Schlagwörter: Blues Kommentarverlauf ein-/ausschalten | Tastaturkürzel

  • blechtram 8:54 am am November 11, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 8.1/10, , , Blues, Cannon's Jug Stompers, , , Decent Overview, Gus Cannon   

    Cannon’s Jug Stompers: The Complete Works 1927–1930 

    Rating: 8.1/10
    Rated as
    : Collection
    Compilation Status: Decent Overview
    Released: 1992
    Recorded: 1927–1930
    Specific Genre: Jug Band
    Main Genre: Blues, Acoustic Blues
    Label: Yazoo

    1 Minglewood Blues 2 Walk Right In 3 Going to Germany 4 Bring It With You When You Come 5 Bugle Call Rag 6 Prison Wall Blues 7 Feather Bed 8 Noah’s Blues 9 Wolf River Blues 10 Madison Street Rag 11 Viola Lee Blues 12 Cairo Rag 13 Last Chance Blues 14 Mule Get Up in the Alley 15 Pretty Mama Blues 16 Money Never Runs Out 17 Pig Ankle Strut 18 Jonestown Blues 19 The Rooster Crowing Blues 20 Hollywood Rag 21 Heart Breakin‘ Blues 22 Ripley Blues 23 Tired Chicken Blues 24 Big Railroad Blues

    Played around the little town, your head chock full of rum

    Jug band blues is an odd hybrid of folksy and urban, ragtime-y, jazzy and country blues elements. The reverbarting, murmuring sound of the jug, the rattling banjo and dominating harp make for an overall make-shift street corner atmosphere. Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers were among the most successful and – since some of their numbers became blues standards as well as pop hits for other, much later artists – endurig combos for this comparatively small and short-lived genre. It’s restricted, free-wheeling sound is removed from deep blues through the hustling, bustling city sound it had to dwell in – playful, hurried, sketchy, but always amiable and slightly mischievous. There’s little here in terms of melody or heavy emotion, but the shaggy underdog attitude makes more than up for it, at least when consumed in slight doses – this is about entertainment, presented by next-door-rascals – their lyrics often revolve around trouble with small town judges for petty crimes. As one of the quintessential outfits of this sound, the Jug Stompers are among the quintessential roots of urban blues, there is a strict need to have their material, even if you mostly find yourself listening to the odd grumbling of «Viola Lee Blues» or the tumbling, hungover «Minglewood Blues» every so often. Good stuff.

    As for this particular collection, here’s from my series of «consumer guide reviews», so to speak:

    Gus Cannon recorded 26 sides (as in 13 singles) with the Jug Stompers. While the vinyl version (Yazoo 1989) of this CD contained all 13 sides plus the solo material Cannon recorded as Banjo Joe, this CD-reissue only contains tracks by the Jug Stompers and is even missing 2 of their sides («Riley’s Wagon» and «Springdale Blues»).

    If you want to avoid tedious holes in your collection and get the real deal (that is, Cannon’s solo stuff plus the Jug Stompers catalogue), you’ll need to get Gus Cannon’s Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order: Volume 1 and theComplete Recorded Works in Chronological Order: Volume 2 (credited to Gus Cannon & Noah Lewis) by the Document Records label: They have all of it and some more side stuff, so they are the definite CD-picks. If you then get Cannon’s revival record Walk Right In from 1963, you’re about set.

    Having said that, when this came out, it was the most complete Jug Stompers compilation on a single CD – which it remains until today. All the other single disc compilations claiming to be complete have less track than this one. If you want an overview of how to acquire the complete recordings of Cannon and his Jug Stompers, compare my list Complete Blues Discographies: What to Get.

