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dimanche 8 décembre 2019



Let's start our fourth volume of those "Ladies sing the blues" series with Laurie Tate. Surprisingly, very few is known about this fine blues and jazz singer who was one of the first in a long line of R&B divas who shaped the success of Atlantic Records. Laurie came, reportedly, from Richmond, Va to New York City to try her luck as a singer and she was signed to Atlantic in May 1950, recording quickly two sessions backed by the Joe Morris band, a solid unit which plays a major role in the success, artistically and commercially, of those eight tracks. The scorching ballad Anytime, anyplace, anywhere climbed n°1 to the R&B Charts, establishing Atlantic as a new important label. Tate joined permanently the Joe Morris' Blues Cavalcade for awhile and toured briefly the West Coast as a featured singer. But soon, for family reasons, this very promising talent quit the music business and she was replaced in Joe Morris' band by Faye Adams. Apparently, nobody knows what happened to Laurie after 1952.
            Tina Dixon, "The Bombshell of blues" started her career as a jazz singer in Detroit clubs like the Ballyhoo before being hired as the featured singer of The Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra as soon as 1943. She thus toured the Army and Navy camps during WWII and recorded special
programs for the troops, particularly the first version of E ba ba lee ba in August 1945, claiming she wrote the number before Helen Humes's record that hit the Charts. She left Lunceford to pursue a career of her own, recording a new version of her hit in 1945. Married with the famous tap dancer Louis Collins, Tina toured with her husband, joining King label, waxing some proto-R'n'Roll sides but a real commercial success never came. Anyway, the very wise and brave Tina Dixon switched to a new career in the comedy theatres with (sometimes very) risqué pieces and plays and she became very popular among African-Americans during the late 1950's under the moniker Aunt Tina Dixon, waxing two "dirty" and very commercially successful LP's and appearing in some Television shows, particularly the very popular Sanford & Son series
Madlyn Davis belongs to a former generation of lady singers, contemporary of Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and Victoria Spivey. Her life is unfortunately ill-documented but her four sessions for Paramount Records done between 1927 and 1929 are of a very high standard. Kokola blues from November 1927, backed by Richard Jones on piano, is the very first recorded version of Kokomo blues/ Sweet home Chicago. Her great last session (October 1929) finds her alongside Tampa Red and Georgia Tom Dorsey! I don't know what became of her after that.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT
Thanks a lot to bluesjumper33, Jose Yrraberra and Charles F. for their help. Every extra facts about those singers will be very welcome.

LAURIE TATE, vcl; Joe Morris, tpt; horns; Elmo Hope, pno; Roy Gaines, g; bs; dms. New York City, 7 June 1950
01. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere
02. Stormy weather
03. Come back daddy, daddy
04. Rock me daddy
Laurie Tate, vcl; Joe Morris, tpt; horns; Elmo Hope, pno; Roy Gaines, g; bs; dms. New York City, 20 november1950
05. You're my darling
06. I hope you're satisfied
07. Can't stop my crying
08. Don't take your love away
TINA DIXON, vcl; Jimmie Lunceford, a-sax; Omer Simeon, a-sax; Kirkland Bradford, a-sax; Ernest Puce, t-sax; Joe Thomas, t-sax; Earl Carruthers, b-sax; Charles Stewart, tpt; Bob Mitchell, tpt; William Scott, tpt; Russell Green, tpt; Joe Williams, tb; Earl Hardy, tb; Fernando Arbello, tb; Edwin Wilcox, pno; John Mitchell, g: Truck Parham, bs; Joe Marshall, dms. Hollywood, Ca. 4-9 august 1945
09. E ba ba lee ba
10. Stuff like that there
Tina Dixon, vcl; Lorenzo Flennoy, pno; Jimmie Edwards, g; Robert Lewis, bs. Hollywood, Ca. september 1945
11. E-bop-o-lee-bop
Tina Dixon, vcl; Her All Stars, band. Houston, Tx. november 1947
12. Don't you know I want to love you
13. Hello baby
Tina Dixon, vcl; Gene Nero, a-sax; Willie Wells, tpt; Rudy Rutherford, b-sax; Prince Albert, pno; George Washington, bs; Bob Atcheson, dms. Detroit, Mi. 1948
14. Blow Mr Be-bop
15. Parrot bar boogie
16. Walk that walk daddy-o
17. What I say
MADLYN DAVIS, vcl; Dave Nelson, cnt; Norman Ebron, pno; bjo. Chicago, Ill. june 1927
18. Worried down the blues
19. Climbing mountain blues
Madlyn Davis, vcl; Cassino Simpson, pno; kazoo; bjo. Chicago, Ill. september 1927
20. Hurry sundown blues
21. Landlady's footsteps
Madlyn Davis, vcl; Richard Jones, pno; band. Chicago, Ill. november 1927
22. Winter blues
23. Kokola blues
Madlyn Davis, vcl; Tampa Red, g; Georgia Tom Dorsey, pno. Chicago, Ill. october 1929
24. Death bell blues
25. It's red hot
26. Too black bad

