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jeudi 26 novembre 2020

AFBF 1966/ The Complete Sessions

 

AFBF 1966/ The complete sessions

 


All tracks recorded all over Europe during october 1966

To my great dismay, I couldn’t attend the Paris concert of this AFBF 1966 (october 1966). In fact, Uncle Charles (De Gaulle) had called me and I was drafted in September 1966. I made a two year military duty in the French West Indies. But my (little) brother Cisco with whom I shared the same love for folk and blues attended the show and made me a complete and detailed account what happened this very evening. He also sent me the programme and recordings of the concert that a French radio (Europe 1) had recorded and broadcasted during that month. I have included some of those recordings in this compilation despite a rather poor sound. 

Roosevelt Sykes, vcl/pno; Jack Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms.

01. Running the boogie

02. Sail on

03. Tall heavy woman

04. Boot that thing

05. Night time is the right time

Sleepy John Estes, vcl/g; Yank Rachell, mdln/vcls.

06. You shouldn’t do it


07. Tan little daddy

08. Yellow yam blues (vcl: Yank Rachell)

Junior Wells, vcl/hca; Otis Rush, g; Jack Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms.


09. Hoodoo man blues

10. Checkin’ upon my baby

11. Over yonder walls

12. Shake my hand

13. A tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson

14. Vietnam blues

15. What’d I say

Little Brother Montgomery, vcl/pno; Jack Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms.

16. I keep on drinking

Robert Pete Williams, vcl/g.

17. Louise

18. Don’t the moon lokk lonesome



Sippie Wallace, vcl; Little Brother Montgomery, pno; Jack Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms.

19. Suitcase blues

20. Up the country

21. Woman be wise

Otis Rush, vcl/g; Little Brother Montgomery, pno; Jack Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms.

22. All your love

23. It takes time

24. Sweet little angel



Big Joe Turner, vcl; Otis Rush, g; Little Brother Montgomery, pno; Jack Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms.

25. Well, oh well!

26. Chains of love

27. Flip flop and fly

Big Joe Turner, vcl; Otis Rush, g; Roosevelt Sykes, pno; Jack Myers, bs; Fred Below, dms.

28. Roll’em Pete

 


         


All photos come from my AFBF 1966 programme by Ray Flerlage, Horst Lippman, Valerie Wilmer, Stephanie Wiesand, Gunther Kieser

A lot of thanks to Xyros for his help.


Les Rolls Royce de l'harmonica se trouvent sur Harmonicaland 

The Rolls Royces of the harmonica are at Harmonicaland

lundi 16 novembre 2020

BLOWIN' IN THE SOUTH

 

BLOWING IN THE SOUTH

 

           


Une anthologie qui sort de l'ordinaire pour cette fois! Blues et Country Music ont, dans les Etats du Sud, toujours été très liés, pratiquement deux faces d'un même arbre musical. Les titres que nous proposons ici sont presque tous fortement ancrés dans le blues et joués à l'harmonica, bien que les musiciens soient des noms connus surtout dans la Country Music.

            On commence avec une séance - jamais rééditée - réalisée par le bluesman Jerry Mc Cain à Nashville en 1962, entouré de certains des musiciens de studio les plus réputés d'alors, notamment le grand guitariste Grady Martin, le saxophoniste Boots Randolph, le pianiste Floyd Cramer et même les Anita Kerr's singers qui représentaient alors le prototype du Nashville Sound. Mc Cain est parfaitement à l'aise dans ce contexte et nous donne plusieurs instrumentaux juteux à souhait qu'il serait dommage de laisser dans l'ombre.

             Barefoot Beefus est devenu presque une icône du mouvement dit "popcorn" et bien des chroniques (notamment sur la Toile) en parlent encore comme d'un bluesman noir. On a parfois avancé l'idée qu'il s'agissait du chanteur de Country Mack Vickery mais on a aujourd'hui la certitude que Beefus était un pseudonyme (afin de vendre vers le public afro-américain) pour le chanteur et guitariste de Rockabilly Al Jones dont nous joignons ici son succès Loretta, réalisé quelques années auparavant.