     
  • blechtram 10:45 am am September 4, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 1.2/10, , , Blues, Chicago Blues, , Howlin Wolf,   

    Howlin‘ Wolf: The Power of the Voice 

    Rating: 1.2/10
    Rated as
    : Anthology
    Compilation Status
    : Useless
    Released: 1989
    Recorded: 1951, 1952, 1970
    Specific Genre: Chicago Blues
    Main Genre: Blues, Electric Blues
    Label: Blues Encore

    1 I Ain’t Superstitious 2 Sittin‘ on the Top of the World 3 Built for Comfort 4 The Red Rooster 5 Highway 49 6 Cause of It All 7 Killing Floor 8 Brownskin Woman 9 The Sun Is Rising 10 I’m the Wolf 11 House Rockin‘ Boogie 12 Dog Me Around 13 Keep What You Got 14 My Babe Stole off 15 Crying at Daybreak 16 Passing By Blues 17 Poor Boy 18 Commit a Crime 19 Wang-Dang-Doodle 20 Do the Do 21 Worried About My Baby 22 Rockin‘ Daddy

    You better keep what you got

    Completely pointless cash-in compilation by the greatest hollerer there ever was. Although you get 22 tracks on a single disc, this isn’t worth your while: The track choice is completely random, all the tracks are either from 1970 or 1951/52; the sequencing is random (the disc starts with a bunch of 1970-recordings, tracks 1–7, the 1950s tracks follow, 8–16, then back to a row of the 1970-tracks, 17–22); the sound of this European issue is just awful (not scratchy, as these are studio recordings, but this is the most compressed, tinniest and flattest audio quality I’ve heard in my lifetime – which is all the worse, as Howlin‘ Wolf is about his roaring sound, totally betrayed here). Tracks 8–11 are from the same 1952-session in Memphis (but were published partly on different records under fishy circumstances), while 12–16 are from two Memphis-1952 sessions (September and October). In neither cases are these all of those sessions‘ tracks, so what’s the point? But worst of all: all the 1970-tracks are directly and redundantly taken from the famous London Howlin‘ Wolf Sessions-album, whose versions weren’t so hot to begin with.

    There are so many good compilations by Howlin‘ Wolf, don’t be fooled by the large number of tracks here and be sure to skip this one. To check on how to collect Wolf’s material, compare my RateYourMusic-list Complete Blues Discographies: What to get.

     
  • blechtram 8:46 pm am June 2, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: Blues, , , ,   

    A list of historically important jazz discographies 

    According to:

    Epperson, Bruce D.: More Important Than the Music. A History of Jazz Discography. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 2013.

    Where do you look up information about jazz, blues, gospel and all that ja…ngling music, I mean besides just googling yourself to death in a pool of abundant, half-reliable information? Where do you go where the information, however correct it might be, doesn’t feel sticky? In discographies? Which ones? Epperson’s book on the topic, More Important Than the Music (2013), is fascinating. Sure, from one perspective, it gives you an abundance of facts, of nerdy information about nerds and their nerdy obsessions, it painstakingly records who published which list of jazz records at what time under what circumstances. That is the purely fact-driven aspect. On the other hand, it introduces you to a world of people whipped by their desires, bound together in love and hatred for the topic and for each other, stuck in decade-long feuds about plagiarism, money, mutual criticism and appraisal, a world full of projects only making it from the letters A to K because of over-ambition, corporate enemies or new technology. A world full of hope and despair, of half-arbitrary decisions about race, genre, cut-off dates, band formats and sound formats, driven by personal interest of the respective researcher. A world of necessary, but neither academically nor financially rewarded research, with no sustainable way to make it profitable. I don’t know if Epperson realises just how hilarious his chosen quote to end the book is, where Howard Rye says:

    The single biggest factor in jazz discography is that neither Brian Rust nor Jørgen Jepsen gave a damn about the needs of those who wouldn’t buy their books!

    (Rye in Epperson 2013, 212).

    Talk about an exclamation point to end a book about, well, lists. This is not how a tragedy ends (or a comedy, or a romance) – this is how you end a farce, a book with farcical subject matter, intentionally or not. As I said somewhere else: A discography is but a list made by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (Including myself, of course, although the only ‚discographies‘ I create consist of second-hand information and aim at cutting the corners of availability).

