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mardi 17 janvier 2017

TEDDY REYNOLDS, 1950-69

TEDDY REYNOLDS, 1950-69

           
Un des meilleurs pianistes de blues texan de l'après-guerre, Teddy Reynolds est né à Houston le 12 juillet 1931 d'une famille musicale (son père Theodore jouait du piano dans les clubs du quartier du Third Ward de Houston) et élevé par sa grand mère Hallie Robinson, elle-même une pianiste qui lui a appris son instrument.
            Dès l'adolescence, Teddy peut ainsi se produire dans certains clubs du 3d Ward peu regardants sur l'âge réel du pianiste, tel le Jeff's Playhouse dont il devient membre de l'orchestre maison où passeront Johnny Copeland, Albert Collins, Joe Medwick ou Henry Hayes. Il accompagne aussi nombre de grands noms en tournée...
            C'est grâce à Henry Hayes que Reynolds fait ses débuts discographiques pour Sittin' In With en 1950 en tant que chanteur de l'orchestre de Ed Wiley (And his After Hours Band). Cette première séance engendre un succès régional avec Cry, cry, cry, ce qui pousse le label à éditer d'autres morceaux de ces séances mais cette fois sous le nom de Teddy "Cry Cry" Reynolds! Les années suivantes, Teddy fait partie de plusieurs orchestres, tourne dans tous les Etats du Sud Ouest et participe en tant que pianiste et organiste à de nombreuses séances, particulièrement pour le label Duke/ Peacock à Houston derrière Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Texas Johnny Brown, Johnny Copeland.... Mais il doit attendre 1958 pour graver de nouveaux titres sous son nom, obtenant un nouveau succès avec le classique Puppy dogs.
            Au début des années 1960, Reynolds s'installe à Los Angeles, joue dans des clubs californiens et enregistre sous son nom (pour les frères Bihari), même un album entier de blues "Twists" (sic) ou en tant que musicien de studio.

            Mais avec l'avènement du Disco, les engagements se font rares. Teddy retourne à Houston, doit travailler dans le bâtiment et l'industrie pétrolière avant d'être redécouvert par Hammond Scott et à nouveau enregistré avec les Texas Upsetters du saxophoniste Grady Gaines. Il décède à Houston le 1er octobre 1998.
            Malgré tous les efforts, nous n'avons pu rassembler la totalité des titres enregistrés par Teddy Reynolds entre 1950 et 1969. Merci à tous ceux qui pourront compléter cette discographie. Et merci à Jose Yrrabera et Johnny Lee Ramirez pour leur aide.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            One of the best post-war Texan pianists, Teddy Reynolds was born in Houston on 12th July 1931 from a musical family: his father (also named Theodore) was a noted pianist in the Third Ward's clubs and his pianist grandmother Hallie Robinson who really raised him taught him well this instrument.
            Still a teenager (and despite his young age), Teddy starts to play in Houston's clubs and get a regular job as the piano man in Jeff's Playhouse house band where he meets and befriends Johnny Copeland, Albert Collins, Joe Medwick or Henry Hayes.
            Thanks to Hayes, Teddy makes his recording debut as the singer of the Ed Wiley's After Hours Band for the Sittin' In With label, waxing a regional hit with Cry, cry, cry. Other tracks from those sessions are thus issued, this time under Teddy "Cry Cry" Reynolds name! The following years, Teddy is constantly in demand as a studio man for several labels, particularly Don Robey's Duke/Peacock, recording behind a lot of blues and R&B acts (Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Texas Johnny Brown...)... But he has to wait 1958 to record under his name, Puppy dogs, another local hit.
            During the early 60's, Reynolds moves to Los Angeles where he also plays in local clubs and records behind a lot of artists for several West Coast label like those of the Bihari Brothers. He records also under his name, even a whole Crown album in which his blues are recycled as "Twists" to cope with the then current trend.
            But with the beginning of the Disco craze, the 1970's are lean years for many bluesmen and Teddy has to come back to Houston to make a living working on the oil and construction industries. Happily, the late 1980's blues boom brings him to the attention of producer Hammond Scott who brings him in the studio again for several sessions with the new reformed Grady Gaines' Texas Upsetters.
            Teddy Reynolds dies in Houston on 1st October 1998.
            Despite our efforts, we have not been able to gather all the titles recorded under his name by this great pianist between 1950-69. Thank you by advance to all of those who would like to complete this collection. And a lot of thanks to Jose Yrrabera and Johnny Lee Ramirez for their already great help.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

TEDDY REYNOLDS/ 1950-69
Teddy Reynolds, vcl; Willie Johnson, pno; Henry Hayes, a-sax; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. janvier 1950
01. Cry cry baby
Teddy Reynolds, vcl/pno; tpt; Henry Hayes, a-sax; Ed Wiley, t-sax; g; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. 1950
02. Walkin' the floor baby
03. Why baby why
04. Summer's on its way
05. Right will always win
06. You put a voodoo spell on me
07. My heart's full of misery
08. Helpless for your loving
09. Suicide blues
Strange mysterious woman
Waitin at the station
Too late to make a change
Teddy Reynolds, vcl/pno; Harold Bennett, t-sax; L.A. Hill, t-sax; Johnny Copeland, g; Oscar Adams, bs; Johnny Prejean, dms. Houston, Tx. 26 mars 1958
10. Puppy dogs
11. Sad and blue
Teddy Reynolds, vcl/pno; Phillip Walker, g; The Twisters, band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1961
12. She's only twist for me
13. Twist all night
14. Twist with me baby
15. I want to twist with my baby
16. I'll do the twist
17. You changed me
18. Eyes on you
19. Louise
20. I thought the war was over I & II
21. Do you wanna twist?
Teddy Reynolds, vcl/pno; Johnny Success' band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1962
22. Rockin' with you baby
If I could live my life over
Teddy Reynolds, vcl/pno; LaLa Wilson, bs; band. Los Angeles, Ca. novembre 1963
I'm a devil
My life all over
Teddy Reynolds, vcl/pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1966
23. Drop that gun
Love you like I always do
Teddy Reynolds, vcl/pno; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1969
24. Ain't that soul

Three or Four puppies

vendredi 23 décembre 2016

NEW YORK CITY BLUES YESTERDAY/ Volume 6

NEW YORK CITY BLUES YESTERDAY/ Volume 6

           
Terminons donc l'année 2016 avec un sixième volume consacré au blues (et R&B) de New York... hier bien sûr.
            Robert Lee "Bobby" Parker né à Lafayette en Louisiane le 31 août 1937 a commencé sa carrière de guitariste dès les années 1950 à Los Angeles puis New York auprès de Blues get off my shoulder en 1958) et obtient un petit "hit" en 1961 avec Watch your step qui connaîtra le succès planétaire via les versions de Spencer Davis Group, Jefferson Airplane, Adam Faith ou Santana! Le remarquable riff de guitare de Watch your step sera d'ailleurs repris presque note pour note par les Beatles et par Led Zeppelin! Malgré une tournée en Grande Bretagne (et un single gravé pour Blue Horizon), les années 1970-80 sont très difficiles pour Parker qui s'installe à Washington DC et joue exclusivement dans les petits clubs de la capitale fédérale. Mais sa "redécouverte" en 1992 lui permet d'enregistrer deux excellents albums pour Black Top (Bent out of shape et Shine me up). Il décède le 31 octobre 2013 à Washington.
différents groupes de R&B comme Otis Williams & Charms et le saxophoniste Paul Williams avec lequel il enregistre ses premiers titres en 1956. Son jeu de guitare très percutant lui procure de nombreux engagements et tournées avec les plus grands noms de la musique noire. Il enregistre régulièrement (un superbe blues
            Cornelius 'Pinocchio" James (né à Atlanta, Ga. 20 avril 1916) est un blues shouter qui a surtout enregistré avec l'orchestre de Lionel Hampton dont il était d'ailleurs le chanteur (cf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D_s3tDCyS0) de 1957 à 1965. Elève de la Cosmopolitan School Music de Cincinnati, James devient le chanteur du groupe du pianiste Todd Rhodes, enregistrant avec lui dès 1951 avant donc d'être embauché par Hampton et de tourner avec son orchestre dans le monde entier. La carrière de Pinocchio James semble s'être arrêtée après qu'il eût quitté Hampton et on ne sait pas ce qu'il a fait durant les décennies suivantes. Il décède le 22 novembre 1995 à Atlanta.
            Enfin, le très dynamique duo Kenny & Moe désigne les chanteurs/ guitaristes Kenny Ballard et Moses Penham qui ont enregistré en 1956-57 dix titres qui, ancrés visiblement dans le blues de la Côte Est, font plus que flirter avec le Rock'n'roll de l'époque. Malgré mes efforts de recherche, je ne sais pas grand' chose sur ces deux artistes ni même - comme il est ici et là affirmé - si le Kenny Ballard de Kenny & Moe est le même Kenny Ballard qui enregistrera une poignée de 45t Soul dans les années 60.
            Allez, bonne écoute et joyeux Noël et bonne année 2017 à tous!
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            Let's finish 2016 with a sixth New York City Blues (Yesterday of course) volume!
            Robert Lee "Bobby" Parker, born in Lafayette, La; 31 August 1937 has started his musical career as a guitar player as soon as the early 50's, first in the Los Angeles area with several R&B groups (Otis Williams & Charms) then in New York City with the band of saxophonist Paul Williams with whom he will record his first tracks in 1956. With his very special, brilliant and forceful guitar playing, Bobby Parker is much on demand during the following years, touring with great R&B acts of the day and recording regularly (a superb Blues get off my shoulder in 1958) and having a modest R&B hit in 1961 with Watch your step whose inevitable guitar riff will be recorded by Spencer Davis Group, Jefferson Airplane, Adam Faith or Santana! The riff will also be used and reused by The Beatles and Led Zeppelin without a lot of recognition and rewarding for Parker. Despite a short tour of England (and a last single for the Blue Horizon label), the following decades are lean years for Parker who, relocating in Washington DC, would play only in local venues. At last, "rediscovered" in 1992, Parker has then recorded two excellent blues albums for the Black Top label (Bent out of shape et Shine me up). He dies on 31 October 2013 in Washington.

