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lundi 4 août 2014

SAM BAKER: NASHVILLE SOUL-BLUES





SAM BAKER: NASHVILLE SOUL BLUES

           
 Bien qu'il jouisse à juste titre d'une grosse réputation dans certains cercles férus de Soul, Sam Baker n'a jamais réussi à se faire connaître au-delà. Trop Soul pour les amateurs de blues, trop blues pour les tenants d'une Soul plus commerciale?
            Quoi qu'il en soit, Sam Baker a gravé dans les années 1960 une série de superbes 45t qui révèlent un chanteur expressif et vibrant, un ténor qui utilise fréquemment et pour le meilleur des effets de falsetto. Son oeuvre prend place parmi les meilleurs moments de la scène R&B de Nashville.
            Né à Jackson, Ms, le 14 juin 1941 Baker est très jeune passionné par la musique, chante dans plusieurs orchestres locaux, côtoie Jimmy Reed et Clyde Mc Phatter. Il enregistre un seul 45t à Jackson sur un obscur petit label local. Malgré la présence d'un beau blues Crazy about you baby, le disque demeure confidentiel et Baker décide de gagner Nashville pour y tenter sa chance.
            Il semble devenir assez vite une figure familière des clubs de la ville puisque le D.J. Hoss Allen (qui produit ce qui est peut-être la première émission TV de R&B noir The !!!Beat) lui fait enregistrer trois 45t dont une magistrale version de Sweet little angel. Après une séance à Miami, durant une tournée que Sam effectue en Floride, c'est le producteur John Richbourg, un des personnages clés de la scène du R&B de Nashville, qui, considérant que Baker a le potentiel de devenir une vedette, le fait signer pour son label Sound Stage Seven. Hélas, malgré l'excellence des séances enregistrées entre 1966 et 1969 (dont une à Memphis dans les studios Stax), Sam Baker ne connaît qu'un succès d'estime local et son contrat n'est plus renouvelé après 1969. Sam Baker quitte même Nashville dans les années 1970 pour retourner à Jackson où il s'occupera un peu de groupes de Gospel mais vivra en dehors de la musique
            Il sera finalement retrouvé par des collectionneurs dans une maison de retraite de Jackson, malheureusement confiné sur une chaise roulante à la suite d'une attaque cérébrale.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            Although he is highly praised among some circles, Sam Baker has never been able to be known as the major name his talents would have qualified him to be. Too "Soul" for the hardcore blues buffs, particularly during the 1960's and 1970's? Too "blues" and downhome for the Sweet Soul fans?
            Anyway, Sam Baker has recorded during the 1960's some of the best R&B records coming out from Nashville. Baker's soulful, crying tenor voice makes almost every number he sings a winner, whether deep blues or ballads.
            Born at Jackson, Ms, on June, 14th, 1941; Baker starts to sing while a teenager with local bands and even opens for Jimmy Reed and Clyde Mc Phatter. While in Jackson, he records his first single in 1959 for a tiny label with an excellent blues, Crazy about you baby. Baker, finding Jackson a little bit limited for his musical ambitions, goes to Nashville to try his luck.
            He seems to have quickly become a familiar figure in R&B clubs and Hoss Allen, a DJ who was then launching what it might have been the very first black R&B TV programme (The !!!Beat), takes him under his wing and brings him in the Nashville studios for three excellent singles and a superlative version of Tampa Red's Sweet little angel. After another 45 recorded in Miami while on tour in Florida, Sam Baker signs with John Richbourg's fledgling label, Sound Stage Seven. Unfortunately, despite the very high level of the subsequent sessions (one in the Stax Studios at Memphis), real success eludes Sam and his contract ends in 1969, putting a final point to Sam Baker's recording career. The man even goes back to Jackson where he will participate at some Gospel sessions. But he will mostly have to make a living outside the music business.
            He will finally been rediscovered in the 1990's, living in a nursing home and confined to a wheelchair after a stroke.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT


Tous mes remerciements à/ A lot of thanks to  Red Kelly (http://redkelly.blogspot.fr/2008/09/sam-baker-comin-to-bring-you-some-soul.html) et/ and John Ridley (http://www.sirshambling.com/) qui ont permis la rédaction de cet article.



SAM BAKER
Complete Recordings
Sam Baker, vcl; Johnny Jones, g; band. Jackson, Ms. 1959
01. Crazy about you baby
02. So long
Sam Baker, vcl; Johnny Jones, g; Skippy Brooks, pno; prob. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, g; Billy Cox, bs; Freeman Brown, dms. Nashville, Tn. 1964
03. Storming and raining blues
04. Keep on scratchin'
05. You’d better check what you got
06. Storming and raining
07. He'll be sorry
08. Once upon a time (Nancy Cohen, vcls)
Sam Baker, vcl; Skippy Brooks, pno; George Yates, g; Jimi Hendrix, g; Mal Mc Millon, t-sax; Johnny Green, b-sax; James Watkins, bs; Freeman Brown, dms. Nashville, Tn. 1965
09. Sweet little angel
10. Best of luck to you
11. Tossin' and turnin'
12. The Bump
Sam Baker, vcl; band. Nashville, Tn. 1965
13. Do right man
14. You can't see the blood
15. What did Sister do?
16. Sometimes you have to cry
17. Something tells me
Sam Baker, vcl; band. Nashville, Tn. 1966
18. Let me come on home
19. Someone bigger than I and you
20. Don't feel rained on
21. Just a glance away
22. Safe in the arms of love
Sam Baker, vcl; band. Memphis, Tn. 1967
23. I can't turn her loose
24. That's all I want for you
25. I believe in you
26. I'm number one
27. I can't stand it
28. Sunny
Sam Baker, vcl; Johnny Jones, g; Larry Lee, g; Skippy Brooks, pno; Harrison Calloway, tpt; Pete Drake, st-g; Billy Cox, bs; Freeman Brown, dms. Nashville, Tn. 1968
29. Coming to bring you some Soul
30. I can't break away
31. Slow down baby
32. Strange sensation
33. Sugarman
34. Why does a woman treat me so bad?
Sam Baker, vcl; band. Nashville, Tn. 1969
35. Hold back girl
36. I love you
37. It's all over



            


13 commentaires:

  1. Merci pour cette découverte
    André

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  2. Thank you so much for this and all the others, Gerard.

    I love it how country music steel guitar master Pete Drake shows up on this and many other Nashville Blues/R&B/Soul recordings in the 60's and maybe later. Also notice the Nashville crew of Johnny Jones, Jimi Hendrix and Billy Cox in here, they were all over these type of Nashville recordings for decades (Johnny and Billy at least, Jimi appears here and there while he was in Nashville... known as Jimmy back then).

    I fully support more Nashville-based compilations!

    MUCH appreciated.

    RépondreSupprimer
  3. This one looks very interesting Gerard, there are certainly some big names among the backing musicians - Gatemouth Brown, Hendrix, Billy Cox, Pete Drake.

    Thanks for compiling these rare tracks.

    RépondreSupprimer
  4. How certain is it that Jimi Hendrix is playing on those four 1965 tracks?

    Have those tracks been confirmed as early Hendrix sessions?

    RépondreSupprimer
    Réponses
    1. The info comes from The Blues Discography, 1943-70, usually a fairly reliable reference book

      Supprimer
  5. Sure doesn't sound like him Gerard. Hendrix had a unique style and sound right from the get-go, and I've listened to these tracks a few times today and can't detect a note or twang that sounds like Jimi. Unless Jimi was playing some very minor role (unlikely) and letting the other guitarist, George Yates, do most of the playing, I doubt if this is really an early Hendrix session.

    I've also had a look online at a site that documents all Hendrix's confirmed early session work and this one's not listed.

    Be interesting to see what other blog regulars have to say.

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  6. Gerard, have you ever compiled Jimmy DeBerry's recordings for release on here?

    Marineband

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    Réponses
    1. Interesting idea... I will think about it

      Supprimer
    2. Nice work!
      I wished I could help you out with 'These Blues Are Getting Me Down' (aka 'Blues Are Killing Me') - SAADIA 6091 (1965)
      Anyone?

      Cheers,

      Supprimer
  7. Benoît Brière13 août 2014 à 00:25

    Bonjour, et merci pour cette découverte.
    Comme initiation à votre blogue, je n'aurais pu mieux tomber.
    Après écoute, j'ai une question: est-on certain que Stormin' and Rainin' Blues (piste 3) et Storming and Raining (piste 6) soient deux prises différentes? Je les écoute, et si la 3 "sonne" visiblement (heu, auditivement?) mieux que la 6, je n'arrive à détecter aucune autre différence.
    Ce qui ne m'empêche pas de savourer la musique, loin de là.
    J'ai hâte aux prochaines découvertes,

    RépondreSupprimer
    Réponses
    1. Bienvenue sur mon blog(ue). Vous avez sans doute raison pour "Storming and raining" qui a certainement été recyclé pour une nouvelle parution. Mais les deux titres proviennent de deux disques différents et j'ai respecté la discographie standard.

      Supprimer
  8. Sam Baker Complete Recordings

    CD1: http://www42.zippyshare.com/v/53360050/file.html
    CD2: http://www24.zippyshare.com/v/16446845/file.html

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  9. These Blues Are Getting Me Down' (aka 'Blues Are Killing Me') - SAADIA 9160 - B (1965)

    http://www71.zippyshare.com/v/1NxMRGmT/file.html

    Enjoy!

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