most important boogie-woogie pianists are all represented on this enjoyable CD. Meade Lux Lewis performs a 1936 remake of his classic "Honky Tonk Train Blues" and accompanies himself on "Whistlin' Blues"; the subtle Jimmy Yancey plays ten solos from 1939-40; and Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons (with drummer James Hoskins) jam on nine duets from 1940-41. Although there are more complete reissues of the pianists' work available from European labels, this Bluebird set gives listeners a strong sampling of boogie-woogie during its prime years. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

All aboard!
01. Honky Tonk Train Blues -- Meade "Lux" Lewis
02. Whistlin' Blues -- Meade "Lux" Lewis
03. Yancey Stomp -- Jimmy Yancey
04. State Street Special -- Jimmy Yancey
05. Tell 'em About Me -- Jimmy Yancey
06. Five O'Clock Blues -- Jimmy Yancey
07. Slow And Easy Blues -- Jimmy Yancey
08. The Mellow Blues -- Jimmy Yancey
09. Crying In My Sleep -- Jimmy Yancey *
10. Death Letter Blues -- Jimmy Yancey *
11. Yancey's Bugle Call -- Jimmy Yancey
12. 35th And Dearborn -- Jimmy Yancey
13. Boogie Woogie Man -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnson
14. Boogie Woogie Jump -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnson
15. Barrelhouse Boogie -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnson
16. Cuttin' The Boogie -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnson
17. Foot Pedal Boogie -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnson
18. Walkin' The Boogie -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnson
19. Sixth Avenue Express -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnson
20. Pine Creek -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnson
21. Movin' The Boogie -- Albert Ammons - Pete Johnso

Jimmy Yancey, 1946El maestro Yancey en 1946.

Personnel: Jimmy Yancey (piano, vocals in *), Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons (pianos). Additional personnel: James F. Hoskins (drums on Pete Johnson & Albert Ammons tracks).
Recorded in Chicago, Illinois and New York between 1936 and 1941. Includes liner notes by Art Hodes and a discography.
All songs written by their respective performers.

hot jazz and cool blues

..............................