    Below is a list of the jazz discographies that Epperson discusses more than just in passing and around which he constructs entire chapters or paragraphs. Epperson’s book is an eloquent, informative and fluid (and at times hilarious) read from a historical/narrative perspective, but it doesn’t have registers telling you which discographies or names are discussed on what pages, and which chapters and paragraphs deal with which time spans exactly etc. (actually, in the text, the chapter titles do indicate time spans, but they don’t do this where it would be most useful: in the „contents“ overview). So I assembled a list according to Epperson’s chronology with some of the crucial quotes for each discography. The list only treats general jazz (and blues) discographies, meaning there are no specialized discographies: no label discographies, no single-artist bio-discographies, no solographies (yes, those exist), no national discographies and so forth.

    Since discographies tend to have shifting titles, different editors/authors, changing time spans and volatile edition histories, I somewhat lump the titles and publication years for the discographies together. The gist of each work’s identity will be researchable with this, if you want to dig into it. Or just read the book.

    Chapter 2.2:

    Schleman, Hilton: Rhythm on Record (1936)

    The lack of session-level information has led many discographers to relegate Rhythm on Record to protodiscography, leaving the honors of „first discography“ to Delaunay’s Hot Discography, which appeared three months later.However, within the limited goals he set for himself, Schleman was largely successful, an discographers were still using his book some sixty-five years later.

    (Epperson 2013, 29)

    Chapter 2.3:

    Delaunay, Charles: Hot Discography (1936)

    „Charles Delaunay is the undoubted father of discography as we know it today,“ adds Sheatsley. „It was he who first saw and utilized the importance of master numbers.“

    (Epperson 2013, 38)

    Chapter 3.1:

    Blackstone, Orin: Index to Jazz (1945–1950)

    Therefore he stuck to an alphabetical-by-artist structure from start to finish, unlike Delaunay’s affinities of style arrangement.

    (Epperson 2013, 51)

    Chapter 3.2:

    Delaunay, Charles: New Hot Discography (1948)

    Recognizably a Delaunay product, it retained the affinities of style approach for musicians recorded before 1930 but abandoned it for later artists, who were grouped in straight alphabetical order in a long section of their own.

    (Epperson 2013, 56)

    One other prescient feature of New Hot Discography bears mentioning in some detail. Each issue (usually, but not always, a 78 rpm, two-sided single) was assigned a „discode“, a Delaunay-assigned serial number comprising a number, letter, and number.

    (Epperson 2013, 59)

    Chapter 3.4:

    Carey, David, Albert McCarthy (and Ralph Venable): The Directory of Recorded Jazz and Swing Music [The Jazz Directory] (1949–1955)

    McCarthy, Albert and Dave Carey: The Directory of Recorded Jazz and Swing Music Inlcuding Gospel and Blues Records [The Jazz Directory]. (1955–1957)

    The discographic format wasn’t radically different from that of the contemporaneous Blackstone or Delaunay works, but it was crisper and clearer, mostly because, once and for all, it subordinated matrix numbers to recording sessions arranged in a chronological format.

    (Epperson 2013, 69)

    Chapter 3.5:

    Delaunay, Charles and Kurt Mohr: Hot discographie encyclopédique (1951–1952)

    The format of Hot discographie encyclopédique (HDE) was a complete break with any of Delaunay’s previous works and bore a strong resemblance to Carey and McCarthy’s series, so it instantly became known as the „French Jazz Directory„. Delaunay admitted that the times had changed and „such a work as this must be objective, not selective.“

    (Epperson 2013, 76)

    Chapter 4.1:

    Rust, Brian: Jazz Records, A–Z (1961)

    Although this session-based layout was not radically different from that in The Jazz Directory, the refinements he did develop ended up making Jazz Records, A–Z so superior to anything that came before that it was eventually called the Rust format.

