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vendredi 3 mars 2017

CHICAGO/ The Blues Yesterday Vol. 19

CHICAGO/ The Blues Yesterday Vol. 19

           
Ce 19 ème (!) volume de cette série populaire sur Chicago... d'hier est consacré à des artistes qui sont aux antipodes de ce que l'on entend généralement par "Chicago blues" (le blues du Mississippi et de l'Arkansas implanté dans la grande cité du Lac Michigan après la guerre), une définition beaucoup trop restrictive pour un ensemble bien plus complexe et divers.
            La chanteur Roy Wright sur lequel on ne sait pas grand' chose a substantiellement enregistré pour différents labels de Chicago, d'abord Drexler (de Paul King et Les Caldwell), quatre 45t en 1957-58 dans une veine R&B puis à partir de 1962 pour Crash, Vick, Mica (tous possédés par le célèbre DJ Al Benson) avec des arrangements et des mélodies annonçant la Soul. Ses intonations très Gospel et l'excellence de ses accompagnateurs (Red Holloway; le pianiste Denni Tillman..) font de la plupart de ces titres de belles réussites. Malgré nos recherches, bien des titres de la discographie de Wright manquent. Toute copie .mp3 - ainsi que davantage de renseignements sur cet artiste autant absent des revues de blues que de Soul! - serait bienvenue.
            Bill Crosby qui a enregistré deux séances en 1945-46 dans un style mélangeant le blues orchestral d'avant guerre avec les nouveaux arrangements du R&B d'alors est encore plus mystérieux et on ne sait pratiquement rien de lui. Dans ces deux séances d'enregistrement, il est accompagné par des vétérans du Chicago blues des années 1930 comme Bill Owens, Sugarman Pennigar (qui chante sur un titre) ou Oett "Sax" Mallard. Il a été suggéré que Bill Crosby serait juste un pseudonyme choisi par le producteur pour engranger sur l'énorme succès du crooner Bing Crosby.
           
James Anthony "Lucky" Carmichael (né le 12 octobre 1920 à Harrodsburg, Kentucky) est un blues shouter qui a gravé six titres, surtout célèbres grâce à la guitare hyper bluesy de M.T. Murphy. Lucky a commencé sa carrière dans des tent shows sillonnant le Sud, participant au moins un moment à l'orchestre de Bobby "Blue" Bland derrière lequel il jouait du piano. Il s'essaie à une carrière en vedette à Chicago dans les années 1950, est un temps membre de l'orchestre de Lefty Bates. Il continuera sa carrière dans les années 1970 et décède à Cincinnati, Ohio le 7 octobre 1982.
            Tous nos remerciements à ceux qui nous ont aidés pour cet article, en particulier Steve Wisner et Sir Shamblin et son excellent site.
                                                                       Gérard Herzhaft

            This 19th (!) volume of our very popular Chicago/ The blues Yesterday series features artistes who are the exact opposite to what one's referring to "Chicago blues", the transplanted Mississippi/ Arkansas blues to Chicago during the post-war years, certainly a much too restrictive definition for a more broader musical range.
            We don't know a lot about the soulful singer Roy Wright who anyway has recorded substantially for several Chicago labels, starting with four R&B singles in 1957-58 for Paul King et Les Caldwell's Dexler label, then after 1962 for famous DJ Al Benson's bunch of labels (Crash, Vick, Mica) this time much more in the then emergent Soul vein. Roy's emotionally Gospel-tinged vocals and excellent backing musicians (Red Holloway, Denni Tillman) give a special quality to most of those records. Despite our efforts, we haven't been able to gather all Roy's records. Any .mp3 copies - as well as more about this obscure artist - would be most welcome.
            Bill Crosby who recorded two Chicago sessions in 1945-46 in a style mixing pre-war Chicago urban blues with the then new R&B arrangements is even more mysterious! It seems that nobody knows anything about this anyway very good singer. He is backed by Chicago blues veterans like piano man Bill Owens, Sugarman Pennigar (who even handles the vocals on one track) or Oett "Sax" Mallard. Some have suggested that Bill Crosby was in fact a nom-de-disque chosen by the producer to cope up with the enormous success of the crooner Bing Crosby!
            James Anthony "Lucky" Carmichael (born 12th October 1920 at Harrodsburg, Kentucky) is a very good blues shouter who waxed six titles in Chicago that are famous because of the backing guitar of M.T. Murphy. But there is much more about Lucky who started his musical career very early, playing and dancing with itinerant tent shows throughout the Southern States, being at least for a while the pianist of Bobby Bland in Memphis. He tries his luck in Chicago during the 1950's, singing and playing with Lefty Bates' Orchestra before recording as a solo act. He is reported appearing in clubs in Chicago and Cincinnati until the late 1970's. Lucky died in Cincinnati, Oh. on 7th December 1982.
            A lot of thanks to all who helped with this post, particularly Steve Wisner and Sir Shamblin and his first-rate website.
                                                                       Gérard Herzhaft




CHICAGO/ The Blues Yesterday
Volume 19
ROY WRIGHT, vcl; Denni Tillman, pno; John Avant, tb; Red Holloway, t-sax; band.  Chicago, Ill. mars 1957
01. No haps
02. I've got it
03. You promised
I'm lonely
Roy Wright, vcl; Denni Tillman, pno; band. Chicago, Ill. 1958
04. True love
I hope it lasts forever
I tried
Who'll volunteer
Roy Wright, vcl; band. Chicago, Ill. 1962
05. I'm going crazy
06. Once in awhile
Roy Wright, vcl; band. Chicago, Ill. 1965
07. Heartbreak
Something wrong (Thanks to Steve Wisner and Pierre Monnery for sharing)
Roy Wright, vcl; band. Chicago, Ill. 1966-67
08. Hook line and sinker
09. Alone
10. You changed my life around
BILL CROSBY, vcl; Bill Owens, pno; dms. Chicago, Ill. 28 octobre 1945
11. That's my gal
12. Come for a ride
Bill Crosby, vcl; Bill Owens, pno; Johnny Morton, tpt; Oett "Sax" Mallard, a-sax/clt; Sugarman Penigar, t-sax; Bali Beach, bs; Jump Jackson, dms. Chicago, Ill. 29 juillet 1946
13. Those doggone blues (vcl: Sugarman Pennigar)
14. Eat, drink and be merry
15. Hip Chick blues
16. Sneaking woman blues
LUCKY CARMICHAEL, vcl; band. Chicago, Ill. 1960
17. The eleven o'nine
18. Better be with me
Lucky Carmichael, vcl; M.T. Murphy, g; band. Chicago, Ill. mars 1961
19. I'm comin' home
20. Hey girl
21. Hey Girl n°2
22. Blues with a feelin'
Lonesome & Lonely (click to dwnld Thanks to Steve Wisner)


jeudi 9 février 2017

GUS JENKINS

GUS JENKINS/ Complete Recordings

           
Né à Birmingham (Alabama) le 23 mars 1932, Augustus D. "Gus" Jenkins a appris le piano sous l'influence de sa mère et des disques de Walter Davis. Très jeune, il joue dans des bars locaux et est embauché par le spectacle itinérant d'Atlanta, Sammy Green's Hot Harlem Review qui comprendra aussi Big Mama Thornton.
            A la fin des années 40, Gus décide de faire une carrière personnelle et s'installe à Chicago où il attire l'attention des frères Chess pour lesquels il fait ses premiers enregistrements en 1953 (accompagné de Big Walter Horton!) dans un style proche de celui de Walter Davis.
            La fin de l'année 1953 le voit déjà à Los Angeles où il trouve des engagements dans des clubs et enregistre à nouveau pour de nombreux labels de la Côte Ouest comme Specialty, Combo, Cash et Flash. Il s'essaie à divers styles de blues, imitant Howlin' Wolf (sous le nom de The Young Wolf!), dans un style plus proche des pianistes comme Charles Brown en tant que Little Temple ou Piano Bo et derrière sa femme Mamie Reed (Mamie Perry). Mais c'est avec son instrumental Tricky, produit par Charlie Reynolds en 1956 (sous le nom de Gus Jinkins!) qu'il obtient son premier succès commercial. Les instrumentaux de plus en plus Funky (a la Ramsey Lewis) où Gus joue du piano ou de l'orgue se succèdent alors (Spark Plug, Payday shuffle...) sans renouveler le succès de Tricky.
            Il fonde son propre label Pioneer en 1959, enregistre plusieurs obscurs bluesmen californiens ainsi que lui-même abondamment, tentant de suivre les courants de la musique noire. En 1964, il obtient un nouveau succès local avec l'instrumental Chitlins qui sera alors repris par Tower, une filiale de Capitol.
            Malheureusement, Gus Jenkins (qui se fait désormais appeler Jaarone Pharaoh) abandonne la musique à la fin des années 1960. Il décède, quasiment oublié de tous le 22 décembre 1985 à Los Angeles, laissant une œuvre diverse et de qualité.
            Merci à tous ceux qui nous ont permis de rassembler les enregistrements de Gus Jenkins. Merci aussi à ceux qui posséderaient ceux qui manquent et souhaiteraient envoyer une copie .mp3 via mon mail.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            Born on 23d March 1932 in Birmingham (Alabama), Augustus D. "Gus" Jenkins has learned to play piano at an early age under the tutelage of her keyboard mother and the strong influence of Walter Davis' records. He started to play in local clubs before joining, still a teenager, several itinerant Shows, namely Atlanta's Sammy Green's Hot Harlem Review who also featured his fellow Alabamian Big Mama Thornton.
            At the end of the 1940's, Gus came to Chicago to try his luck, played in several clubs and even got a Chess recording session in 1953, backed by Big Walter Horton. But feeling (rightly) that his own style was more suitable to West Coast ears, he ended in Los Angeles where he found many opportunities in clubs, lounges and recording sessions for several Californian labels (Specialty, Combo, Cash, Flash). Seeking the success, he recorded on several blues or R&B genres, mostly in a Charles Brown's style but also as a credible Howlin' Wolf impersonator under the "Young Wolf" moniker as well as Little Temple or Piano Bo! He also backed his wife Mamie Reed/ Mamie Perry on some excellent records. Finally, this is with a pre-Funky instrumental (a la Ramsey Lewis), Tricky, recorded for Charlie Reynolds in 1956 that he got his first real hit. Henceforth, alongside with blues and ballads, he waxed many instrumental of this kind, playing either piano or organ (Spark plug, Payday shuffle) but without succeeding commercially.
            In 1959, Gus Jenkins founded his own Pioneer label, recording several excellent obscure L.A. bluesmen as well as many tracks of his own. In 1964, another instrumental named Chitlins created some local stirs and, taken over by the Tower label (a Capitol subsidiary), it became another last hit for Gus.
            Unfortunately, Gus Jenkins (who renamed himself Jaarone Pharaoh) gave up the music in the late 1960's and died in Los Angeles on 22nd December 1985, largely unknown outside a small number of blues buffs around the world. He leaves us a diverse and mostly very good works.
            Thanks a lot to all those who helped to gather those tracks and thanks by advance to those willing to share (a .mp3 copy through my mailbox would be great!) the still missing tracks.

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

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.

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