Thursday, 1 September 2016

Big Jay McNeely - Deacon Rides Again



































































Side A:
01. Deacon Rides Again
02. Blow Blow Blow
03. Jay Walk
04. Night Ride
05. Jet Fury w/ Cheers
06. Deacon's Express
07. Insect Ball

Side B:
01. Sad Story
02. All That Wine Is Gone
03. Don't Cry Baby
04. Let's Do It (Deacon's Hop)
05. I'll Never Love Again
06. Love From The Heart (True Love)
07. Old Black Mule

Download from here:

http://www46.zippyshare.com/v/qiyVCbXa/file.html

This is the return of an LP which I posted in the very earliest days of the blog. Back then I couldn't scan in LP covers properly so the rather tawdry looking post was quietly allowed to die following one of the takedowns of the blog. The return of "Deacon Rides Again" includes new cover and label scans. The sound files are the same but with a volume boost.

The tracks on this LP date from a couple of years before the Federal recordings on "Big "J" In 3-D," being recorded for Imperial between December 1950 and early 1952. This was the era captured in the photographs of Bob Willoughby taken at Hunter Hancock's Midnight Matinee on October 6th 1951 in the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium. The Imperial sides differ from the Federal sides in that few of them are instrumentals. Half of the tracks feature vocal accompaniment by "Three Dots And A Dash", a group with a varying lineup which featured Jesse Belvin and then Marvin Phillips as lead vocalist.

In fact there are only four original instrumental tracks in this collection: "Deacon Rides Again", "Blow Blow Blow", "Jay Walk" and "Night Ride." "Jet Fury w/ Cheers" and "Deacon's Express" have a murky origin, being spliced together extracts from the four original instrumentals with dubbed on crowd noise. See below for details!

The first six tracks of this collection are a non-stop tenor sax blast which brings to mind a quote from LeRoi Jones' sleevenotes for the Willis Jackson album "Thunderbird" on Prestige:

“Lloyd’s Manor in Newark, N.J., was a place where they’d have groups, like Illinois Jacquet’s, Erskine Hawkins', Earl Bostic’s, Tab Smith’s, Big Jay McNeely’s and all the other wild swingers of the day ….. It was a loud blur, climaxed by those shattering saxophone battles which featured heavy horns like Jacquet, McNeely and Ammons-Stitt groups and big throated singers like Wynonie Harris, Larry Darnell and Little Esther.” (Quoted in Charlie Gillet's "The Sound Of The City")

As I mentioned at the start of this post, two of the tracks on Side A have dubbed on crowd noise and are not what they seem to be. They are in fact cut-and-paste jobs, consisting of extracts from previously issued tracks spliced together. Listen to "Jet Fury w/ Cheers" and you can hear the intro to "Jay Walk" followed by "Deacon Rides Again" and then maybe some of "Blow Blow Blow." My head is still reeling from trying to deconstruct the track.

Similarly "Deacon's Express" combines pieces of different tracks, starting off as pieces of "Blow Blow Blow" then throwing in the "Ooh!" from "Deacon Rides Again" then back to the beginning of "Blow Blow Blow" for a complete reprise of that track. I think. I'm beyond all caring!

But what of the vocal sides which form more than half of this collection? The frantic "Insect Ball" features the voices of Little Arthur Matthews and Ernest Mayhand (aka Dope and Skillet). Jesse Belvin provides the vocal on "Sad Story", and leads Three Dots And A Dash (Jimmy Huff, Undine Harris and Marvin Phillips) on "All That Wine Is Gone" and "Don't Cry Baby". The final four tracks on the LP again feature Three Dots And a Dash, but with a different lineup without Jesse Belvin, lead vocals being provided by Marvin Phillips.