    (Epperson 2013, 85)

    Where did you go for availability, not history? […] Even Malcolm Shaw, who edited the latest (2002) edition of Rust’s Jazz Records, A–Z, admits that „JR [Jazz Records] as it stands is probably due for a total reconsideration of the concept“.

    (Epperson 2013, 4)

    Chapter 4.2:

    Jepsen, Jørgen Grunnet: Jazz Records, 1942–196X (1963–1970)

    Survival demanded a relatively straightforward editorial policy. „This is not a complete listing of all jazz records,“ cautioned Jepsen. „This is only an attempt to list all the records known to the editor and his collaborators.“

    (Epperson 2013, 89)

    Chapter 4.3:

    Godrich, John and Robert Dixon: Blues and Gospel Records, 1902–1942 (1964, 1969)

    Dixon, Robert and John Godrich: Blues and Gospel Records, 1902–1943 (1982)

    – and Howard Rye: Blues and Gospel Records, 1890–1943 (1997)

    The decision to include all existing material without differentiating whether it was commercial or archival (and whether or not it was relevant to record collectors) proved to be the single most important metric by which Blues and Gospel Records came to be evaluated over the years.

    (Epperson 2013, 94)

    Chapter 4.5:

    Leadbitter, Mike and Neil Slaven: Blues Records, 1943–1966: An Encyclopedic Discography to More Than Two Decades of Recorded Blues (1968)

    –: Blues Records, 1943–1970: A Selective Discography. Vol. 1, A–K. (1987)

    –: Blues Records, 1943–1970: A Selective Discography. Vol. 2, L–Z. (1994).

    The few who did review the 1987 revision generally considered it a significant improvement over its 1968 predecessor. Everyone agreed that its new subtitle A Selective Discography, was a far more realistic description that the first edition’s unfortunate Encyclopedic Discography label.

    (Epperson 2013, 101)

    Chapter 5.1:

    Bruyninckx, Walter: 50 Years of Recorded Jazz. 1917–1967. (ca. 1968–1971)

    –: 60 Years of Recorded Jazz. 1917–1977 (ca. 1977–1980)

    –: 70/75 Years of Recorded Jazz. (late 1980s to early 1990s)

    – and Domi Truffandier: 85 Years of Recorded Jazz. (CD-ROM 2003)

    „Despite his continued plagiarism,“ recalled librarian Matthew Snyder, „by the late 1980’s [sic] the general opinion on Bruyninckx appeared to be that the improved quality of his work, combined with his extensive coverage, had produced the best available jazz discography.“

    (Epperson 2013, 113)

    Chapter 5.2:

    Raben, Erik: Jazz Records, 1942–80: A Discography. (1989–2007, A–G. Unfinished)

    Everyone agreed that its musicians index, included at the end of each volume and not as an appendix at the end of the series, was much needed and badly overdue […].

    (Epperson 2013, 117)

    Chapter 5.3:

    Lord, Tom: The Jazz Discography. (1992–2002)

    „It is possible that Lord’s project has already taken over the market for Raben’s volumes, and that Raben’s project will die. This possibility, in combination with the frustrations of using Bruyninckx’s paperbacks and his inept marketing of 70 Years, may mean that that, in jazz discography’s own little version of a hostile corporate takeover, Lord’s project has already emerged the victor.“ [Kernfeld/Rye]

    (Epperson 2013, 125)

    Lord was a businessman, a marketer who was peddling a product – the others were either professional academics or amateur scholars undertaking research. […] „Lord is more of a collator than a researcher,“ observed Edward Berger […].