             Il n'est plus nécessaire de présenter Billy Lee Riley (1933-2009), un des grands créateurs du Rockabilly. Après ses célèbres séances pour Sun, Billy a joué et enregistré jusqu'à sa mort. Guitariste, chanteur, compositeur, arrangeur (il a arrangé et produit un des plus gros succès du blues You don't love me par Willie Cobbs), Billy a gravé de nombreux titres à l'harmonica et certains sous le nom de Lightnin' Leon qui, pendant très longtemps, fut considéré par la critique - notamment britannique - comme un bluesman noir.

             


Enfin, l'harmoniciste Jimmie Riddle est surtout connu pour avoir joué durant des décennies dans l'orchestre de Roy Acuff. Il n'a gravé sous son nom qu'une poignée de titres, notamment cet album de 1963 avec l’excellent guitariste Grady Martin, qui permettent d'apprécier ses talents d'harmoniciste.

                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

 

            We are exploring some new territories with this post, where through harmonica led titles, Country Music meets the blues, two Southern genres that, in fact, are nothing but two branches of the same tree.

           


We start with Jerry Mc Cain's Nashville 1962 session that, to my knowledge, has never been reissued. We find Jerry at ease among some of the main musicians of the so-called Nashville Sound of the day: guitarist Grady Martin, sax-player Boots Randolph, piano pounder Floyd Cramer and even the Anita Kerr's Singers! Jerry delivers some very juicy harmonica numbers that are certainly too good to be forgotten.

            Barefoot Beefus was (and still is when you read some articles on the Web) for a long time considered a mysterious black bluesman. Some sources have then suggested he was Mack Vickery, a noted Country Musician but it is now well established that Barefoot Beefus was only a nickname (to sell towards black audiences) for white Rockabilly singer Al Jones (we have here also included Al's main hit, the excellent Loretta).

           


Rockabilly pioneer Billy Lee Riley (1933-2009) also recorded for the Rita label under different names, like Lightnin' Leon, a piece so downhome that most of the blues critics thought he was a black bluesman. Guitarist, singer, composer, arranger (he produced and arranged one of the most popular blues riffs of all time with You don't love me by Willie Cobbs), Billy was also an excellent harp player.

            At last, harmonicist Jimmie Riddle is mostly known for having played in Roy Acuff's band for years. But he has also recorded some tracks under his own name – particularly this album from 1963 - where one can appreciate his blowing talents.

                                               Gérard HERZHAFT

 

Les Rolls Royce de l'harmonica se trouvent sur Harmonicaland 

The Rolls Royces of the harmonica are at Harmonicaland





BLOWING IN THE SOUTH

Jerry Mc Cain, vcl/hca; Grady Martin, g; Henry Strzelcki, g; Joe Perkins, tpt; Boots Randolph, t-sax; Floyd Cramer, pno/og; bs; dms; Anita Kerr's singers, vcls. Nashville, Tn. December 1962

01. Red top

02. Twist 62

03. Jet stream

04. Popcorn twist

05. Run back home

06. Turn the lights on popeye

Al Jones, vcl/g; band. Nashville, Tn. 1959

07. Loretta

Al Jones (Barefoot Beefus), vcl/g; prob. Charlie Mc Coy, hca; band. Nashville, Tn. 1966

08. Go ahead on baby

09. Barefoot Beefus

Al Jones (Barefoot Beefus), vcl/g; band. Nashville, Tn. 1967

10. Hold on

11. Well, looka here

Billy Lee Riley (as Lightnin' Leon), vcl/g/hca; Larry Mohoberac, pno; Roland Janes, bs; Jimmy Van Eaton, dms. Jimmy Van Eaton, dms. Memphis, Tn. 1960

12. Reposession blues

13. Dark muddy bottom

Billy Lee Riley, vcl/g/hca; Roland Janes, g; Jimmy Wilson, pno; Jimmy Van Eaton, dms. Memphis, Tn. 1962

14. Honey girl

15. Long gone

16. Memphis blues

17. Willie's tune

18. Arkansas Traveler

19. Buster's theme

Jimmie Riddle, hca; prob; Grady Martin, g; band. Nashville, Tn. 12 December 1963

20. Coon hound

21. John Henry

22. Colombus Stockade blues

23. Careless love

24. Sally Goodin’

25. Bill Bailey

26. Stoney Point

27. Little Brown jug

28. Wildwood flower

29. Arkansas traveler

 

samedi 7 novembre 2020

AMERICAN FOLK BLUES FESTIVAL 1965/ Complete Sessions

AMERICAN FOLK BLUES FESTIVAL 1965/ The Complete Sessions

 