            Cornelius 'Pinocchio" James (born in Atlanta, Ga. 20 April 1916) is a blues shouter who has mostly recorded with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra with whom he was the lead singer (cf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D_s3tDCyS0) between 1957-65. A student at the Cosmopolitan School Music of Cincinnati, James begins to record with the pianist Todd Rhodes' band in 1951 before joining Hampton and to tour relentlessly worldwide. The musical career of Pinocchio seems to have stopped after he left Hampton and one doesn't know what he did the following decades. According to Blues/ a regional Experience, Cornelius James died on 22 November 1995 in Atlanta.

            The very dynamic duo Kenny & Moe is composed by two singers/ guitarists Kenny Ballard and Moses Penham. They recorded ten tracks in 1956-57 that, while evidently rooted in the East Coast blues style, are also quite close to the Rock'n'Roll of the era. Despite my researches, I've not been able to gather much about Kenny & Moe and I'm not even sure than - despite it is said here and there - the Kenny Ballard of Kenny & Moe is the same than the Soul singer of the same name who recorded a handful of 45s during the 1960's.
            Anyway, enjoy those tracks and Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to all of you!
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

NEW YORK CITY BLUES YESTERDAY/ Volume 6
BOBBY PARKER, vcl/g; Paul Wiliams, a-sax; band. New York City, 1 août 1956
01. Titanic
02. Suggie duggie boogie baby
03. Once upon a time
Bobby Parker, vcl/g; Paul Williams, b-sax; Oscar Dennis, t-sax; Earl Williams, pno; Gene Redd, vib; Skeeter Best, g; Ted Sturges, bs; Harry Lewis, dms. Chicago, Ill. 3 septembre 1957
04. You got what it takes
05. Blues get off my shoulder
Bobby Parker, vcl/g; Paul Williams, b-sax; horns; Skeeter Best, g; band. Chicago, Ill. 1959
06. Foolish love
07. Stop by my house
Bobby Parker, vcl/g; Buddy Sanchez, tpt; Maurice Robertson, a-sax; Bill Clark, t-sax; bs; TNT Tribble, dms. Washington DC, 1961
08. Steal your heart away
09. Watch your step
Bobby Parker, vcl/g; band. Washington DC, octobre 1963
10. It's too late darling
11. Get it right
Bobby Parker, vcl/g; band. New York City, décembre 1963
12. Do the monkey
13. Gimme a little loving
Bobby Parker, vcl/g; band. New York City, 1964
14. Don't drive me away
15. Keep away from my heart
Bobby Parker, vcl/g; band. Washington DC, 1966
16. I won't believe it till I see it
Bobby Parker, vcl/g; band. Londres, GB. 15 décembre 1968
17. It's hard but it's fair
Couldn't quit my baby
PINOCCHIO JAMES, vcl; Ray Felder, t-sax; Herman Smith, pno; Boots Nelson, g; Edwyn Conley, bs; Dutch Baker, dms. New York City, 23 octobre 1951
18. Camp meeting
Pinocchio James, vcl; Todd Rhodes, pno; Charlie Hooks, tpt; Hallie Dismukes, a-sax; Louie Stephens, t-sax; Robert Fort, b-sax; Joe Williams, bs; George DeHart, dms. Cincinnati, Oh. 20 juin 1953
19. Your mouth got a hole in it
Pinocchio James, vcl; Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra. Stuttgart, All. 5 janvier 1958
20. New Orleans woman
21. Rock'n'roll Rockin' chair
Pinocchio James, vcl; Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra. New York City, 13 avril 1959
22. Kidney stew
Pinocchio James, vcl; Ram Ramirez, og; Kenny Burrell, g; Milt Hinton, bs; Osie Johnson, dms. New York City, 1959
23. Weak and broken hearted
24. Mama don't love me no more
Pinocchio James, vcl; Lionel Hampton, vb; band. New York City, 1962
25. Everybody loves my baby
26. Hamp's Twist
Pinocchio James, vcl; Lionel Hampton, vb; band. New York City, 1964
27. Sneaking around
28. I'm still in love with you
KENNY BALLARD, vcl/g; MOSES PENHAM, vcl/g; (as Kenny & Moe); band. New York City, 26 octobre 1956
29. Can't help myself
You're gonna miss me when I'm gone
Kenny Ballard, vcl/g; Moses Penham, vcl/g; band. New York City, 19 février 1957
30. I want to love you
31. I'm all alone
Big Joe
I sing this song
Kenny & Moe, vcls/gs; band. New York City, 29 mai 1957
32. So long I'm gone
33. Yes I will
There's something about you
Double talk baby