Big Jay releases on Imperial:

Imperial 5115 - All That Wine Is Gone / Don't Cry Baby - April 1951

Imperial 5130 - Insect Ball / Sad Story - summer 1951

Imperial 5164 - Let's Do It (Deacon's Hop) / I'll Never Love Again (credited to "Three Dots And A Dash with Big Jay McNeely And His Orchestra") - late summer 1951

Imperial 5169 - Tall Brown Woman / The Deacon Blows For Ray - late 1951

Imperial 5170 - Deacon Rides Again / Blow Blow Blow - January 1952

Imperial 5176 - Jay Walk / Night Ride - March 1952

Imperial 5186 - Love From The Heart / Old Black Mule (credited to "Three Dots And A Dash with Big Jay McNeely And His Orchestra") - mid (?) 1952

Imperial 5219 - Deacon's Express / Jet Fury - January 1953

As noted above, "Deacon's Express" and "Jet Fury - Cheers" are spliced extracts from Imperial 5170 and Imperial 5176, with dubbed on crowd noise. Two 1953 releases on the Imperial subsidiary Bayou are similar - Hometown Jamboree / Teenage Hop (Bayou 14) and Catastrophe / Calamity (Bayou 18). Someday, someone will risk their sanity by sitting down and listening to all these sides in order to analyse the ingredients of these cut 'n' paste jobs. It won't be me.

Elsewhere on the blog:

The Best Of Big Jay McNeely (Saxophonograph)




No R&B fan should be without this book:


Nervous Man Nervous by Jim Dawson (Big Nickel Publications, 1994) goes way beyond Big Jay to take a broad look at the honking sax phenomenon in rhythm and blues. Honk fans, this is your bible.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Big Jay McNeely - Big "J" In 3-D















































Side 1:
01. The Goof
02. Ice Water
03. Big Jay Shuffle
04. Rock Candy
05. Whipped Cream
06. Hot Cinders

Side 2:
01. 3-D
02. Hardtack
03. Nervous Man Nervous
04. Mule Milk
05. Let's Work
06. Beachcomber

Download from here:

http://www42.zippyshare.com/v/n9xLS6Fp/file.html

This is a 1988 bootleg reissue of a Big Jay McNeely Federal / King LP from the 1950s. This LP first appeared in 1955 as an eight track, ten inch LP called simply "Big Jay McNeely" (Federal 295-96). In December 1956 it reappeared as a 12-inch, 12 track LP with the title "Big Jay In 3-D" (Federal 395-530). The four additional tracks were "Rock Candy", "Hardtack", "Let's Work" and "Beachcomber", with the track order as on this 1988 Sing label repro.


In 1959 the album was re-released on the King label with the title changed to "Big "J" In 3-D" (King 650). The front cover was similar to the cover of the Sing repro. There have also been issues on King which combined the "3-D" background effect of the Federal issue with the title design seen on the Sing front cover. This version survived as a CD issue on King:


This LP was originally posted on the blog in November 2007. The original upload used the King CD front cover as album art, but this time round I've replaced it with the Sing front cover. Back in 2007 I was under the impression that the King CD cover was the original 1956 front cover, but I was mistaken, as I have detailed above.

Federal may have issued this LP as an answer to two LPs released by Combo in 1956. These were compilations of sax instros by Joe Houston and Chuck Higgins. Federal had 16 Big Jay recordings which he had cut for the label between August 1952 and April 1954 and which had been released as singles between October 1952 and August 1954. When this album was released Big Jay was long gone from the label, having recorded for Vee-Jay in March 1955 and for Atlantic in September 1956. The latter session was never released.

In a post on the Baton LP "Rock 'n' Roll Instrumentals For Dancing The Lindy Hop" (Buddy Tate and Frank Culley) I mentioned that Billboard had noted an upsurge of tenor sax instrumental releases by record companies during 1955-56, inspired by the success of Red Prysock's "Hand Clappin'." Most of these sides failed to chart with the notable exceptions of Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk" (the top selling R&B record of 1956) and Sil Austin's "Slow Walk." The 1956 charts were dominated by singers such as Fats Domino, Clyde McPhatter, Little Richard, Little Willie John and Ray Charles, and also by vocal groups such as The Clovers, The Cadillacs, The Five Satins and The Dells.