    


Although it occurred 55 years ago (!), I vividly remember this show that I attended at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. The Salle Pleyel was a famous concert hall where mostly classical concerts were shown. For most of the artists featured on the American Folk Blues Festival 1965, the European experience was their very first and they were quite shy before an audience that certainly didn’t react the same way than on Chicago clubs, Mississippi juke joints or even a Newport Folk Festival. A very young Buddy Guy was particularly nervous although he played great guitar licks during all the show. J.B. Lenoir, coached by Willie Dixon, came as an acoustic solo act. But if in 1962, the French audiences (mostly then coming from the jazz circles) booed sometimes a T-Bone Walker whom they found too histrionic, too electric and too flashy for the idea they had of the “real” blues, the 1965 audiences were certainly not still in that mood. In three years, largely thanks to those AFBF tours, a growing number of hardcore blues fans formed a large amount of the audience and they had now records and fanzines exclusively dealing with the blues. And the poor J.B. Lenoir playing a restrained (and to my ears very emotional) country blues instead of the flashy Chicago, sax-lead, of his Chess records was booed by some! The great Eddie Boyd buried behind his too large piano seemed somewhat lost on this wide concert hall. Of course, a John Lee Hooker who was already a familiar figure on those shores and who had enjoyed a smash hit in France with his record of “Shake it baby” from the AFBF 1962 (I remember this 45 was on all the jukeboxes for years), handled very well the audience, playing solo and then backed by the band. And Big Mama took the audience by storm with a rocking set.

           


Well, 55 years after, the records made during this tour stand as pure classics by true blues greats and their music is the real blues of the 1950’s-60’s, before any rock-influence would somewhat change the beat and the solos as well as the music altogether.

            I don’t know why – in contrary to the other years – those tracks were recorded in studio instead of live in concert although I know for sure all the live performances – at least in France but I suppose almost everywhere in Europe as well – were recorded and broadcasted on French radio stations like Europe1. I heard them during those times. In which vaults those sessions are buried? It’s pretty sure that they still exist somewhere and maybe some hard researchers will find them and issue on records like it has been done by the Fremeaux label for the AFBF Paris sessions some years ago.


            I have tried to gather all the known tracks recorded in October 1965 by those fine bluesmen (and woman). Thanks a lot to Xyros for his help.

                                                                        Gérard HERZHAFT

 


All tracks recorded 7 october 1965, Hamburg, Germany.

J.B. Lenoir, vcl/g.

01. Everybody crying about Vietnam

02. If I get lucky

J.B. Lenoir, vcl/g; Fred Below, dms.

03. I feel so good

04. Down in Mississippi

J.B. Lenoir, vcl/g; Big Walter Horton, hca.

05. Slow down

Big Walter Horton, vcl/hca; Buddy Guy, g; Jimmy Lee Robinson, bs; Fred Below, dms.

06. Blues harp shuffle

07. Christine

08. Walter’s blues

Fred Mc Dowell, vcl/g.

09. Highway 61

10. Going down the river

11. Got a letter this morning

Roosevelt Sykes, vcl/pno; Buddy Guy, g; Jimmy Lee Robinson, bs; Fred Below, dms.

12. Come on back home

13. Sail on

Eddie Boyd, vcl/pno; Buddy Guy, g; Jimmy Lee Robinson, bs; Fred Below, dms.

14. Five long years

15. Five more long years

16. The big question

Jimmy Lee Robinson, g; Buddy Guy, bs; Fred Below, dms.

17. Rosalie

John Lee Hooker, vcl/g; Buddy Guy, bs; Fred Below, dms.

18. Della May

19. Della Mae

20. King of the world

Buddy Guy, vcl/g; Jimmy Lee Robinson, bs; Fred Below, dms.

21. First time I met the blues

22. Southside jump

Big Mama Thornton, vcl; Buddy Guy, g; Jimmy Lee Robinson, bs; Fred Below, dms.