CHARLES WALKER/ Complete Recordings
Nouveau lien/ New link

mercredi 7 décembre 2016

BLUES GUITAR MASTERS/ Vol. 3: LEFTY BATES

BLUES GUITAR MASTERS: LEFTY BATES

           
Bien qu'il soit fort connu des amateurs de blues pour ses quelques instrumentaux légendaires et surtout pour son accompagnement solide comme le roc, précis et approprié derrière John Lee Hooker ou Jimmy Reed, William "Lefty" Bates n'est certainement pas un guitariste limité au blues et il a bien davantage joué et enregistré avec des groupes et dans des genres comme le R&B, le Doo-Woop ou le Jazz que dans le blues proprement dit.
            Williams Bates est né le 9 mars 1920 à Leighton (Alabama) mais a été élevé à Saint Louis où ses parents se sont installés alors qu'il était tout jeune. Mordu de jazz, Bates suit des cours de musique au Lycée, se spécialise à la clarinette, au piano et surtout à la guitare et forme, encore adolescent, les Hi-De-Ho-Boys, un orchestre de jazz avec le chanteur guitariste Tommy Powell. Le succès du groupe est tel qu'ils vont jouer à Chicago et sollicitent une audition chez Decca qui les enregistre dès l'automne 1936. Lefty (ainsi nommé bien sûr parce qu'il est gaucher) décide de s'installer à Chicago où les opportunités sont nombreuses pour un musicien aguerri.

            Après plusieurs séances en 1947 avec les Aristo-Kats ou Dick Davis et un service militaire de 2 ans, Bates va s'imposer à Chicago comme un des incontournables guitaristes de studio, capable de rapidement maîtriser n'importe quels arrangements, de s'adapter à tous les styles et à suivre à la croche près les leaders les plus indisciplinés. Il est un membre régulier de l'orchestre du producteur Al Smith qui, dès le début des années 1950, est une personnalité influente auprès de quantité de studios et de labels. Bates est en constante demande, contribuant à la réussite de la plupart des séances auxquelles il participe (Tampa Red, Big Bertha Henderson, Red Holloway, The Hornets, The Flamingos, The El Dorados, The Moroccos, The Impressions, Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, Pee Wee Crayton.....). Il est en fait un des musiciens incontournables des séances Vee Jay durant les années 1950.
           
Comme il vit très bien de son métier de musicien de studio et de ses engagements en clubs chics (avec son épouse, la danseuse Mary Cole) et avec son trio inspiré de Nat King Cole (Quinn Wilson à la basse et Horace Palm au piano et au chant), Bates remise quelque peu son ambition de graver des disques sous son nom, ce qu'il ne fera hélas que sporadiquement et surtout après 1955, avec son Lefty Bates' Orchestra.
            Avec les années 1970 et les changements dans les studios de Chicago, Bates a de moins en moins d'engagements et il s'occupera de l'organisation et du management de la nouvelle version des Ink Spots. Atteint de la maladie d'Alzheimer, Lefty passe les dernières années de sa vie dans une maison spécialisée. Il décède le 7 avril 2007. William "Lefty" Bates ne doit pas être confondu (ce que l'on fait trop souvent) avec Leroy Clyde Bates (1924-91), lui aussi guitariste gaucher et bassiste qui a aussi enregistré pour Vee Jay et Chess!
            Cette sélection regroupe tous les titres gravés par Lefty Bates sous son nom plus une sélection de morceaux gravés derrière divers artistes mais sous l'appellation Lefty Bates & His Orchestra plus quelques autres (Arbee Stidham, The Aristo-Kats) parmi les centaines de titres auxquels ce grand guitariste a participé.
            Une fois de plus, un grand merci à Steve Wisner, Jose Yrraberra pour leur aide ainsi que Dan Kochakian et ses associés qui ont publié un très bel article sur Lefty Bates avec une discographie complète dans Blues & Rhythm n°s 183/184.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


            Although he is mostly known among blues buffs for his few guitar-led instrumentals records and moreover for his no-nonsense, sharp and accurate backing of very hard to follow bluesmen like John Lee Hooker or Jimmy Reed, Lefty Bates isn't a musician limited to the blues. He has much more recorded behind jazz, R&B, Doo-Wop groups and acts.
            William Bates was born on 9th March 1920 at Leighton (Al) but grew up in Saint Louis where his parents settled when he was still very young. A jazz fan since childhood, Bates followed musical courses while in High School, learning clarinet, piano, string bass and particularly the guitar he played left-handed. With his schoolmate, singer guitarist Tommy Powell, he formed still a teenager The Hi-De-Ho-Boys, a jazz ensemble which was soon very much in demand all around Saint Louis. They went to Chicago, auditioned for Decca and recorded four songs on Fall 1936! Lefty found Chicago a town with much more opportunities for a trained musician and went to live there during the war. After several recording sessions with The Aristo-Kats or Dick Davis (featuring a very young Sonny Thompson) in 1947 and a two year army stint, Bates came back to Chicago. He quickly established himself as a key guitar player for the numerous independent labels and studios that had flourished in Chicago during the early post war years. Lefty was known to be able to quickly master any kind of melody, arrangements, whatever the genre and to follow at the eighth note any leader, even the most erratic! During the 1950's Lefty was a steady member of the Al Smith Orchestra, Al being more and more a strong influence for many studios and labels, particularly Vee Jay. So, Bates contributed to the success of many recordings (Tampa Red, Big Bertha Henderson, Red Holloway, The Hornets, The Flamingos, The El Dorados, The Moroccos, The Impressions, Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, Pee Wee Crayton.....).
            As he made a good living with his studio works and his many gigs on night clubs with his Trio (Quinn Wilson on bass and Horace Palm, singing and playing the keys) and behind his wife Mary Cole, a noted club dancer, Lefty unfortunately didn't record much under his own name and mostly after 1955 with his Lefty Bates' Orchestra.
            With the changes occurring in the musical world during the 1970's, Lefty mostly worked as
Leroy Clyde Bates
a manager of the new Ink Spots. Suffering from the Alzheimer Disease, Bates spent the last years of his life in a specialized nursing home where he died on 7 April 2007. William "Lefty" Bates must not be confused with Leroy Clyde Bates (also sometimes nicknamed Lefty!) (1924-91), a guitarist and bassist who also recorded for Vee Jay and Chess!