Indeed, several years before, Big Jay had noticed that even at concerts where he was the headline act, vocal group support acts were greeted more enthusiastically by the mainly young audiences. The 1956 sleeve notes on the back cover of "Big "J" In 3-D" describe the wild reaction of his teenage audiences at "Jazz Concerts" at Los Angeles venues such as the Shrine Auditorium and the Olympic Auditorium, but this was an accurate description of his concerts around 1950-51 not in 1956. "Mule Milk" attempts to capture this kind of atmosphere by dubbing on crowd noises to a run-through of "Night Train" by Big Jay and his band.

However, the music contained in this LP remains impressive. "The Goof" was the first wild honk track I ever heard, on one of those Old King Gold albums in the 1970s. "Nervous Man Nervous" is even better, but I must be getting old because nowadays I prefer some of the slower, more relaxed tracks such as "Big Jay Shuffle" with which Mark Lamarr used to close his much missed "Shake, Rattle and Roll" show on BBC Radio 2. Speaking of whom, a version of "Mule Milk" with no added crowd noise is / was available on the Westside CD "Mark Lamarr Presents Mule Milk 'N' Firewater", a compilation of rocking King / Federal / De Luxe sides which was released in 2000.


The front cover of the CD uses one of the photographs taken by Bob Willoughby at a Big Jay performance during Hunter Hancock's "Midnight Matinee" at the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium in 1951.

JazzWax blog has Bob's description of Big Jay in action at the Midnight Matinee. It's a must-read for the eyewitness account of Big Jay and his audience and for the accompanying photographs.

Big Jay McNeely releases on Federal:

Federal 12102 - Big Jay Shuffle / The Goof - October 1952

Federal 12111 - Penthouse Serenade / Just Crazy - February 1953

Federal 12141 - Nervous Man Nervous / Rock Candy - August 1953

Federal 12151 - 3D / Texas Turkey - late 1953

Federal 12168 - Ice Water / Mule Milk - February 1954

Federal 12179 - Hot Cinders / Whipped Cream - April 1954

Federal 12186 - Hard Tack / Let's Work - June 1954

Federal 12191 - Strip Tease Swing / Beachcomber - August 1954 *

* "Beachcomber" was reviewed in Billboard, but "Strip Tease Swing" was omitted from the R&B review section!

A download of the original Federal LP "Big Jay In 3-D" is available on the "Don't Ask Me ... I Don't Know" blog - that's where I found the front cover shown above . Thanks to Xyros. If it's authenticity you're after, download the original instead of the reissue on offer here!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Chuck Higgins - Motorhead Baby













































Side 1:
01. Pachuko Hop
02. Bug Jump
03. Long Long Time
04. Real Gone Hound Dog
05. Chuck's Fever
06. Cotton Picker
07. Yak A Dak

Side 2:
01. Chuck A Buck
02. Wet Back Hop
03. Don't You Know I Love You Baby
04. Blacksmith Blues
05. Flip Top Box
06. Blues & Mambo
07. Motor Head Baby

Download from here:

http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/1BDcv5oz/file.html

Fired with enthusiasm after listening to "Yak a Dak" I had a look through my vinyl and came up with another Chuck Higgins compilation made up with tracks from various 1980s reissue LPs. Hope you like it. Another LP that never was, complete with front and back covers.