23. Hound dog n°1

24. Hound dog n°2

Doctor Isaiah Ross, vcl/g/hca/dms.

25. Farewell baby

26. My black name is ringing

Everybody: Big Walter Horton, hca; Big Mama Thornton, hca; Dr Ross, hca; John Lee Hooker, hca; J.B. Lenoir, hca; Eddie Boyd, pno; Roosevelt Sykes, pno; Buddy Guy, g; Jimmy Lee Robinson, bs; Fred Below, dms.

27. Down home shakedown






samedi 24 octobre 2020

L.C. WILLIAMS/ Complete Recordings

 

L.C. WILLIAMS/ Complete Recordings

 

           


L.C. (apparemment son vrai et seul prénom) Williams a été un de ces chanteurs et musiciens qui gravitaient autour de Lightnin' Hopkins à Houston et sur lequel le bluesman régnait un peu à la façon des maîtres féodaux. Ces "vassaux" obtiennent le droit de jouer avec lui, de l'accompagner sur les scènes locales, de gagner quelques dollars en échange d'une véritable allégeance à leur "maître", une sorte de servitude digne de certains gangs mafieux. C'est ainsi que Luke "Long Gone" Miles qui effectuera aussi de très bons enregistrements est chargé d'ouvrir à Lightnin' un passage vers les toilettes du bar à travers la nombreuse clientèle, le très original harmoniciste Billy Bizor sert de valet à Hopkins, s'occupe du pressing de ses vêtements...

            L.C. Williams qui émarge de la même manière à ce cercle de serviteurs du bluesman de Houston effectuera, en partie grâce à Lightnin', une carrière discographique assez conséquente.

            Né à Crockett au Texas le 12 mars 1930, L.C. a gagné Houston vers 1945, chantant et dansant les claquettes un peu partout dans la région. C'est dans un de ces dancings qu'il rencontre Lightnin' Hopkins qui le prend avec lui et lui permet d'enregistrer sous le nom de Lightnin' Jr trois blues très profonds et immanquablement texans pour le producteur Bill Quinn avec Hopkins au piano et à la guitare. Ces morceaux rencontrent un certain succès et Williams retrouve le chemin des studios de façon conséquente les années suivantes. Comme son mentor, Williams saute allégrement de label en label, tente un peu (et avec bonheur) tous les styles alors en vogue dans le blues texan: downhome avec ou à la Hopkins, urbain et très swinguants avec différents orchestres de R&B texans comme ceux du saxophoniste Conrad Johnson ou du pianiste Lonnie Lyons. Parmi ses accompagnateurs, on trouve généralement la crème des bluesmen de Houston dont le guitariste Goree Carter.

            En 1951, après une très belle séance avec Lightnin', L.C. Williams part tenter sa chance en Californie. C'est un échec complet. Il finit en prison pour quelques mois et revient à Houston, vivotant autour du clan Hopkins. C'est là qu'il sera "retrouvé" et interviewé par Mack Mc Cormick et Chris Strachwitz. Très peu loquace, L.C., pressé de dire à quoi correspondait ses initiales, répond "Love Crazy"!

            Il semble qu'il devait enregistrer un album pour Arhoolie qui aurait certainement pu lui ouvrir les portes du Blues Revival qui commençait alors à prendre son essor quand il décède le 18 octobre 1960 à Houston.

            Il laisse une œuvre finalement assez variée, alternant de grands moments du Country blues texan avec des séances plus entraînantes mais certainement aussi plus convenues où il est accompagné d'excellents orchestres de Rhythm & Blues. Grâce à plusieurs généreux collectionneurs (et en particulier notre ami Pierre Monnery), nous sommes désormais en mesure de proposer l'intégrale de l'œuvre de L.C. Williams, certainement non négligeable.

                                                                        Gérard HERZHAFT


 

            L. C. (apparently his real first name!) Williams was one of those blues singer/ musicians who were trying to make a living or a career on Lightnin' Hopkins's orbit. Lightnin' used them every time he needed them and ruled this coterie like a feudal Lord, every one having a special role serving the "master". Among those numerous vassals, L. C. Williams was certainly the one who succeeded the most to make a name for himself.