            This homemade compilation gathers all the tracks Lefty recorded under his name with a selection of different kind of groups and singers with whom he recorded during the twenty more years of his prolific career.
            Once again, thanks a lot to Steve Wisner and Jose Yrraberra for their great and generous help. As well as Dan Kochakian (and his partners) who published a great article and complete session discography of Lefty on the Blues &Rhythm Magazine n°s 183/184.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

MASTERS OF BLUES GUITAR Vol. 3 LEFTY BATES
The Aristo-Kats: Orlando Randolph, vcl/tpt; Julius Wright, pno; Lefty Bates, g; Quinn Wilson, bs; dms. Chicago, Ill. 19 juin 1946
01. Watch yourself baby
The Aristo-Kats: Orlando Randolph, vcl/tpt; Julius Wright, pno; Lefty Bates, g; Quinn Wilson, bs; dms. Chicago, Ill. 1 février 1947
02. Jack you're dead
Lefty Bates, g; The Kingsmen, vcls; band. Chicago, Ill. décembre 1955
03. Don't say you're sorry
04. Kickin' with my stallion
Lefty Bates, g; Honey Brown, vcl; Red Holloway, t-sax; Mc Kinley Easton, b-sax; pno; Quinn Wilson, bs; Al Duncan, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1956
05. No good daddy
06. Ain't no need
Lefty Bates, g; Horace Palm, vcl; band. Chicago, Ill. 26 février 1957
07. Chicago Cha Cha
08. Somebody Will Understand
Lefty Bates, g; Arbee Stidham, vcl; Earl Hooker, g; Red Holloway, t-sax; Hardold Ashby, t-sax; Horace Palm, pno; Quinn Wilson, bs; Al Duncan, dms. Chicago, Ill. 12 juillet 1957
09. Look Me Straight In The Eye
10. I Stayed Away Too Long I
11. I stayed away too long II
Lefty Bates, g; The Palms, vcls; band. Chicago, Ill. 1957
12. Edna
13. Teardrops
Lefty Bates, g; Cliff Davis, t-sax; Floyd Morris, pno; Quinn Wilson, bs; Al Duncan, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1958
14. Am I Blue
15. Back Ground
Lefty Bates, g; The Chargers, band; Cliff Davis, t-sax; Floyd Morris, pno; Quinn Wilson, bs; Al Duncan, dms. Chicago, Ill. 1958
16. Miss Letha Jones
17. The large charge
Lefty Bates, g; Horace Palm, vcl; Cliff Davis, t-sax; McKinley Easton, b-sax; Quinn Wilson, bs; Al Duncan, dms. Chicago, Ill. octobre 1959
18. Rock Alley
19. Ninety Days
20. Ena
21. Why Can’t You Love Me
Lefty Bates, g; Cliff Davis, t-sax; Quinn Wilson, bs; Al Duncan, dms; The Sequins, vcls. Chicago, Ill. novembre 1959
22. Say whoa



lundi 28 novembre 2016

THE CATFISH BLUES SAGA


THE CATFISH BLUES SAGA

This volume gathers for the first time together the two parts of this world acclaimed "blues novel" about the career of Theodore Roosevelt Young who, from the Mississippi cototon fields to Beale Street in Memphis and then the Chicago ghetto will become the new King of the blues


CATFISH BLUES

The youth and the genesis of a great bluesman… and of one of the most famous titles in the history of blues:
Catfish blues or Rolling Stone that will give its name to the band of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards!
Mississippi, Years 1930ies. Theodore Roosevelt Young, a young Black raised by his mother, has only one role-model: his uncle Eddie, this “bad Negro” who has chosen the traveling life of a bluesman.  Against all odds, from Delta to Memphis and at the junction of Lyon, Ms., Theodore will walk in the footsteps of his uncle Eddie, following his dream and becoming Catfish the bluesman.  And this after a passionate path, painful and made of encounters vivid in color. 

Gérard HERZHAFT who knew a number of great bluesmen and Muddy Waters in particular, describes with feeling and accuracy of tone the world of Black Mississippi of the 1930ies, the world of blues.  Re-issued several times, Grand Prix High School of Ile de France, adapted into a cartoon, this novel considered as one of the “great novels on blues”, is finally available in paperback and in a new english translation.