Further info on the tracks:

01. Pachuko Hop - Chuck Higgins & His Mellotones: Combo 12; 1952

02. Bug Jump - John Watson with Chuck Higgins & His Mellotones: Combo 38; 1953

03. Long Long Time - Chuck Higgins: Combo 144; 1958. Vocal: Frank Dunn

04. Real Gone Hound Dog - Chuck Higgins & His Mellotones: Combo 25; 1953. Vocal: Geechie Howard

05. Chuck's Fever - Chuck Higgins: unissued until Ace LP CH81 "Pachuko Hop" (1983).

06. Cotton Picker - Chuck Higgins & His Mellotones: Combo 14; 1952. Vocal: Geechie Howard

07. Yak A Dak - Chuck Higgins & His Orchestra: Aladdin 3215; 1954

08. Chuck A Buck - Chuck Higgins & His Orchestra: Aladdin 3215; 1954

09. Wet Back Hop - Chuck Higgins & His Band: Dootone 370; 1955

10. Don't You Know I Love You Baby - Chuck Higgins & His Band: Dootone 370; 1955. Vocal: Frank Dunn

11. Blacksmith Blues - Chuck Higgins & The Mellotones: Combo 108; 1955. Vocal: Johnny Flamingo

12. Flip Top Box - Chuck Higgins & The Mellotones: Combo 108; 1955

13. Blues & Mambo - Chuck Higgins & His Mellotones: Combo 17; 1952

14. Motorhead Baby - Chuck Higgins & His Mellotones: Combo 12; 1952. Vocal: John Watson

Combo 108 was re-released on Caddy 108 in 1957. "Geechie Howard" was Chuck's brother Fred Higgins who also sang under the name "Daddy Cleanhead." John Watson, the pianist / vocalist on Chuck's early Combo sides had a successful career as Johnny "Guitar" Watson.

Discographical information from:

http://wdd.mbnet.fi/chuckhiggins.htm

http://www.rocky-52.net/chanteursh/higgins_c.htm

Chuck Higgins LPs:

Pachucko Hop (Combo LP 300), 1956.


For some unknown reason this LP was withdrawn and then reissued in a new cover:


Dootone issued a Chuck Higgins / Roy Milton LP with 6 tracks by each artist called "Rock'N' Roll Versus Rhythm And Blues" in 1956. The LP stayed in print under the renamed "Dooto" label:


In 1983 Ace (UK) released the LP "Pachuko Hop." This was not a straight reissue of the Combo "Pachucko Hop" as two of the original tracks were omitted and four other tracks were added.


The Ace LP was the first time I heard Chuck Higgins. For Chuck Higgins CDs see previous post "Yak a Dak." It's possible to reconstruct the Combo and Dootone LPs from 3 of the still available CDs:

 


The original "Pachucko Hop" Combo LP was a killer-diller!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Chuck Higgins - Yak A Dak




































































Side A:
01. Yak A Dak
02. Shotgun Wedding
03. Groove
04. Wiggle
05. Greasy Pig
06. Something's Goin' On In My Room
07. Candied Yam
08. Kubeon
09. That Dubbonet Wine

Side B:
01. Pachuko Hop
02. Let Me Come Back Home
03. West Side
04. Chop Chop
05. Rock
06. Chuck A Buck
07. Beautiful Love
08. Double Dip
09. Baby Shoes

Download from here:

http://www7.zippyshare.com/v/IzPcVr7y/file.html

We've had plenty of Big Jay McNeely and Joe Houston on the blog, but up until now we've never featured the third member of the 1950s Los Angeles Honk Triumvirate, Chuck Higgins. This is El Honk Primitivo - Chuck famously learned to play the tenor sax in two weeks in order to retain a residency at the Club Alabam when the owner decided he had no use for Chuck's trumpet playing. However, we should remember that Chuck was a trained musician, having played trumpet in an Airforce band and having attended the Los Angeles Music Conservatory after leaving the service. In later years he taught music at Compton High and UCLA, so although he may not have had the solid grounding of Big Jay or Joe Houston on the tenor sax, he still knew his way round the horn sufficiently well to record some real rousing R&B and rock'n'roll.

Chuck was a label hopper around 1950s Los Angeles with most of his best work appearing on Combo and Dootone, plus he had the occasional disc on John Dolphin's labels. He also recorded for the bigger indie labels Specialty and Aladdin, but his longest commitment was to Jake Porter's considerably smaller Combo which issued his biggest hit "Pachuko Hop" in 1952.