            Born at Crockett, Texas, on March, 12th 1930, L.C. went to Houston around 1945 and soon tried to make a living singing and tap dancing on the streets. His growing reputation earned him to play in night clubs where Hopkins, appreciating his talents, brought him to the famous record producer Bill Quinn who had hired Hopkins as a semi-talent scout. L.C. recorded several very downhome blues backed by Lightnin', either playing the guitar or the piano. Moreover, the records were issued under the name Lightnin' Jr that assured them good sales. During a couple of years, Williams visited quite often the Houston studios, recording his brand of Texas blues in different settings, from the deep Country blues of his beginnings to the current fashionable swinging R&B, backed by the cream of the Houston session men, from pianists Lonnie Lyons and Elmore Nixon to saxophonists like Conrad Johnson through stellar guitarist Goree Carter.

            In 1951, after another wonderful deep session with Hopkins, L.C. - persuaded he could thus make much more money with his music under the Hollywood sun - went to Los Angeles to try his luck. This was unfortunately a complete failure, L.C. even going in jail for awhile. He finally went back to Houston, struggling for a living on several menial jobs, staying close to Hopkins in a desperate hope to record again, that never materialized. He was around Lightnin' when researchers Mack Mc Cormick and Chris Strachwitz met him and interviewed him. Not very talkative about himself, L.C. only said that his initials meant "Love Crazy"!

            It seems there were some plans to record L.C. for the Arhoolie label that certainly would have opened him some doors but he died brutally in Houston on October, 18th, 1960.

            Thanks to several generous friends and collectors and particularly Pierre Monnery, we are now able and for the first time to give the really complete recordings made by this excellent Texas bluesman.

                                                            Gérard HERZHAFT

 

 

L.C. WILLIAMS/ Complete Recordings

L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, pno. Houston, Tx. juillet 1947

01. Trying trying

L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, g. Houston, Tx. juillet 1947

02. You’ll never miss the water

03. I wonder

L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, g. Houston, Tx. janvier 1948

04. Hole in the wall

05. Boogie all the time

06. Strike blues

07. You can take it with you baby

L.C. Williams, vcl; Leroy Carter, pno. Houston, Tx. juin 1948

08. Black woman

L.C. Williams, vcl; Elmore Nixon, pno. Houston, Tx. juin 1948

09. I won’t be here long

L.C. Williams, vcl; Nelson Mills, tpt; Conrad Johnson, a-sax; Sam Williams, t-sax; Lonnie Lyons, pno; Louis Pitts, bs; Allison Tucker, dms. Houston, Tx. décembre 1948

10. I don't want your baby

11. Why don't you come back

L.C. Williams, vcl; Lonnie Lyons, pno; Goree Carter, g; Sam Williams, t-sax; Conrad Johnson, a-sax; Louis Pitts, bs; Allison Tucker, dms. Houston, Tx. février 1949

12. That's alright

13. Rich women blues

14. I want my baby back

15. I know that chick

16. Shout baby shout

17. Jelly roll

18. Louisiana boogie

19. Ethel Mae

20. Gonna change my love

21. My darkest hours

L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, g; Elmore Nixon, pno. Houston, Tx. décembre 1949

22. All through my dreams

23. Mean and evil blues

L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, g. Houston, Tx. janvier 1951

24. The Lazy J

25. Baby child

26. Fannie Mae

27. So sorry

L.C. Williams, vcl; Willie Johnson, pno; Frank Minn, tpt; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Henry Hayes, a-sax; Goree Carter, g; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. 29 novembre 1951

28. I don’t want no woman

29. Louise

30. I don’t like to travel

mercredi 14 octobre 2020

CALVIN LEAVY/ Complete Recordings

 

CALVIN LEAVY/ Complete Recordings

 

           


Calvin Leavy a été un des rares bluesmen à avoir un "hit" national avec Cummins prison farm aussi tard que 1970 (n° 40 au Billboard et n°1 à Memphis).