IN CHICAGO, A HARMONICA SOBS THE BLUES

          The young Amos, who has nothing but a vague memory of his natal Mississippi, lives in Chicago with his alcoholic father since the death of his mother, shortly after their arrival to the North.  Amos sells newspapers by shouting out, but dreams of becoming a great harmonica player like Slender Bill, the aging king of Chicago blues in the years 1947-48.  Thanks to cousin Steve who knows all sorts of traffic in the ghetto, Amos has the opportunity to penetrate into the world of the Chicago blues.  He encounters Catfish, a musician who begins to be known, and he also succeeds in softening Slender Bill and his wife who take him under their protective wing.   
          But the paths to glory are tortuous: Slender Bill who no longer has favor with anyone except with the aged female listeners, is a good professor but is he the future of Amos?  When the brothers Silverberg, who moved from one ghetto to another by emigrating from Central Europe to America, decide to launch a new and very ambitious blues label, they choose to promote Catfish who, precisely, is looking for a young harmonica player. 

"In Chicago, a harmonica sobs the blues" is partly a follow up to  "Catfish blues".  It is not just another novel on the blues.  Gérard Herzhaft describes the characters, the dialogues, the situations of the Chicago blues such as it were with the blue words that have the color, the flavor and the consistency of the blue notes.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON/

USA:

United Kingdom:

France:

Spain:

Deutschland:

Italia:



vendredi 18 novembre 2016

TEXAS BLUES/ Volume 3

TEXAS BLUES/ Volume 3

         
Ce nouveau volume de blues et R&B venant du Texas met l'accent sur quatre artistes mal connus.
            Louis Howard, un chanteur et probablement guitariste, a joué avec ses orchestres les Charms, les Red Hearts et d'autres dans l'agglomération de Dallas-Fort Worth pendant une décennie durant les années 50 et 60, se produisant dans les clubs ou bien ouvrant les spectacles de vedettes noires en tournée texane. Son premier disque donne de beaux blues où brille la guitare de Cornell Dupree. Après un disque en duo avec un certain Arthur Noiel, Howard s'est davantage tourné vers la Soul et son dernier disque a été enregistré à Miami avec le groupe les Rocketeers de Frank Williams.
            Encore plus obscur, le chanteur Charles Maxfield n'a enregistré qu'une séance en janvier 1954 à Houston en compagnie de l'orchestre du saxophoniste Leo Baxter.
            Le guitariste et chanteur Perry Cain (né le 22 février 1925 à Waverly, Tx) a été très actif sur la scène de Houston dans les années 1940-50, enregistrant une excellente petite œuvre dans laquelle brille le pianiste Buster Pickens. Durant la décennie suivante, Perry a surtout été DJ de la station de radio KCOH à Houston. Il est décédé le 24 avril 1975 à Houston, Tx.
            Enfin, Tee Bee Fisher est en fait le pseudonyme du guitariste et chanteur Cajun Joey Long (Joseph Longoria) né à Zwolle (La) le 17 décembre 1932. Long a joué à La Nouvelle Orléans avec quantité d'orchestres avant de s'installer à Houston, enregistrant notamment avec Clarence Frogman Henry, Ivory Joe Hunter, Doug Sahm, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Walter Price et T-Bone Walker ainsi qu'une oeuvre plus tournée vers le Rock sous son nom ainsi que des séances de blues en tant que Tee Bee Fisher. Long est mort le 22 mars 1995 à Houston. Johnny Winter comme Billy Gibbons ont reconnu son influence.
            Merci à Sir Shambling et Bob Eagle (Blues/ A regional experience) pour les renseignements sur Louis Howard et Perry Cain.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            This new opus of Texas blues and R&B puts the focus on three ill-known blues artists and one better known but recording here under a long time mysterious nickname.
            Louis Howard, a singer and probably guitarist, has been active during a decade (c. 1956-66) on the Dallas-Fort Worth area with several bands he led, namely The Charms or The Red Hearts. He played in the local clubs and opened for big touring acts. His first 45 gives two strong blues with nice guitar solos and fills by Cornell Dupree. After a record in duo with a certain Arthur Noiel, Howard made two more singles in a more Soul vein, the last being recorded in Miami with Fred Williams' Rocketeers.
            Even more obscure is singer Charles Maxfield who recorded a sole session in Houston in January 1954 backed by saxophonist Leo Baxter's band.
            Guitarist and singer Perry Cain (born 22nd February 1925 at Waverly, Tx) was very active in the Houston blues scene during the late 1940's and 1950's, recording a number of singles in which pianist Buster Pickens shines throughout. During the 1960's, Perry was a noted DJ at KCOH's Houston. He died 24 April 1975 at his Houston's home.
            Tee Bee Fisher is none other that Louisiana singer/guitarist Joey Long (Joseph Longoria, born at Zwolle, La. on 17 December 1932. Long acquired quickly a strong reputation as a guitarist and he played in New Orleans and then Houston with numerous bands, recording behind Clarence Frogman Henry, Ivory Joe Hunter, Lightnin' Hopkins, Doug Sahm, Big Walter Price, T-Bone Walker.... He also recorded under his own name on a more rock oriented genre and his influence on Johnny Winter and Billy Gibbons was very strong. Joey died in Houston on 22 March 1995.
            Thanks to Sir Shambling and Bob Eagle (Blues/ A regional experience) for the infos about Louis Howard and Perry Cain.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

TEXAS BLUES/ Volume 3
CHARLES MAXFIELD, vcl/g; Leo Baxter, t-sax/vcls; band. Houston, Tx. 20 janvier 1954
01. Don't do me wrong
02. Somebody's got to go
03. The two timer
04. The world is turning over
TEE BEE FISHER (Joey Long), vcl/g; band. Houston, Tx. 1963
05. Don't worry about me
06. Don't change my mind
Tee Bee Fisher, vcl/g; band. Houston, Tx. 1966
07. Sweet little angel
08. Five long years
09. If you see my baby (as Wee Willie Smith)
LOUIS HOWARD, vcl/g; saxes; Cornell Dupree, g; Chuck Rainey, bs; dms. Dallas, Tx. 1963
10. You're too much
11. I've got the feeling
Louis Howard, vcl/g; band. Fort Worth, Tx. 1965-66
12. Do as you please
13. Comin' home
Louis Howard, vcl/g; The Rocketeers, band. Miami, Fl. 1966
14. I'm a happy man
15. Please forgive me
PERRY CAIN, vcl; Buster Pickens, pno; Skippy Brown, bs. Houston, Tx. 13 janvier 1948
16. All the way from Texas
Cry cry cry
Perry Cain, vcl; Nathaniel Haskins, t-sax; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Buster Pickens, pno; Skippy Brown, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. décembre 1948
17. Big timing Grandma
18. My heart belongs to you
Perry Cain, vcl; Bill Hayes, a-sax; Buster Pickens, pno; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. 1950
19. I want to cry
20. My baby loves me so
21. Reckless
22. I'm just another fool (Goree Carter, vcl/g)
23. Hurry home baby

Found a new love

lundi 31 octobre 2016

MASTERS OF BLUES GUITAR Vol. 2: RENE HALL




BLUES GUITAR MASTERS Vol. 2: RENE HALL

            Comme beaucoup de guitaristes de studio, Rene Hall n'a que assez peu enregistré sous son nom mais sa guitare swinguante, précise, fluide et inventive ainsi que ses arrangements ont largement contribué à la réussite de très nombreuses séances de blues, R&B, jazz ou Rock.
            Né à la Nouvelle Orléans le 26 septembre 1912, Rene Hall a appris dès l'enfance à lire et écrire la musique tout en pratiquant le banjo, le trombone et la guitare. Il fait ses premières armes de musicien sur les bateaux à roues à aube qui sillonnent le bas Mississippi. Il fait partie des orchestres de Papa Celestin et Joseph Robicheaux, enregistrant avec ce dernier 22 morceaux en août 1933! Hall, désormais musicien réputé, est le guitariste et tromboniste de l'orchestre de Ernie Fields puis remplace Floyd Smith à la guitare auprès du big band de James Jeter & Hayes Pillars, avant d'être embauché à New York par Earl Hines et d'enregistrer avec lui en 1946-47.
            A New York, Rene Hall participe à l'orchestre maison de l'Apollo Theater, accompagne Roy Milton, Louis Jordan, Billy Ward sur scène et en studio. Il crée enfin son propre sextette qui comprend des jazzmen aussi renommés que Reginald Jones, Buddy Tate et Bobby Donaldson avec lequel il enregistre ses premiers titres en vedette en 1950. Mais le formidable succès des trios à la Nat King Cole pousse Hall à former son propre Rene Hall Trio avec le guitariste et chanteur Courtland Carter et le contrebassiste Ted Sinclair, enregistrant dans cette formule pour Decca, RCA et Regent avec parfois l'adjonction d'un pianiste et d'un batteur.
            Mais les choses ne sont pas toujours faciles à New York pour un musicien de jazz. Et Rene Hall est le plus souvent à Las Vegas en tant que guitariste des Dominoes. Lassé de ce travail répétitif, en 1955, Rene Hall gagne Los Angeles où on a besoin d'arrangeurs et de musiciens "professionnels". Après sa rencontre avec Art Rupe, Rene Hall signe de solides contrats avec plusieurs labels comme Combo, Specialty, Del Fi et se consacre désormais essentiellement au travail de studio. S'entourant de certains des meilleurs musiciens de la Côte Ouest (Earl Palmer, Roy Montrell, Plas Johnson), Hall joue et arrange d'innombrables séances californiennes, en R&B et de plus en plus en Rock'n'Roll où ses solos de guitare derrière Don & Dewey, Little Richard, Bumps Blackwell, Larry Williams ou Ritchie Valens (son solo de guitare de La Bamba est certainement son plus célèbre) deviendront des modèles pour des centaines de guitaristes qui les reprendront souvent note pour note! Parallèlement, Rene enregistre aussi quelques titres sous son nom dont nous avons ici regroupé une grande partie. Durant les années 1960, Rene Hall accompagne et dirige l'orchestre de Sam Cooke qu'il avait contribué à découvrir et enregistrer pour Specialty.
           
