Tuesday, December 22, 2009
A Few More Roots Gems
The last month and a half have been hectic and as a result, I have not been able to post as often as I did in previous months. In the coming months I plan to continue researching roots music and posting with a bit more frequency. As always, there is so much to work with and so little time to really do it justice.
This post offers a few real gems from different genres drawn from our vast repository of roots music. Some of these have been old favorites of mine for many years and others have come to my attention via youtube over the course of the last few months. As always, a couple of the artists here are likely to be projects for further research. Finally, thanks to all that have stopped by to check out what's happening. I appreciate all comments and hope this offering of roots classics elicits a few more.
Jazz: This early bop recording by Illinois Jacquet's band is a flawless example of the evolving bop style in 1947. Appropriately named "Embryo", it features a classic baritone solo by forgotten bari king Leo Parker. Also, Earl Hines offers the classic tune Rosseta by himself from 1939, showcasing his mastery of the stride style that actually goes a bit beyond. Superb. Finally, check out the magic of Lucky Thompson on Anthropology, a bop recording on video from 1959. Great piano work by Bud Powell and a very unique guitar solo by Jimmy Gourley.
R&B: Ivory Joe Hunter's classic 1950 recording of Old Man's Boogie is a hybrid piece, it combines elements of boogie, jump blues while setting oup the basis for rock n' roll. Also, Nappy Brown's very unique "There Come a Day" combines elements of Doo Wop, jump blues and early rock n' roll, on a 1955 recording. Great sax solo. Finally, the incomparable "Leave My Kitten Alone" by Little Willie John from 1959. Covered by the Beatles here in a 1964 recording that remained unreleased until 1995.
Rockabilly: Rusty York's 1957 cut Shake em Up Baby is my favorite York cut, probably influenced at some level by Roy Brown's Hip Shakin Baby.. Also, check out Tommy Blake's Flat Foot Sam shows Blake's talent as a rockabilly arranger, an overlooked talent for sure. His "Folding Money," recorded for Sun is also superb, wonderful guitar tone. Finally, blending nascent rock n' roll within a rockabilly framework is Jimmy Thomason's "Now Hear This," and his orchestra, simply a superb arrangement. Super guitar and sax solos from 1956. Finally, anytime I can find a way to work Grady Martin into the mix, well, check out Wayne Walkers' very unique "All I Can Do is Cry," with great work by Martin. Outstanding.
Western Swing: Hoyle Nix's Real Rockin Daddy is a classic Texas boogie arrangement. Excellent solos all the way around. Also, Curtis Gordon's Rock n' Roll Jump Jive demonstrates the fusion of boogie and western swing as they morph into rockabilly. Excellent cut.
Chicago Blues: Walkin by Myself by Jimmy Rogers from 1956 is an absolute classic of the crafted Chess sound, out of Chicago, mid fifties. Great vocals by Jimmy and an astonishing harp solo by Big Walter Horton. Also check out one of my all time favorites, Little Walter's "Last Night," an all time favorite that is unique among Walter's Chess recordings in that it lacks a harp solo. Louis Myers covers the space in perfect fashion.