Gold tooth blues

dimanche 1 décembre 2019

HOWLIN' WOLF/ Complete Live Recordings 1963-72

HOWLIN' WOLF/ Complete Live Recordings 1963-72 (Re-up)

Après avoir essayé de regrouper tous les enregistrements effectués "live" par Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), nous tentons d'en faire de même avec Howlin' Wolf.
            La tâche a été - si possible - encore plus compliquée car s'étendant sur une décennie. Même si Howlin' Wolf a été saisi en concert (au Copacabana Club de Chicago) en 1963 pour une parution sur un LP Argo, il lui a surtout fallu se rendre en Europe avec l'AFBF 1964 pour y être substantiellement enregistré, soit dans le cadre de la tournée officielle soit durant la deuxième tournée qu'il a effectué dans la foulée avec Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin et Clifton James. Il faut noter que peu de ces concerts n'ont été enregistrés pour être publié. Il s'agit essentiellement d'enregistrements effectués par des radios nationales et locales à travers l'Europe dont les stations diffusaient des extraits. Leur qualité technique est correcte dans l'ensemble et permet d'apprécier la teneur complète d'un concert du Wolf à l'époque.
            Les choses se précipitent par la suite. Après que les Rolling Stones durant leur première tournée américaine aient insisté auprès de Shindig, l'émission musicale TV de la chaîne ABC, très populaire auprès des ados, pour qu'y apparaisse Howlin' Wolf avant eux, les concerts américains du Wolf se multiplient et avec eux, les enregistrements sur du matériel de fortune et sans passer par le système d'amplification. A l'exception du concert du 26 janvier 1972 à Alice's Revisited, aucune de ces bandes n'était destinée à être publiée. Elles sont apparus sur des labels plus ou moins pirates au cours des années avec un son souvent très médiocre voire éprouvant. Nous avons essayé d'améliorer autant que possible leur "qualité" sonore mais la tâche a été souvent trop rude! Malgré tout, nous les proposons ici en tant que documents.
            Même s'il n'était encore qu'un jeune sexagénaire, Wolf était très malade, les années de son épouvantable enfance marquée par la violence, l'abus et les privations faisant leur néfaste effet sur sa santé. Après un accident de voiture le 1er janvier 1973, son système rénal arrête de fonctionner et, devant plusieurs fois par semaine subir une dialyse rénale, il continue (par nécessité financière) à tourner et jouer en public. Mais il est très diminué et souvent chante entièrement assis et seulement quelques morceaux, laissant l'essentiel du concert à son orchestre, dirigé par Eddie Shaw. Plusieurs disques pirates de ces dernières années ont paru ici et là que nous avons choisi de ne pas les faire figurer ici, la dernière fois où le Wolf apparaît dans toute sa splendeur étant, à notre avis, le Ann Arbor Jazz & Blues Festival de 1972.
                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT

            After those of Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), we have tried to gather all (or the most possible!) live recordings of another blues master, Howlin' Wolf!
            The task has been - if any!- even more complicated because spanning on a decade.
            Even if Howlin' Wolf has been recorded live at the Copacabana Club in 1963 for the Argo LP's "Folk Festival of the Blues", the bulk of his 1960's live recordings was mostly done in Europe. He was one of the big star of the AFBF 1964, taking the dedicated European audiences by storm. His success was such that he and some members of the AFBF line-up (Willie Dixon, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin and Clifton James) embarked in the wake for a further tour of Europe until November 1964. If few of those European 1964 gigs were recorded to be issued on LP, they were done by radio stations with good technical equipments and for the purpose to broadcast some tunes during their jazz programmes. Now they are a testimony of what the Wolf sounded at that time when he was in full possession of his considerable talent and stage presence.
            In the USA, Wolf's career took a decisive turn when the Rolling Stones - while touring America in 1965 - insisted with ABC's Shindig, a TV programme very popular to teenagers, that Howlin' Wolf would appear before us. Thus, suddenly, Wolf would be able to be lined-up in festival and concert halls throughout the country before a white audience! Apparently, several of those (and probably still much more laying in the vaults) were recorded, very often on primitive equipments. With the exception of the 1972 Alice's Revisited venue, none of those US recordings had to be issued. They appeared throughout the years on more or less confidential bootleg albums. The sound is sometime very poor and, although we have tried to improve it with our home studio, it's quite often still very bad. We have included them anyway here for documentary purpose more than listening pleasure!
            Unfortunately, even he was only in his early 60's, the Wolf was beginning very ill, the dreadful years of his childhood when he suffered greatly violence, abuse and unbelievable bad treatments (he got his hoarse voice because he wasn't allowed by his uncle to sleep in the house, even during cold winters and he had to beg for food to passengers' trains during the nearby stops) took their harmful toll. After a bad car accident during 1973 New Years' eve, Howlin' Wolf had henceforth to undergo kidney dialysis several times a week. Although he had still to play gigs throughout the country for making a living, he was strongly diminished and mostly played and sung seated and only a few numbers, leaving most of the set to his band, led by Eddie Shaw. Several bootleg recordings of those late concerts have also popped up but we have chosen not to feature them. 
                                         Gérard HERZHAFT
 Pour répondre à de nombreuses demandes, je remets à jour cet article avec de nouveaux liens. Mais, ayant eu des problèmes pour conserver ces liens la première fois, je ne peux savoir combien de temps ils pourront rester valides. Ce sera donc la dernière fois que je mes remettrai en ligne. Aussi, prenez les tant que cela est possible.

I've reuploaded this article and links to answer to numerous queries. But, as I have had problems to keep those links available, I can't say how long they will be available. In any case, it is the last time that I'm re-posting them. So grab them while it lasts!

HOWLIN WOLF/ Complete Recordings 1963-72/ Discography

The very best Howlin' Wolf biography that really explains the man, his greatness and his masterworks has been written by Mark Hoffman, certainly one of the very best blues books

lundi 18 novembre 2019

CHICAGO/ The Blues Yesterday Volume 24

CHICAGO/ The Blues Yesterday/ Volume 24

Our most popular Chicago/ The Blues Yesterday Series are here again... for a 24th Volume!
            Jimmy Binkley (born James H. Binkley 1st March 1923 in Chicago) was a popular blues, R&B and jazz pianist and bandleader who was quite active in the studios during the 1950's, playing several times a week in ballrooms and night clubs. He recorded behind many singers and the recordings under his own name are quite interesting, featuring vocalists like Harold Burrage and George Green. He relocated in Peoria (Illinois) during the early 1960's, becoming a local favorite until his death on 26th January 2015.

            Pianist and singer Jesse James (maybe a nickname) remains largely a mysterious artist. He was from Cincinnati, quite active during the 1930's and, according to Pigmeat Jarrett interviewed by Steve Tracy, Jesse was mainly a noted moonshiner who also played piano on the side. He recorded behind Walter Coleman and under his own name only those four very down home tracks at Chicago in 1936. His version of Roosevelt Sykes' Highway 61 is particularly striking.

