Monday, 20 February 2012

Let's Love Again / The Mojo - Sax Mallard & Orch (Aristocrat 2001)







Recorded in Chicago in December 1947. Released in March 1948. Personnel: Sax Mallard (clarinet on "Let's Love Again" and alto sax on "The Mojo"); Jimmy Bowman (piano on "The Mojo" and vocal / piano on "Let's Love Again"). Other possible personnel according to the Red Saunders Foundation website: Bill Casimir (tenor sax); W.B "Sleepy" Nelson (drums); Johnny Morton (trumpet on "The Mojo").

This record on Aristocrat (the predecessor of Chess) came from Oett "Sax" Mallard's first session as a leader. He already had considerable musical experience, starting out with the big band led by his high school class mate Nat "King" Cole which toured with the "Shuffle Along" review in 1937 and ended up stranded in California. Nat opted to stay out on the Coast which proved to be a fortuitous career move, while Sax worked his way back to the Windy City.

Mallard's subsequent career included spells in the big bands of Duke Ellington and Floyd Campbell before becoming part of the early R&B scene in Chicago as part of the "Jump" Jackson band from 1946 onwards. Full discographical and biographical details are on that unrivalled repository of all things to do with Chicago R&B history, the Red Saunders Foundation website. The lengthy page devoted to Sax Mallard is here:

http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~campber/mallard.html

The history of the Aristocrat label is here:

http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~campber/aristocrat.html

"Let's Love Again" / "The Mojo" was released in March 1948 and sold well in Los Angeles but failed to make the local charts in Chicago or New York. The A Side is a pleasant ballad nicely interpreted by Jimmy Bowman. Unlike some ballad sides from this era it hasn't dated too badly, in my opinion. It has a certain coolness a la Nat "King" Cole. "The Mojo" is a piece of instrumental exotica with good "growl" trumpet and fine guitar work.

Once again we must pay tribute to El Enmascarado for his sterling work in reviving these sides from very worn shellac. The Masked One says: "Before cleaning I couldn't get the B side to play through at all. I especially like how at :10, Sax's guitar player slips and unintentionally hits the open E and B strings on his guitar. They kept it ..."

There you have it - musician, record collector, reviver of battered shellac and masked wrestler. A CV that yells defiance against this crazy corporatized world.

Friday, 10 February 2012

More Jumpin' and Jivin' on 78

I hope all you jumpin' jive fans out there have been following the links to the revised posts of El Enmascarado's 78 rpm discs. With the imminent demise of El Enmascarado's YouTube channel, I've been revamping the posts from last year which featured videos of the records spinning on a vintage Sparton consol.

Our mysterious masked wrestling amigo has been busy ripping mp3s from the shellac ten inchers and you will now find that these cuts on streamed audio have replaced the videos in the new versions of the posts. You may also find that the writing has occasionally been updated too. We here at Be Bop Wino believe in quality, not quantity, so we put in that extra bit of effort on each and every post.

Click on the links on this post and the previous post to experience R&B as it was back in the day!

As El Enmascarado says about the 78 rpm discs: "In 1948, if you liked this music, this is what you bought and listened to. You dressed like an actor in a Film Noir, with a sharp suit and a Frank Sinatra hat. You drank martinis, or maybe a Rock and Rye or a Manhattan, and popped the 78 onto your Sparton. Voila!"

Here are the remaining links to the updated posts:

Jealousy / The Sidewalks Of New York - Tiny Grimes
Let's Make Christmas Merry Baby / Bow Wow - Amos Milburn
Still Waters / Nite-Flite - Lloyd Glenn

 Well Oh Well / I Hate You - Tiny Bradshaw

Little Girl Don't Cry / Moosey - Bull Moose Jackson

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Jumpin' On 78

Well, there's gonna be a few changes around here I guess. First the good news. El Enmascarado has recently acquired yet another stash of jumpin' and jivin' and bluesin' and boozin' 78s. And that's not all - the Masked One has started using a new method to clean these precious but often very dirty and worn slabs of shellac with a resultant improvement in sound quality. You can get a taste of the hard work that goes into preparing these old discs for ripping by viewing SwingMan 1937's video on how to clean a 78. He's the guy who not only developed this method, he also has a fabulous YouTube channel. Click on this link to find out more.

Now speaking of YouTube, the Tubeseventyeight channel which furnished the videos which accompanied many of El Enmascarado's 78 rips will soon close down. This is because many of the uploaded videos were removed by YouTube. Things have surely got a bit out of hand when videos of a 65 year old record spinning on a turntable accompanied by a shellac rip are deemed to be affecting current music sales.

And speaking of things getting out of hand, all of you will already be aware of the bad news - megaupload links are dead. We now have to rely on the kindness of rapidshare. There have been a few messages recently about dead rapidshare links and I will replace them as and when I can. Keep an eye on the latest comments section in the sidebar for details of new links. I suspect that more fileshare services will bow to pressure and it will become impossible to offer vinyl downloads on this blog. It may even become impossible to post streaming audio, at which point the blog will probably cease to exist.

Let us end on a positive note. El Enmascarado is putting in a power of work, not only on his new shellac stash, but also on upgrading many of the rips which have already been posted on the blog. The posts which featured YouTube videos are being modified by the removal of these videos and the uploading of streaming audio of the new improved rips. I will maintain a list of links to the updated posts at the bottom of this post.

You can guess by the title that we're hoping to get together a series similar to the popular "Blues On 78" which we will call "Jumpin' On 78". It will feature a mix of upgraded versions of rips previously posted on the blog plus completely new material. El Enmascarado also hopes to send in upgraded blues tracks for a second volume of "Blues On 78." What with Joan's new series and my own efforts we hope that Be Bop Wino will keep swingin', jumpin', jivin', a-rockin' and a-rollin' and a-boppin' and a-strollin' through the months ahead.

Updated posts:

Lovers Lament / Miss Betty's Blues - Joe Liggins
Late Freight / Sonny's Return - Sonny Thompson
Blow Wynn Blow / J.W. Bop - Jim Wynn



























                                                  

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Big Fat Mama Mystery Disc



El Enmascarado has acquired another load of 78 rpm discs and among the shellac stash was this intriguing item.

According to The Masked One (currently recovering from his latest defeat at the hands of Manolito The Mighty Midget - height 3 feet 6 inches) many of the items he purchased came from a radio station. He thinks it may be possible that it was a test pressing dropped off by a promo man way back in the distant past. Who knows? There is no identification of the artist on the label and neither El Enmascarado nor myself knows who it might be. Can anyone out there help? One possible clue is that the disc was in a King label cover, but of course that might not mean anything.

One side is a cracking little version of "(I Want A) Big Fat Mama". This is a much recorded song and I've listened to versions by Lucky Millinder, Roy Milton, King Perry, Rozelle Gayle, Cousin Joe and Gene Phillips and it doesn't match any of them. El Enmascarado has also listened to the Millinder and Milton versions as well as one by Tommy Johnson and the mystery remains.

One other puzzle - why is the band chanting "Rigoletto, Rigoletto" at the beginning of the song?

The other side of the disc is a performance of "P.S. I Love You" - not the Beatles song but a ballad composed by Gordon Jenkins and Johnny Mercer. It was performed by Frank Sinatra on his "Close To You" LP.

So rhythm fans, can anyone solve the mystery? Who is performing on this record? Listen here: