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mardi 14 juillet 2015

T-BONE WALKER/ The 1960's




T-BONE WALKER/ The 1960's Studio Sessions


           
On ne présente certainement pas aux lecteurs de Blue Eye, l'immense T-Bone Walker (né en 1910 à Linden, Tx), l'un des grands pionniers de la guitare blues électrique et peut-être le principal créateur de ce qu'on appelle aujourd'hui le "West Coast blues".
            Après près de dix ans de succès du disque et de tournées incessantes et harassantes, les années 1950 sont une décennie difficile pour T-Bone. Malgré l'excellence toujours affirmée de sa musique, les succès commerciaux s'espacent. La formule gagnante (arrangements jazzy, tempos alanguis, compositions sentimentales et atmosphère éthérée), sans doute utilisée jusqu'à plus soif, ne fait plus autant mouche. Les goûts du public noir changent vers une musique plus musclée, vers le Rock'n'roll et de plus en plus vers la Soul naissante.
            La vie de T-Bone est essentiellement un tourbillon incessant de femmes, de jeu (il perd des sommes colossales en une nuit), de mauvais placements financiers et peut-être surtout, de whiskey. Il souffre de graves troubles digestifs et en 1955, les chirurgiens lui retirent les 2/3 de l'estomac. Cela ne l'empêche pas de continuer à boire autant mais le force à ralentir ses activités. La mort dans l'âme, T-Bone Walker dissout son orchestre et jouera désormais avec des musiciens locaux, au fur et à mesure des engagements et des apparitions en studio, de plus en plus rares.
            Les années 1960 sont encore plus difficiles. Comme toutes les gloires du Rhythm & Blues des années 40, T-Bone est un has been pour les jeunes Noirs. Et le Blues Revival américain ne recherche guère des musiciens de blues jazzy à l'apparence tirée à quatre épingles comme T-Bone. Mais le showman a de la ressource. Texan pur jus, cavalier émérite, il a toujours réussi à se maintenir en selle. Seul de son genre parmi des bluesmen bien plus rugueux, il va faire partie de la première tournée européenne de l'American Folk Blues Festival 1962. Son jeu de scène spectaculaire - il fait le grand écart, joue de la guitare dans le dos, roule des yeux langoureux - tout autant que le superbe son de sa guitare lui valent encore une fois un grand succès auprès de ce public européen qui ne le connaissait pas beaucoup, hormis les amateurs de jazz.
Il enregistre quelques beaux titres à l'occasion de cette tournée, parraine un groupe britannique de rock blues, les T-Bones qui comprend Stan Webb, le futur fondateur des Chicken Shack. Il reviendra dès lors souvent en Europe où il enregistrera plusieurs microsillons. Aux Etats Unis, grâce au producteur Bob Thiele, T-Bone refait surface en adaptant sa musique aux sonorités funky et boogaloo à la mode durant la fin des 60's. Avec le soutien d'un bel orchestre (le pianiste Lloyd Glenn, le guitariste Mel Brown et une forte ligne de cuivres), Walker enregistre encore deux albums magistraux.
Mais la fatigue, l'abus d'alcool (il vidait un litre de whiskey ou de gin par jour) finissent par miner sa santé. Son jeu s'en ressent, ses concerts aussi où il n'est parfois même plus capable de se tenir sur scène. Toute sa vie, femmes, voitures, guitares et amis, il a dépensé sans compter et n'a pas les moyens de payer ses notes d'hôpital. Pour l'aider et en hommage à sa gigantesque personnalité musicale, les plus grands jazzmen (Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Mann, David Newman, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan) vont l'aider et l'entourer pour un double microsillon, appelé "Very Rare" dans lequel T-Bone lui-même n'apparaît que comme l'ombre de lui-même.
T-Bone décède dans un hôpital de Los Angeles le 16 mars 1975, à peine âgé de 65 ans. Il laisse une œuvre exceptionnelle dont on ne saurait sous-estimer l'impact constant, dès l'origine.
            Nous proposons ici tous les titres enregistrés en studio (et pas ceux en concert) par T-Bone Walker durant les années 1960 dans un ordre chronologique.
            Merci à ceux qui m'ont aidé à compléter cette collection, en particulier Marc Claes dont la remarquable collection est la base de son blog The Blues Years.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            Everybody reading this blog would certainly know about T-Bone Walker (born in 1910 at Linden, Tx), one of the true originator of the electric blues guitar and of the so-called West Coast blues as well. His influence has been far and wide and can be still strongly heard today.
            After merely 10 years of successful hits and perpetual touring, the mid-50's are lean years for T-Bone. He has left Capitol for Imperial with great expectations but despite the constant excellence of his music, hits are few. His former successful formula (languid tempos, sentimental songs, ethereal jazzy atmosphere) sounds a bit old-fashioned for an African-American record market listening more and more to muscular R'n'R and burgeoning Soul. Like so many 1940's R&B stars T-Bone seems to be a has been for the new generations.
            T-Bone's life is also hectic: a whirl of whiskey, gambling and women that leaves him financially ruined and in a bad health shape altogether. He faces a severe stomach surgery that certainly won't prevent him for hard drinking but that forces him to strongly slow down his activities. In 1955, he must disband his orchestra and has to hire local musicians for gigs and less and less frequent studio sessions.
            While the 1960's begin, his situation seems hopeless. But a true Texan, a skilled horse rider, he will nonetheless be able to saddle again! While the blues revival is more into Delta or Chicago deep bluesmen, T-Bone will be one of the very few jazzy West Coast bluesmen to catch on this new train. He is from the first European AFBF in 1962. A spectacular showman and a great entertainer, he succeeds to win the European audiences. He becomes even the godfather of a British blues-rock group simply called ... The T-Bones (with a young Stan Webb on guitar). He will tour regularly Europe during the 1960's and early 1970's, drawing a faithful audience, recording many sessions as a leader or even as a lead guitarist (for Jay Mc Shann for instance). In the USA, thanks to producer Bob Thiele, he manages to resurface with several excellent records that mix his cool jazzy sound with funk and boogaloo arrangements provided by top-notch backing musicians like Lloyd Glenn or Mel Brown.
            But his hectic life and alcohol abuse take their toll and his last European concerts are painful experiences for even his most staunch fans. All his life he has never been able to keep his dollars in his pocket and to pay his hospital bills an array of great jazzmen (Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Mann, David Newman, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Gerry Mulligan) help him for his difficult last record, a double-album (Very Rare) in which T-Bone appears to be only the shadow of himself. Aaron Walker dies in a Los Angeles hospital on 16 March 1975, at the early age of 65, leaving a huge musical legacy.
            We have here gathered all his 1960's studio recordings (not those live in concert).  Thanks to all who helped me to gather those scattered tracks, particularly Marc Claes whose remarkable personal collection is the foundation of his excellent blog (The Blues Years).
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

T-Bone/ The 1960's Studio Sessions Discography

Thanks to Blues Dude, the missing titles (in red in the discography) are here/ Grâce à Blues Dude, les titres manquants (en rouge dans la discographie) sont ici
T-BONE Missing Titles 

23 commentaires:

  1. Ce commentaire a été supprimé par l'auteur.

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  2. Very good Gerard, looking forward to digging into this tasty lot over the next few days. As always many thanks.

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  3. Merci une fois de plus pour ce magnifique travail .
    C'est la première fois que je vois les studio sessions des 60's aussi complet , en ordre chronologique avec discographie détaillé .
    Merci aussi pour me nommer parmi les gens qui vous ont aidé a rassembler tout ces enregistrements et pour les mots sur mon blog , c'est encourageant et très apprécié .

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  4. Quelle joie de retrouver ces titres aussi documentés. Un grand merci. Je tiens aussi à vous remercier pour votre dossier Delta Blues du dernier Soul Bag. A mon sens, le magazine grâce à votre participation revêt une dimension toute particulière pour les amoureux de la note bleue. Mais cela reste mon avis bien sûr...
    Er'Bo.

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  5. Gerard

    Very nice compilation indeed. I know it's heresy to some, but I really enjoy T-Bone's 60's music and I'm glad to have this. Thanks!

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  6. Thank you very much Gerard. Top class recordings.

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  7. Fantastic work. Thank you, Gerard. T-Bone Walker was greater than words can describe, even in these later recordings.