Floyd Smith (1917-1982) is reputedly one of the first jazz and blues guitar player having recorded with an electric guitar (in fact, it was George Barnes in march 1938 and you may go years before if you accept to include Western Swing as a jazz form). Floyd recorded as a sideman in the early 1930's with different bands, particularly Andy Kirk's with his memorable solo Floyd's guitar blues that he would record again several times during his career. He then formed his own trio in Chicago, recording a handful of 78s in the Windy City before joining Bill Doggett and touring and recording until his death.

And then here are Bertha Chippe Hill's postwar Chicago recordings. Bertha (born Charleston, SC, 15 March 1905) was a star during the 1920's, in the Vaudeville circuit as well as on theatres and clubs. She was singing, dancing, playing the comedy and started a successful prewar recording career in 1925 for Okeh, waxing a good number of blues backed by stars of the era like Louis Armstrong, Richard M. Jones, Lonnie Johnson, Scrapper Blackwell and Tampa Red. After 1929, she retired from singing to raise her many children. She resumed her musical career in 1946, enjoying quite a following and even appearing at the Carnegie Hall and touring Europe. She died untimely when she was run over by a car in a street of New York on 7 May 1950.

JIMMY BINKLEY, pno; band. Chicago, Ill. 26 mars 1951
01. Nite life
02. Way down boogie (vcl: Harold Burrage)
Hot smoke
Jimmy Binkley, pno; George Green, vcl/dms, band. Chicago, Ill. février 1953
03. Say hey Sugar Ray
04. Finance man (vcl: George Green)
05. Brand new rockin' chair (vcl: George Green)
06. Midnite wail
Jimmy Binkley, pno; band. Chicago, Ill. juillet 1953
07. Blue blue night
08. The judge (vcl: George Green)
Jimmy Binkley, pno; band. Chicago, Ill. 6 janvier 1954
09. Boogie on the hour
10. Wine, wine, wine (vcl: George Green)
Jimmy Binkley, pno; band. Chicago, Ill. 24 janvier 1956
11. You made a boo-boo (vcl: unknown)
Messin' around (Thanks to Apesville for sharing this rare track)
Jimmy Binkley, vcl; band. Chicago, Ill. décembre 1956 (as Boogaloo and his Gallant Crew)
Talk about a party + Big fat lie (Thanks to Apesville for sharing those rare tracks)
JESSE "PIANO" JAMES, vcl/pno. Chicago, Ill. 1936
12. Highway 61 blues
13. Lonesome day blues
14. Southern Casey Jones
15. Sweet Patuni
FLOYD SMITH, g; Andy Kirk, b-sax; horns; Mary Lou Williams, pno; Booker Collins, bs; Ben Thigpen, dms. New York City, 16 mars 1939
16. Floyd's guitar blues
Floyd Smith, g;  Nat Jones, a-sax; Bill Huff, pno; Booker Collins, bs; Curtis Walker, dms. Chicago, Ill. décembre 1948
17. Floyd's guitar blues (Hy Tone)
Floyd Smith, vcl/g; Bill Huff, pno; Booker Collins, bs. Chicago, Ill. 8 juin 1949
18. Blue moods
19. Saturday nite boogie
BERTHA "CHIPPIE" HILL, vcl; Lee Collins, tpt; J.H. Shayne, pno; John Lindsay, bs; Baby Dodds, dms. Chicago, Ill. 4 février 1946
20. Charleston blues
21. How long blues
Bertha "Chippie" Hill, vcl; Lee Collins, tpt; Lovie Austin, pno; John Lindsay, bs; Baby Dodds, dms. Chicago, Ill. 5 février 1946
22. Trouble in mind
23. Careless love
24. Around the clock blues
25. Nobody knows you when you're down and out
Bertha "Chippie" Hill, vcl; Montana Taylor, pno; Almond Leonard, kazoo/wbd. Chicago, Ill. 18 avril 1946
26. Worried jailhouse blues
27. Black market blues
28. Mistreatin' Mr Dupree