    (Epperson 2013, 126)

    (note that this Tom Lord has no relation to the Tom Lord who made 1976’s Clarence Williams-discography)

    The notable Websites and Online Articlesthat Epperson lists in his bibliography are:

    http://www.jazzdiscography.com

    http://allmusic.com/

    http://jazzstudiesonline.org

    http://www.jazzarcheology.com

    http://www.jazz.com

    http://www.redsaunders.com

    http://victor.library.ucsb.edu

     
  • blechtram 9:57 am am March 31, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 1.5/10, , , , , Blues, , , Electric Texas Blues, Lightnin' Hopkins,   

    Lightnin‘ Hopkins: Goin‘ Back Home 

    Rating: 1.5/10
    Rated as: Anthology
    Compilation Status: Useless
    Released: 1997
    Recorded: 1964–1969
    Main Genre: Blues
    Specific Genres: Acoustic Blues, Electric Blues, Acoustic Texas Blues, Electric Texas Blues
    Label: Comet 43324

    1 Shaggy Dog 2 Santa Fe Blues [New Santa Fe] 3 Shinin‘ Moon [Shining Moon] 4 I’ll Be Gone 5 Shake It Baby 6 Goin‘ Back Home 7 Good Times 8 I’m Wit‘ It [What’d I Say] 9 Don’t Wake Me 10 Talk of the Town 11 California Landslide [California Mudslide] 12 Rosie Mae 13 Easy on Your Heals 14 Leave Jike Mary Alone 15 You Treat Po‘ Lightnin‘ Wrong

    Good times here, but it’s better down the road

    Another European cheapo collection by one of the greatest. A mix of some infectious, driving electric blues numbers in classic jaunty Hopkins-style and his trademark acoustic texas blues. Excellent, if unspectacular fret work, some surprising horn sections (on a Hopkins record!) and overall a more polished sound compared to his earlier stuff from the 1960s.

    Some research: Tracks 1 and 3–10 are from 1967’s Something Blue (recorded 1965), tracks 2 and 11–13 are from 1969’s California Mudslide and the last two acoustic numbers (14–15) are from 1964’s Live at the Bird Lounge. Some track names have been slightly changed, I think intentionally, to cover up that this is probably a borderline illegal compilation just grabbing randomly from different sources (which also explains the indiscriminate mix of electric and acoustic tracks from different sessions).

    Anyhow, the album Something Blue is here in its entirety though with scrambled sequencing (and inferior sound quality). So that’s okay if you find this in some one-dollar-trash bin, but any serious collector can skip this and go for the actual albums. There really is no point to any of this.

     
  • blechtram 3:57 pm am March 20, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 4.1/10, , Blues, , ,   

    Eric Clapton: Me and Mr Johnson 

    Rating: 4.1/10
    Rated as:
    Album
    Album Status:
    of Discographical Interest
    Released: 2004
    Specific Genre: Electric Blues
    Main Genre: Blues
    Undertones: Chicago Blues
    Label: Reprise

    1 When You Got a Good Friend 2 Little Queen of Spades 3 They’re Red Hot 4 Me and the Devil Blues 5 Travelling Riverside Blues 6 Last Fair Deal Gone Down 7 Stop Breakin‘ Down Blues 8 Milkcow’s Calf Blues 9 Kind Hearted Woman Blues 10 Come on in My Kitchen 11 If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day 12 Love in Vain 13 32-20 Blues 14 Hell Hound on My Trail

    Would sell you more, but they ain’t none of mine

    As the title – a play on Johnson’s „Me and The Devil Blues“ – doesn’t suggest, Eric Clapton reimagines Robert Johnson’s catalogue of haunting, forlorn, sparse blues as a fun, cheerful romp. The good thing about this decision is that there are no ambiguities about it. This is the kind of relaxed, boisterous electric Chicago blues that Clapton went to musical school with, which dominated the output of popular 1970s and -80s blues and which he only partly followed on his only other straight blues album, 1994’s From the Cradle.