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  8. Here is the fantastic Two bones & a pick LP/CD (with several bonus tracks not in the LP):
    http://www18.zippyshare.com/v/bmUi1DXM/file.html

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  9. Thanks very much for this 60's overview. In the 60's he was light and shadow in my opinion, but nevertheless a joy to listen to when he was spirited. (For example with the Jazz at the Philharmonic)
    http://www65.zippyshare.com/v/DPJvPXxG/file.html
    I think those are the missing titles hopefully. It is mostly from the Crazy Cajun Recordings.
    Cheers

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    1. Thanks a lot, Blues Dude. Those are effectively the missing tracks. I will put them in order and post it) and now we have all the 1960's studio recordings by T-Bone!

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    2. You are welcome and it was just coincidence, because I remembered that I saw some time ago a collection of some of 60's recordings of T-Bone Walker by someone else and I managed to find it again and those tracks were on it. Hopefully we will manage some day to find Wade Walton's Lp and I keep my fingers crossed, because in terms of Mable Hillery it recently worked.
      Cheers

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    3. Thanks again. It's nice thus to have all the T-Bone's 1960's Tracks. For Wade Walton, it crops up here and there but at unbelievable prices! The worst thing is I had the opportunity to buy the LP during the early 60's at Paris' flea market where all the Bluesvilles were sold in quantities at very low prices but I didn't.It seems that the original sales of this very LP was less than 100...Cheers

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    4. Yes, I tried to get Wade Walton also, but way too high prices for me. And besides that those other Prestige/Bluesville Lp's which never were reissued and maybe never will be are also very pricy and hard to find. (Brooks Berry, Alec Sewrad, J.T. Adams, Shirley Griffith, etc.) Luckily I find good rips of them on your and Xyros' blog.
      Well, you could not have known that they did not see the light of the day even know and also taking into account the amount of other Blues recordings which has been reissued and are not really quality and good ones. For example, I got lucky and I was able to find a good Beale Street Mess Around Lp from Revival which only costed 20 bucks and even was not much played, so ripping it to mp3 was easy.
      Cheers

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  10. It doesn't get any better than this, thanks so much Gerard & BluesDude, well done!

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  11. Hasbeen: Hi Gerard. I have to take clear and inquire - do you know - is there something harmful or harmless inside both Zippy files - CD 1 and T.Bone missing titles - which can activate my anti-virus program ? In several times and several days both files gave me every time warning ; "This file contains a virus or other malware that will harm your computer". This is strange - cause other zippy-files I do not get that kind of notification (warning) .

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    1. In fact this comes from a bug on the most recent versions of Firefox. To avoid it you have to got to: Tools/ options./ security. and uncheck the second tag. In French it is; "bloquer les sites signalés comme étant des sites d'attaque" I'm sorry not to be able to give a proper translation for that phrase. Of course you also can download the files from Chrome without any problem

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    2. Hasbeen: Thanks - so there is no need to worry. Now I have also complete 60´s studio sessions. All these years what you have done for furtherance blues-knowledge is brilliant work.

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  12. Guess I'm a little late to the party: the links for CDs 2-4 are gone. Any possible chance of a re-up? CD1, however, sounds real good. I appreciate the variety of sounds in his different bands during this period.
    -peacenik

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    1. Here are the current links:
      CD2:
      https://mega.nz/#!nJokmLIR!9Qy2DsMBCyKIMtIvx1c91jXe8wB_M9I5JOu1kRizkvg

      CD3:
      https://mega.nz/#!OFgE0LLJ!86RnmxY8O8ZG7YpevzoO48hfwH7qI03mFJ4mUVlgxdM

      CD4:
      https://mega.nz/#!iEgC1TqZ!DLgL8508FT_kVCpLVvnz5W5cHh5MwvyX3J0dWrSsLcQ

      Don't know what happened... But it should work out now.

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    2. Many many thanks Gerard, for keeping this priceless music alive!
      -peacenik

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    3. Great, great stuff. Thanks for posting. I was fortunate enough as a child to see T-Bone during this period, and he could still really bring it.

      But, am I missing something though? Where is the link for Disc 1?

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    4. Here it is. It was erased by chance:
      CD1: http://www5.zippyshare.com/v/ANeSIqNO/file.html

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