Labels like Combo, Dootone and the John Dolphin marques lacked national distribution opportunities, so most of Chuck's output sold only in Southern California. I've recently been immersing myself in reading about and listening to the R&B scene in 1950s LA and I've been going through my vinyl to compile a Chuck Higgins "LP" which I'll post in the very near future. In the meantime here's some background info on the tracks on "Yak a Dak." The recording dates and personnel are on the back cover of the LP along with notes by Jim Dawson who interviewed Chuck for this LP.

I'm grateful for the info on the Chuck Higgins discography on rocky-52.net. I've only dug out a minimum of additional information. Chuck's sides on Combo and the John Dolphin labels don't seem to have been covered in Billboard. Dootsie Williams did advertise extensively in Billboard and his Dootone discs were reviewed regularly as were Aladdin and Specialty releases. Here's the facts (such as they are) on the tracks:

01. Yak A Dak - Aladdin 3215; December 1953

02. Shotgun Wedding - Kicks 6; 1955

03. Groove - Kicks 6; 1955

04. Wiggle - Aladdin 3224 credited to "Gene Forrest and the Four Feathers with Chuck Higgins Orch"); 1954

05. Greasy Pig - Lucky 45-005 (vocal - Frank Dunn); 1954

06. Something's Goin' On In My Room - Specialty 541 (Credited to "Daddy Cleanhead") (vocal - Fred Higgins aka "Daddy Cleanhead"); January 1955



07. Candied Yam - Lucky 45-005; 1954

08. Kubeon - Combo 144; 1958

09. That Dubbonet Wine - Recorded In Hollywood 399 (vocal - Carl "Johnny" Green); 1954

10. Pachuko Hop - rerecording made for Starla LP "Art Laboe's Memories Of El Monte"; 1960

11. Let Me Come Back Home - Specialty 541 (credited to "Daddy Cleanhead") (vocal - Fred Higgins aka "Daddy Cleanhead"); January 1955

12. West Side - Combo 48; 1953

13. Chop Chop - R&B 1314; 1955

14. Rock - R&B 1314; 1955

15. Chuck A Buck - Aladdin 3215; December 1953

16. Beautiful Love - Money 214-45 (vocal - The Mello Moods aka The Mellotones); 1956

17. Double Dip - Loma 706; 1956

18. Baby Shoes - Combo 170; 1960

Buying Chuck Higgins on CD is relatively straightforward as Ace (UK) own the rights to his Combo and Dootone masters. Here's the gen -

Twenty five years ago Ace brought out a compilation of Chuck's Specialty sides. It's now out of print but still obtainable. The title refers to an unissued rerecording of "Pachuko Hop" which is included in the collection:


I've sung the praises of the legendary "Honk! Honk! Honk!" collection loud and long on the blog. It includes six Chuck sides, four from Combo and two from Dootone. And there's a whole mess of other honkin' goodies on the disc, including the original Combo release of "Pachuko Hop."  Just go and buy it. Rating: 20/10


Ace have also issued an excellent compilation of Dootone tracks featuring nine by Chuck, ten by Roy Milton, plus Helen Humes, Lorenzo Holden, Claude McLin and Joe Houston. The artwork and tracklist are based on a 1956 Dootone LP, "Rock 'n' Roll versus Rhythm and Blues" which featured six tracks apiece from Chuck and Roy Milton.


The go-to CD for Chuck Higgins is the Ace collection "Chuck Higgins Blows His Wig!" which has 24 Combo sides. There's no "Pachuko Hop", though. An excellent booklet by Tony Rounce is included.


Ace has also reissued the 1950s Combo LP "Pachucko Hop" on CD. Twelve tracks plus an eye-popping reproduction of the original LP sleeve which was swiftly withdrawn back in the tight-laced 1950s. Cover art below purely in the interests of historical research.