    Belying the down-home, decidedly ‚acoustic‘ aesthetics of the album cover (which is outdated in an unsuspected way – a third photograph of Johnson has surfaced eversince, but who could’ve known) with his straight electric blues combo, this might make one think of the exhilarating Cream-reinventions of ethereal Skip James-numbers („I’m So Glad“) or the legendary cover of Johnson’s „Crossroads“. But this homage-album is an entirely different affair, with a consoling, good-natured, smotheringly nostalgic approach that in itself isn’t the problem – but nuance and, so to speak, any individual interpretation of a given song get lost in the overall joviality. Unsurprisingly, this works best on bouncier numbers like the ragtime/hokum „They’re Red Hot“, but that one was an oddity at least in Johnson’s recorded catalogue to begin with (for all we know, he could have had dozens of these shuffling folk and dance numbers in his repertoire like every self-respecting ‚blues‘ performer of the time – there was a market to supply with entertainment and most of these guys had a much broader catalogue than what this or that Lomax recorded).

    I can see how this would appeal to Clapton-fans, but laidback as it is, there is a cloud of complacency here. This is the easiest way to make such an album: just have fun with those great songs, suppose a sense of ‚modesty‘. On the upside, this is so to speak the ‚back catalogue‘ of Johnson’s songbook – no „Sweet Home Chicago“, no „I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom“, no „Ramblin’ On My Mind“ – good! On the downside, Clapton uses these songs to play them like unimaginative versions of mentioned, absent standards – take every clichéd electric blues rock element, make it comfy and apply. There is not a note on this record that isn’t a hundred percent predictable, be it the rather subdued rhythm section, the functional piano licks, the disciplined lead guitar or even Clapton’s cautious, very epigonal singing (he tries no tricks with his vocals, maybe for the better). Well, well. Be sure to pick this up if that is what you’re looking for – Clapton romping through fun, in the end indistinct blues rock songs – but I’m afraid as a film, it’d be called „Deconstructing Eric“.

     
  • blechtram 11:44 am am March 5, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 6.2/10, , Blues, , John Hammond, Mike Bloomfield,   

    Bloomfield, Hammond, Dr. John: Triumvirate 

    Rating: 6.2/10
    Rated as:
    Album
    Album Status: of Discographical Interest
    Released: 1973
    Main Genre: Blues
    Specific Genres: Rhythm&Blues, New Orleans Jazz, Funk, Electric Blues
    Label: Columbia

    1 Cha-Dooky-Doo 2 Last Night 3 I Yi Yi 4 Just to Be With You 5 Baby Let Me Kiss You 6 Sho Bout to Drive Me Wild 7 It Hurts Me Too 8 Rock Me Baby 9 Ground Hog Blues 10 Pretty Thing

    Uh-huh! Cha-Dooky-Do! Uh-huh…

    Well, apart from Dr. John who had just issued In the Right Place neither John Hammond, having recorded a row of lackluster albums, nor Mike Bloomfield, coming from interesting, draining jam-experiments like The Live Adventures of Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper, were exactly on a hot streak at this point in time. Of course the rootsy music here is rock solid: these guys learned from the masters and had their respective blues idioms down pat. Hammond sings all the songs, making me question if this was supposed to be the start of a supergroup with a „frontman proper“ instead of a one-off project, and while he’s technically the most skilled singer, I’m not sure his mannered style really fits the mood better here than Bloomfield’s comparatively unrefined vocals or Dr. John’s infamous croak.

    The album’s most interesting aspects therefore derive from the mix of Chicago- and New Orleans-styles – Dr. John’s presence sort of forces some funky, Orleans-ian piano rhythm&blues into the affair, adding a heavily syncopated base to the more conventional blues patterns. He never really dominates with a solo though, often drowned out by a quite loud horn section – well well. But apart from the album closers (the swampy „Ground Hog Blues“ and the playful, flute-driven „Pretty Thing“), this is mostly solid, not super. I remember being really excited getting this as an American import – I’m still glad I have it, and I’d still recommend it as a historical trophy object, but it’s one of those „obvious“ team-ups that didn’t create additional magic.

     
  • blechtram 3:34 pm am February 26, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 4.2/10, , Blues, , Luther Allison, , Soul Blues   

    Luther Allison: Life Is a Bitch 

    Rating: 4.2/10
    Rated as: Album
    Album Status: for Fans
    Released: 1984
    Specific Genres: Soul Blues, Electric Blues
    Main Genre: Blues
    Undertones: Blues Rock, Chicago Blues
    Label: Encore !