            Né le 20 avril 1940 à Scott (Arkansas), Calvin est le dernier de 15 enfants d'une famille de métayers et s'initie à la musique et au chant dans le choeur d'Eglise de son frère aîné McKinley Leavy. En 1954, il joue suffisamment de guitare, piano et basse pour faire partie du blues band d'un de ses autres frères, Hosea Leavy. Sous le nom de Leavy Brothers, ils tournent même jusqu'en Californie où d'ailleurs ils s'installent au début des années 60.

            Mais Calvin a le mal du pays et revient s'installer à Little Rock en 1967, forme son propre blues band et joue un peu partout, notamment au 70 Club. En 1968, le journaliste et écrivain local Bill Cole cherche un interprète pour une de ses compositions, Cummins prison farm et demande à Calvin de la mettre en musique. Non seulement Calvin Leavy en fait un blues mais, s'appuyant sur le témoignage d'un de ses frères qui est à ce moment-là emprisonné à Cummins, il ajoute plusieurs versets qui confèrent au morceau un formidable vécu!

           


Le succès ne se fait pas attendre avec un lancement commercial qui présente Calvin et sa guitare en tenue de prisonnier!. Presque instantanément, Cummins prison farm monte dans les Hit Parades. Calvin réenregistre le morceau pour un album projeté (qui ne paraîtra que bien plus tard au Japon!) en ajoutant une lead-guitare plus rock, destiné au public des LP's d'alors. Parallèlement, les années suivantes voient Calvin en studio pour de nombreux labels locaux (Acquarius, Soul Beat, Messenger). Calvin et Hosea sont même invités à jouer à l'Université de Little Rock en 1976 pour les fêtes du Bicentenaire.

            Mais, quelles que soient leurs qualités, aucun des 45t gravés par Calvin ne renouvelle le succès de Cummins prison farm qui, entre temps, est devenu un standard du blues, interprété et enregistré par quantité d'artistes.

            Et en 1991, Calvin Leavy est arrêté pour trafic de drogue en réseau organisé plus tentative de corruption de policiers. Condamné à 75 ans de prison, Calvin est cette fois effectivement incarcéré au pénitencier de Cummins! Où il décède le 6 juin 2010.

            Nous avons ici regroupé la totalité de son oeuvre, entre Soul et Blues.

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

 

            Calvin Leavy has been one of the few bluesmen to get a "hit" as late as 1970 with Cummins Prison farm , n°40 on the Billboard and n°1 at WDLA Memphis!

            Born on April, 20th, 1940 at Scott (Arkansas), the last of 15 children from a sharecropping family, Calvin has learned to sing and to play piano, bass and guitar with his numerous musical elder brothers, particularly McKinley Leavy who lead a Gospel band and Hosea with whom Calvin formed a blues band, The Leavy Brothers who played as far as California where the two brothers settled in the early 60's.

            But, homesick, Calvin went back to Little Rock in 1967, launching his own blues band and playing extensively in Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri. In 1968, local writer and journalist Bill Cole asked Calvin to play and record a song he had written about the infamous local Cummins prison farm. Calvin made a strong moving blues out of it and added some striking verses inspired by the life of one of his brother who, at that time, was serving a sentence in this penitentiary. Cummins prison farm becomes quickly a hit, locally and nationally, Calvin appearing in magazines and local TV with his guitar in inmate suits! Maybe the same year (1968) or later on, Calvin re-recorded a lengthier version of the song for a projected LP that would only appears years later in Japan. A rock guitar solo is then added (maybe on re-recording) for this purpose.

            The following years, Calvin was a very busy musician, recording many 45s for Acquarian, Soul Beat, Messenger that despite strong lyrics and arrangements were unable to repeat the success of Cummins prison farm that, meanwhile, has become a blues standard sung and recorded by numerous artists. Calvin and brother Hosea even appeared in 1976 at the University of Little Rock's Centennial Celebration as well as many clubs and festivals.

            But in 1991, Calvin was charged as a leading figure of a drug dealing gang and for bribery. He got a 75 years sentence and was send to jail this time for real into the Cummins Prison Farm where he died on June, 6th 2010.

            We have gathered here all of his recordings.