There's more Chuck coming soon - and I might even find an excuse to post that LP cover again.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Amos Milburn - Rare Masters (re-up)




































































Side A:
01. Let Me Go Home, Whiskey
02. Three Times A Fool
03. Boo Hoo
04. Empty Arms Blues
05. Operation Blues
06. Every Day Of The Week

Side B:
01. Put Something In My Hand
02. Darling How Long
03. What Can I Do
04. I Need Someone
05. I Love You Anyway
06. Baby, Baby All The Time

Download from here:

http://www78.zippyshare.com/v/VAFUg3mP/file.html

Original post (30th November 2010) is here:

http://bebopwinorip.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/amos-milburn-rare-masters.html

The original post contains a commentary on the 12 tracks on this LP. "Rare Masters" is one of five Amos Milburn LPs released by Pathe Marconi during the 1980s. At one time we had all five on the blog but while the posts remain, the download links have been dead since the demise of Rapidshare. At the request of "Marineband" I have re-upped "Rare Masters" and I will re-up the rest of the albums in the near future.

The re-up includes new cover and label scans, though the original scans are also included in the download. I have also added scans of the inserts which came in the record sleeve. That should spark off a few reminiscences among those of you who were buying the Pathe Marconi reissues back in the 1980s. The sound files are the same as in the 2010 download, although with a volume boost via mp3 Gain. I bought this LP second hand and there are a few clicks and pops along the way. Sorry about that.




Stay tuned for more Amos!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Little Walter - Chess Masters



























































































LP1 -
Side 1:
01. My Babe
02. Sad Hours
03. You're So Fine
04. Last Night
05. Blues With A Feeling
06. Can't Hold Out Much Longer

Side 2:
01. Juke
02. Mean Old World
03. Off The Wall
04. You Better Watch Yourself
05. Blue Lights
06. Tell Me Mama

Download LP1 from here:

http://www70.zippyshare.com/v/bph0s6Eu/file.html

LP2 -
Side 3:
01. Nobody But You
02. My Baby's Sweeter
03. Roller Coaster
04. As Long As I Have You
05. Oh Baby
06. Take Me Back
07. Everything's Going To Be Alright
08. Mellow Down Easy

Side 4:
01. Hate To See You Go
02. I Got To Find My Baby
03. Everybody Needs Somebody
04. Blue Midnight

Download LP2 from here:

http://www87.zippyshare.com/v/4ML6Lsk7/file.html

1981 Little Walter double album. UK issue on PRT (Precision Records and Tapes) It was one of an extensive series of "Chess Masters" double and single LPs released on PRT (a successor to Pye International) in the 1980s. There are no notes or track details so I'll try to fill in some details below.

The tracks:

LP1:
01. My Babe
02. Sad Hours
03. You're So Fine
04. Last Night
05. Blues With A Feeling
06. Can't Hold Out Much Longer
07. Juke
08. Mean Old World
09. Off The Wall
10. You Better Watch Yourself
11. Blue Lights
12. Tell Me Mama

LP2:
13. Nobody But You
14. My Baby's Sweeter
15. Roller Coaster
16. As Long As I Have You
17. Oh Baby
18. Take Me Back
19. Everything's Going To Be Alright
20. Mellow Down Easy
21. Hate To See You Go
22. I Got To Find My Baby
23. Everybody Needs Somebody
24. Blue Midnight

Note that track titles in italics are not present on this double album. Titles in italics with an asterisk (*) are on the "Confessin' The Blues" LP available elsewhere on this blog.

Tracks 6 and 7 - released on Checker 758, August 1952. Juke / Can't Hold On Much Longer by Little Walter and His Nite Cats. Recorded on May 12th 1952. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Muddy Waters and Jimmy Rogers (guitars), Elga Edmonds (drums).