    1 Backtrack 2 Life Is a Bitch 3 Reaching Out 4 Parking Lot 5 Serious 6 Just Memories 7 Should I Wait 8 Let’s Try it Again 9 We’re on the Road

    Same old nightclub, same old show

    I tend to rate blues records in answer to the question: Why should I listen to this specific record now, as opposed to any given other one by that (or a similar) artist? Are the vocals especially expressive? Is the guitar more stunning/subtle/powerful/soulful than elsewhere? Does it have just that one fabulous song? Is it historically comprehensive (compilations)? Is it a turning point (good or bad) for the artist? And so on.

    While the material here is a well-done mix of blues, rock and soul (check out the Redding-esque „Just Memories“, thoroughly screwed up by a lounge saxophone solo) with the echo-y clean touches of a 1980s production (never good for blues in my opinion, but be my guest), I find no answer to any of the questions above. Allison here is most convincing when he leaves the goofy „band-on-the-road“-concept permeating the album as well as the period-pleasing boogie blues rock behind and leans heavily into his trademark soulful blues guitar – this easily makes the slow blues burner „Let’s Try It Again“ the best track but of course can’t save the whole affair.

    P.S. This was originally recorded and issued in France (Encore!Mélodie) and many later issues come with „Show Me a Reason“ as additional track B3 (8), which is also on the otherwise identical US-re-issue called Serious. The CD usually comes with yet another additional ending track called „Funky T-Shirt“.

     
  • blechtram 10:29 am am February 26, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: 7.8/10, , , , Blues, , , , Texas Alexander   

    Texas Alexander: Complete Recordings in Chronological Order, Volume 1 (1927–1928) 

    Rating: 7.8/10
    Rated as: Collection
    Compilation Status: Essential
    Released: 1995
    Recorded: 1927–1928
    Specific Genre: Acoustic Texas Blues
    Main Genres: Acoustic Blues, Blues
    Undertones: Work Songs, Field Holler
    Label: Document Records

    1 Range in My Kitchen Blues 2 Long Lonesome Day Blues 3 Corn-Bread Blues 4 Section Gang Blues 5 Levee Camp Moan Blues 6 Mama, I Heard You Brought It Right Back Home 7 Farm Hand Blues 8 Evil Women Blues 9 Sabine River Blues 10 Death Bed Blues 11 Yellow Girl Blues 12 West Texas Blues 13 Bantam Rooster Blues (Take A) 14 Bantam Rooster Blues (Take B) 15 Deep Blue Sea Blues 16 No More Women Blues 17 Don’t You Wish Your Baby Was Built Up Like Mine? 18 Bell Cow Blues 19 Sittin‘ on a Log 20 Mama’s Bad Luck Child 21 Boe Hog Blues 22 Work Ox Blues 23 The Risin‘ Sun

    Don’t get mad at me, woman, because I stays by myself

    With a soaring holler, a vocal presence that is imposing even when he seems to murmur rather than belt something, blind Alger „Texas“ Alexander is one of the more fascinating obscure blues masters. He was so early in the game, in fact, that these recordings hardly can contain the field-holler and work song environment he was dragged from into the studios. Alexander barely follows predictable patterns in his singing, skipping bars and always preferring winding, tempo-shifting delivery of his stanzas and interjections over what the instrumentalists are anticipating – often, he just resorts to powerful, vibrating humming to end a song or glide through the mid-section.

    This makes the guitar-accompanied songs here much more enjoyable, as the always superior Lonnie Johnson can work around Alexander’s rhythmic idiosyncrasies to a much better degree (using free form lick clusters, really, especially on „Levee Camp Moan Blues“) than pianist Eddie Heywood, who mostly sticks to vaudevillian barrelhouse patterns on track A6–B1 (6–9). Texas Alexander presents some astonishingly moaning, soaring blues, and while these recordings are less polished and accomplished than the not unsimilar Blind Willie Johnson, as the first third of his complete recordings, this Document Records LP is just that: a document to the blues and its power.