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

 

 


CALVIN LEAVY  Complete Recordings

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; t-sax; Hosea Leavy, bs; dms. Cummins, Ark. 1967

01. Nothing but your love

02. I won't be the last to cry

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; Ted Seibs, og; Robert Tanner, g; Hosea Leavy, bs; Maurice Haygood, dms. Little Rock, Ark. 1968

03. Cummins prison farm I

04. Cummins prison farm II

05. Brought you to the city

06. That's where I am

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; band. Nashville, Tn. 27 avril 1970

07. One minute before midnight

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; Paul Brown, og; B.T., bs; Maurice Haugood, dms. Memphis, Tn. 1971

08. Give me a love that I can feel

09. Born unlucky

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; Hosea Leavy, bs; Pat Brown, dms. West Memphis, Ark. june 1973

10. It hurts me too

11. I've got troubles (Heart trouble)

12. Goin' to the dogs I & II

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; Paul Brown, og; Leroy Campbell, g; Hosea Leavy, bs; Pat Brown, dms. West Memphis, Ark. october 1973

13. Is it worth?

14. Funky Jam

Calvin Leavy, vcl/bs; Leroy Campbell, g; Paul Brown, og; Cyrus Hayes, hca; Pat Brown, dms. West Memphis, Ark. november 1973

15. Big Four

16. It's a miracle

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; Leroy Campbell, g; Aristair Akerson, t-sax; Paul Brown, og; Hosea Leavy, bs; PatBrown, dms. West Memphis, Ark. 1974

17. What kind of love

18. Give me your loving loving loving

19. Nine pound steel

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; band. Memphis, Tn. january 1976

20. Free from Cummins Prison farm

21. Enjoy being hurt by you

22. Thieves and robbers

23. If life last luck is bound to change

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; Hosea Leavy, bs; Paul Brown, og; Cecil Parker, dms. North Little Rock, Ak. 12 march 1976

24. Consider yourself

25. Don't treat me this way

Calvin Leavy, vcl/g; The Cummins Prison Farm Singers. Cummins, Ark. may 1976

26. He walks with me I & II

Bonus

Cummins Prison Band: Louis L. Mosley, vcl; Willie Slater, vcl on +/dms; Jesse Youngblood, g; William T. Wright, g; Charles Ice, bs. Varner, Ak. 18 march 1976

27. Drunk

28. Don't start me talkin'+

 

mardi 6 octobre 2020

NOBLE "Thin Man" Watts/ Complete Recordings 1955-68

 

NOBLE WATTS/ Complete Recordings 1955-68

             


Noble "Thin Man" (ce surnom vient de sa ressemblance avec l'acteur William Powell qui incarnait le célèbre détective de Dashiell Hammett au cinéma) Watts (né le 17 février 1926 à DeLand en Floride) a fait des études de musique à l'Université A&M de Floride en compagnie des frères Adderley (Nat et "Cannonball"). Il apprend à jouer du violon et de la trompette mais se spécialise dans le saxophone.

            Après un court passage dans l'orchestre des Griffin Brothers, Noble rejoint Paul 'Hucklebuck" Williams en 1952, enregistrant avec lui de nombreuses séances et accompagnant Dinah Washington, Amos Milburn, Ruth Brown, Lionel Hampton... En 1954, à Chicago, Noble enregistre un premier 45t pour DeLuxe puis en 1955 pour Vee Jay avant de partir s'installer à New York et, là, de véritablement démarrer une carrière de leader de son propre ensemble. Tout en restant toujours fidèle au jazz, Noble Watts est certainement un des saxophonistes les plus terriens de son époque, ne s'éloignant que rarement du blues. Avec l'adjonction du superbe et très imaginatif guitariste Wild Jimmy Spruill, sa musique flirte de plus en plus avec le Rock'n'roll et il émarge au genre avec plusieurs succès instrumentaux comme Blast off, Shakin', Flap Jack et Hard Times (The slop) qui pénètre même dans le Top 50 Pop en 1957.

            Les années suivantes le voient tourner de façon incessante en compagnie des plus grosses vedettes du Rock comme Jerry Lee Lewis, les Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry ou Little Richard.

            Après son mariage avec la belle chanteuses June Bateman, Noble reste davantage autour de New York où il assure les parties musicales des combats de boxe du Harlem Lounge tout en s'occupant activement de la carrière de son épouse avec des réussites comme le classique Possum belly overalls.