Tracks 2 and 8 - released on Checker 764, November 1952. Mean Old World / Sad Hours by Little Walter and his Nite Caps. Recorded in October 1952. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Louis Myers and David Myers (guitars); Fred Below (drums).

Tracks 9 and 12 - released on Checker 770, April, 1953. Tell Me Mama / Off The Wall by Little Walter and his Jukes. Recorded on March 4th, 1953. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Louis Myers and David Myers (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Track 5 - released on Checker 780, September, 1953. Blues With A Feeling / Quarter To Twelve* by Little Walter and his Jukes. Recorded on July 23rd, 1953.  Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Jimmy Rogers (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Track 3 - released on Checker 786, December 1953. Lights Out* / You're So Fine by Little Walter and his Jukes. Recorded on July 23rd 1953. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Jimmy Rogers (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Track 17 - released on Checker 793, April 1954. Oh Baby / Rocker* by Little Walter and his Jukes. Recorded on February 22nd, 1954. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood (guitar); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Tracks 10 and 11 - released on Checker 799, August 1954. You'd Better Watch Yourself / Blue Light by Little Walter and his Jukes. Recorded on July 14th, 1954. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood and David Myers (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Tracks 4 and 20 - released on Checker 805, November 1954. Mellow Down Easy / Last Night by Little Walter and his Jukes. Recorded on October 5th, 1954. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Tucker (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Track 1 - released on Checker 811, February 1955. My Babe / Thunder Bird by Little Walter and his Jukes. Recorded on January 25th, 1955. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood and Leonard Caston (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Track 15 - released on Checker 817 in May 1955. Roller Coaster / I Got To Go* by Little Walter and His Jukes. Recorded on April 28th, 1955. Little Walter (harmonica); Bo Diddley and Luther Tucker (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Track 21 - released on Checker 825 in October 1955. I Hate To See You Go / Too Late by Little Walter and His Jukes. Recorded on August 12th, 1955. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Tucker (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Track 18 - released on Checker 852 in December 1956. It's Too Late Brother / Take Me Back by Little Walter. Recorded on July 27th 1956. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Tucker (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Tracks 13 and 23 - released on Checker 859 in March 1957. Nobody But You / Everybody Needs Somebody by Little Walter. Recorded on March 5th, 1957. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Tucker (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

Track 14 - released on Checker 919 in March 1959. My Baby Is Sweeter / Crazy Mixed Up World* by Little Walter. Recorded on February 25th, 1959. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Luther Tucker and Jimmy Lee Robinson (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); George Hunter (drums).

Track 19 - released on Checker 930 in July 1959. Everything Gonna Be Alright / Back Track by Little Walter. Recorded on July 21st, 1959.  Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Otis Spann (piano); Robert Jr. Lockwood and Luther Tucker (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Billy Stepney (drums).

Track 24 - released on Checker 955 in June 1960. My Babe / Blue Midnight by Little Walter. The A Side, "My Babe" is a remastered version of Checker 811 with added vocal chorus. "Blue Midnight" was recorded in October 1952. This was its first release. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Louis Myers and David Myers (guitars); Fred Below (drums).

Track 16 - released on Checker 968 in February 1961. I Don't Play / As Long As I Have You by Little Walter. Recorded in December 1960. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Otis Spann (piano); Luther Tucker and Fred Robinson (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); George Hunter (drums).

Track 22 - released on Checker 1013 in May 1962. Just You Fool / I Got To Find My Baby by Little Walter. Recorded on May 22nd 1954. Little Walter (vocal, harmonica); Otis Spann (piano); Robert Jr. Lockwood and David Myers (guitars); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below (drums).

In the downloads I have included versions of the LP cover surrounded by a white frame.



Elsewhere on the blog - "Confessin' The Blues" by Little Walter.


This LP contains five tracks which were on the reverse side of the original single releases of tracks on the "Chess Masters" 2LP set.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Illinois Jacquet - King Jacquet



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

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

Download from here:


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

They were released on the following singles:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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


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

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


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

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