     
  • blechtram 11:37 am am February 24, 2019 Permalink | Antworten
    Tags: , , Bessie Smith, , Blues, Charley Patton, , Elmore James, Genre-Sampler, Jelly Roll Morton, John Lee Hooker, Ma Rainey, Memphis Jug Band, Mildred Jones, , Muddy Waters, , Robert Johnson, Son House, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Soundtrack, Stephen James Taylor, Tommy McClennan, Various Artists, W. C. Handy   

    Various Artists: Warming by the Devil’s Fire [Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues] 

    Various Artists - Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: Warming by the Devil's Fire

    Rating: 8.0/10
    Rated as: Genre-Sampler, Soundtrack
    Compilation Status: Historically Informative
    Released: 2003
    Recorded:1924–1966
    Main Genre: Blues
    Specific Genres: Electric Blues, Acoustic Blues, Vaudeville Blues, Gospel Blues, Spirituals
    Label: Columbia / Legacy

    1 Jelly Roll Morton – Turtle Twist 2 Ma Rainey – See See Rider 3 Son House – Death Letter 4 Billie Holiday – I’m a Fool to Want You 5 Mississippi John Hurt – Big Leg Blues 6 Memphis Jug Band – K.C. Moan 7 Robert Johnson – Sweet Home Chicago 8 Tommy McClennan – Deep Blue Sea Blues 9 Bessie Smith – Muddy Water 10 Sonny Boy Williamson II – Cross My Heart 11 Elmore James – Dust My Broom 12 Muddy Waters – You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had 13 W. C. Handy – Beale Street Blues 14 Charley Patton – Hang It on the Wall 15 Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Up Above My Head (I Hear Music in the Air) 16 Stephen James Taylor – Give Me Freedom 17 Mildred Jones – Mr. Thrill 18 John Lee Hooker – I’ll Never Get Out of These Blues Alive

    Headed homebound just once more, to my Mississippi Delta home

    Even among his largely very good Martin Scorsese presents the Blues series, Warming by the Devil’s Fire is a standout blues compilation. Some hidden classics, some shining obscurities, great sequencing. This puts you right in the Mississippi Delta. The compilation isn’t exclusively about the big guys and girls of blues, although besides some unadventurous standards (from Elmore James, Ma Rainey or Son House), director Charles Burnett (no relation to T-Bone Burnett) picks some not too obvious tracks by Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker etc. – and the stunning, earthy, non-vaudeville Bessie Smith-track „Muddy Water“, one of her most stellar numbers. While these evergreens help to form a historically informed sort of listening canon, for the blues aficionado, the stress is on the less overly exposed tracks: check out Tommy McClennan howling to the deep blue sea, the completely obscure Stephen James Taylor conjuring an ominous, mesmerizing gospel blues, the legendary Charley Patton crashing the party with his cragged guitar and Sister Rosetta Tharpe forcing the whole congregation into crazed dancing right around that devil’s fire with a hollering gospel-blues duet.

    In this almost binary choice between standards and obscurities lies the competence of the compilation: It’s like a broad summyary over blues history with occasional swoops into the weird forgotten details. The music goes from swinging New Orleans pieces in the ragtime channel to rural acoustic delta blues to the great female vaudeville blues/jazz vocalists that emerged in the 1920s, features some urban electric blues examples to conclude the development, and also presents some excellent gospel-flavoured blues, mostly from the 1930s to 1940s, yet stretching into the urban 1950s and -60s. The sequencing is chronologically accurate enough to teach you a little implicit lesson of music history, but it never feels stubborn. The diversity is just right for repeated listening while rowing up the Mississippi.

    As even the most common blues fan will know most or all of these artists already, it’s nonetheless a great introduction disc for your niece or nephew.

     
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