Rene Hall a en fait continué à produire, arranger des séances, notamment pour Marvin Gaye, jusqu'à sa mort le 11 février 1988 à Los Angeles.
                        Merci à Robert H. et Red Rooster pour leur aide et à Tony Watson pour son expertise, ses corrections et ses amendements.
                                                    Gérard HERZHAFT

             






Like so many session musicians, Rene Hall has recorded only a limited tracks under his own name. But his swinging, fluid and inventive guitar playing as well as his arrangements have largely contributed to the success of numberless recordings whether in R&B, jazz, blues, pop or Rock'n'roll.
            Born in New Orleans on 6 September 1912, Rene Hall learned as a child to read and write music and play trombone, banjo and guitar. Still a teenager, he is playing on the Riverboats and is hired by several New Orleans bands like Papa Celestin's and Joel Robicheaux with whom he recorded 22 tracks in August 1933. Now enjoying a strong reputation as a musician, Rene is then hired by the Ernie Fields Orchestra, replaces guitar jazz pioneer Floyd Smith on the James Jeter & Hayes Pillars Territory band before going to New York to join (and record) with Earl Hines in 1946-47.
            In New York, Rene Hall is constantly on demand, playing in the Apollo Theater house band, backing on stage and in studio Roy Milton, Louis Jordan, Billy Ward among many others. He also forms his own Sextet with such luminaries as Buddy Tate, Reginald Jones, Bobby Donaldson and records at last six jazz sides under his own name in 1950. To catch on the great success of trios a la Nat King Cole, Rene Hall launches his own Rene Hall Trio with singer/ guitarist Courtland Carter and Ted Sinclair on the string-bass. The Trio records several numbers for Decca, RCA, Regent with sometimes an extra pianist and drummer to get a fuller sound but the sales are not very strong.
            Things being not always easy in New York, Hall earns his bread and butter playing lead guitar with The Dominoes in Las Vegas, a well paid job but that he is not satisfied with. In 1955, aware of many opportunities for an arranger/ musician of his calibre and experience, Rene Hall settles in Los Angeles where, quite quickly and after a meeting with producer Art Rupe, he becomes A&R man and session musician for several successful labels like Specialty, Combo or Del-Fi. Being mainly in the studio, Rene Hall brings with him some of the best West Coast musicians (Plas Johnson, Earl Palmer, Roy Montrell...) and arranges and plays on innumerable sessions, more and more in the teenage Rock'n'roll vein of the era. His guitar solos behind Little Richard, Don & Dewey, Bumps Blackwell, Larry Williams or Ritchie Valens (his famous guitar part on La Bamba) certainly play a major part in the commercial success of many hits and will be reproduced note for note by hundreds of guitarists in the USA and abroad (among the British Rock future stars).
            At the same time, Rene Hall records also a handful of tracks under his name that we have gathered here. During the early 60's, Rene is on tour with one of his find for Specialty, the great Sam Cooke, directing his band and recording behind him until the untimely death of Cooke.
            Rene Hall will never stop to produce and arrange sessions for a lot of artists, mainly Marvin Gaye. Rene died in his Los Angeles home on 11 February 1988.
                                   Thanks to Robert H. and Red Rooster for their help.
                      And also thanks to Tony Watson for corrections, additions and expertise

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


BLUES GUITAR MASTERS Vol. 2    RENE HALL
Rene Hall, g; Reginald Jones, tpt; Buddy Green, t-sax; Buddy Tate, t-sax; Edwin Swanston, pno; Bill Swanston, bs; Bobby Donaldson, dms. New York City, janvier 1950
01. Rene's boogie
02. Chitlin' switch blues
03. Blowing awhile
04. Blue creek hop
05. Downbeat
06. Jubilee stomp
Rene Hall, g; Courtland Carter, vcl/g; Ted Sinclair, bs; Jimmy Crawford, dms. New York City, 26 avril 1951
07. My kind of rockin'
Rene Hall, g; Courtland Carter, vcl/g; Howard Biggs, pno; Ted Sinclair, bs; Jimmy Crawford, dms. New York City, 29 mai 1952
08. Do it up right
Rene Hall, g; Courtland Carter, vcl/g; Harry Van Walls, pno; Ted Sinclair, bs; Francisco Da Silva, dms. New York City, avril 1953
09. Two guitar boogie
10. Mind reader (wrongly credited to Rene Hall, it's sung by Tommy Dodson and is a 1965 track)
Googie Rene (Rafael Rene), vcl/pno; Rene Hall, g; Plas Johnson, t-sax; Ted Brinson, bs; Earl Palmer, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1957
11. Break it up
12. Big time
13. Rock a boogie
14. Sidetrack
Rene Hall, g; Jewell Grant, b-sax; Plas Johnson, t-sax; pno; Willie Joe Duncan, g; Ted Brinson, bs; Earl Palmer, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1957
15. Twitchy
16. Flippin'
17. Thunderbird
Rene Hall, g; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1958
18. Frankie and Johnny
19. Cleo
Rene Hall, g; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1959
20. Adalene
21. South gate
22. 0 sole mio rock
23. A Smitty's toy piano
Rene Hall, g; Babette Bain (Riselle Bain), vcl; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1959
24. That's it
Rene Hall, g; Plas Johnson, t-sax; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1960
25. La Cubalibra
26. Night fright
27. Turf