            La vogue des saxophonistes de Rock passant de mode dans les années 1960-70, Noble est obligé de réduire considérablement son orchestre et de se produire surtout dans des restaurants chics de la Floride où, lui et June, sont retournés s'installer. "Redécouvert" en 1987 par le producteur Bob Greenlee, Noble retrouve les scènes des festivals et le chemin des studios et enregistre encore plusieurs excellents albums pour Kingsnake/ Alligator ou Ichiban.

            Il décède d'une pneumonie le 24 août 2004 dans sa maison près de Miami.

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            Un grand merci à Pierre Monnery pour son aide

 


Noble "Thin Man" (this nickname coming from a resemblance with William Powell who played the famous Dashiell Hammett's detective) Watts was born on February 17, 1926 in DeLand, Fl and followed musical training at the A&M Florida University alongside such future luminaries like Nat and "Cannonball" Adderley. Although he played violin and trumpet, he specialized into the saxophone.

            After short stints with several bands (The Griffin Brothers), Noble joined the famous Paul Williams Orchestra (Hucklebuck), playing and recording with them for several years. While in Chicago, he recorded some singles but his career started really when he relocated in New York in 1957. While still strongly influenced by the jazz, Noble Watts favoured a much bluesy and gutsy sound that the other saxophonists of the time, in part thanks to the strong presence in his band of Wild Jimmy Spruill, an adventurous, rocking and full of feeling young guitarist. During some years, Noble Watts recorded several hits (Blast off, Shakin, Flap Jack , The slop(Hard Times) that gave him a special notoriety among Rock'n'roll buffs. Noble and his band were constantly touring the USA with big R'n'R names like Jerry Lee Lewis, Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry or Little Richard.

            After his marriage with the fine singer June Bateman and tired of being on the road, Noble stayed in New York, taking a steady job as the leading band at the boxing Harlem Lounge and managing his wife's career.

            With the dwindling popularity of the honking saxes, Noble and June went back in Florida, playing mostly on supper lounges and small clubs. Rediscovered by producer Bob Greenlee, Noble resumed his career to tour the blues festivals all around the world and recorded a string of LP's for Alligator and Ichiban.

            He died of pneumonia in his Florida's home on august 24 2004.

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            A lot of thanks to Pierre Monnery for his help

 

 

NOBLE WATTS/ 1955-1968

Noble Watts, t-sax; Jimmy Smith, og; Floyd Smith, g; bs; Chris Colombus, dms. Baltimore, MD. 22 october 1954

01. Mashing potatoes

02. Pig ears and rice

Noble Watts, t-sax; Paul Williams, a-sax; Dabby Moore, tpt; Harlan Floyd, tb; Bobby Parker, t-sax; Lefty Bates, g; Clifton Small, pno; George Washington, bs; Wilfrid Eddleton, dms. Chicago, Ill. 17 december 1955

03 Give it up

04 Pass the buck

05 Big two four

06 South shore drive

07 Great times

Noble Watts, t-sax; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, july 1957

08 Easy going I & II

09 Midnight flight

Noble Watts, t-sax; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, october 1957

10. The slop (Hard times)

11. Walking the floor over you

12. Blast off

13. Rickey tick

Noble Watts, t-sax; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; bs; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, 1958

14. The slide

15. The creep

16. Shakin'

17. Flap Jack

18. Hot tamales

Noble Watts, t-sax; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; bs; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, 1959

19. Original boogie woogie

20. Mashed potatoes

Noble Watts, t-sax; horns; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Bill Davis, og; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; bs; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, 1960

21. The beaver

22. Frog hop

Noble Watts, t-sax; King Curtis, t-sax; Billy Butler, g; Wild Bill Davis, og; bs; Bernard Purdie, dms. New York City, 1962

23. Jookin'

Noble Watts, t-sax; band. Newark, NJ. 1963

24. Florida shake

Limbo authentique

Noble Watts, t-sax; band. New York City, 1964

25. Noble's theme

Noble Watts, t-sax; band. New York City, 1965

26. Teen scene

27. Leave that girl alone

28. John Friday's son

Noble Watts, t-sax; band. New York City, 12 july 1968

29. F.L.A.

30. Thing a majig