jeudi 7 novembre 2019



For this 14th opus of our Detroit Blues Masters Series, we are featuring some more obscure Detroit and Toledo dwellers who nevertheless waxed some good to great blues.
            Alberta Adams (Roberta Louise Osborne born 2 July 1917 in Indianapolis and died on 25 December 2014 in Detroit) is certainly well known thanks to her "rediscovery" during the late XXth Century, a time when she recorded several very good albums and appeared on stages a little bit everywhere. But her recording debuts didn't bring her neither fame nor money. We feature here four from the five fine tracks she recorded in 1953 and 1962. Very much a great talent who has been too much neglected during her prime years.
            Fred Harris is a very obscure piano and organ player from Toledo, a city
100 kilometers South of Detroit situated in Ohio. He has recorded seven titles between 1950 and 1957 as Fred Harris and his Orchestra or The Red Tops Organ Trio who featured the hard blowing tenor saxophonist and sometimes singer Big Joe Burrell.
            Singer Alex Thomas has started as a vocalist and guitar player with no other than famed bands of Paul Williams and King Porter in 1947 and 1948 but his records were issued only years later and under the nickname...Muddy Waters or Muddy Walters! He recorded under his (almost) own name as Playboy Thomas in 1953. But whoever he was, his records are fine examples of Detroit blues.
            I must confess my total ignorance of who was the fine soul blues singer Irene Scott who recorded a handful of tracks in Detroit during the late 1960's backed by the Chicago band of the Scott Brothers. She is of course probably a relative of this musical family.
            And last but not least two much more downhome blues tracks by singer-guitarist Earl Chatman (sometimes spelled Chapman) from 1958. Chatman had also recorded a test for Fortune Records some years earlier in the company of pianist Henry Smith.
            Much of the meager facts I have been able to grab for this article come from the excellent website Detroit Blues Society. And of course every additional details about those very obscure bluesmen/women would be great!
                                                          Gérard HERZHAFT

ALBERTA ADAMS (Roberta Louise Osborne), vcl; Sonny Cohn, tpt; Leon Washington, t-sax; Mc Kinley Easton, b-sax; Earl Washington, pno; Jimmy Richardson, bs; Red Saunders, dms. Detroit, Mi. 16 July 1953
01. Messin' around with the blues
02. Remember
This morning
Alberta Adams, vcl; band. Detroit, Mi. March 1962
03. I got a feeling
04. Without your love
FRED HARRIS, vcl/pno; Frank Mc Kinley, tpt; William Newsum Jr, a-sax; Clarence Sherrill, bs; Erman Terry, dms. Toledo, Oh. 1950
05. Sad man blues
06. Cincinnati breakdown
07. Uptown
Fred Harris, og; Big Joe Burrell, t-sax; Louis Lee, dms. Toldeo, Oh. 1957
08. Organ rocker
09. In love with a woman (vcl: Big Joe Burrell)
10. Flang dang do
11. The bull
ALEX THOMAS (as Muddy Walters), vcl; Paul Williams, a-sax; John Lawton, tpt; Walter Cox, t-sax; T.J. Fowler, pno; Hank Ivory, bs; Clarence Stamps, dms. Detroit, Mi. 5 septembre 1947
12. Way late
Alex Thomas (as Muddy Walters), vcl; King Porter, tpt; Wild Bill Moore, t-sax; Detroit Count, pno; bs; dms. Detroit, Mi. 1948
13. Dissatisfied
14. Good morning pretty baby
Baby look at you
Alex Thomas (as Playboy Thomas), vcl/g; Floyd Taylor, pno; band. Detroit, Mi. 1953
15. Too much pride
16. No doubt about it
17. End of the world
Time will tell
IRENE SCOTT, vcl; The Scotts Brothers, band. Detroit, Mi. 1967
18. I'm stuck with my baby
19. Why do you treat me like you do?
Irene Scott, vcl; The Scott Brothers, band. Detroit, Mi. 1969
20. Everyday worries
21. You're no good
EARL CHATMAN, vcl; band. Detroit, Mi. 1958
22. Love you baby
23. Take two steps back

mercredi 6 novembre 2019

NEW LINKS/ Nouveaux liens

NEW LINKS/ Nouveaux Liens


Pour répondre à des demandes, voici de nouveaux liens pour:
To answer some requests, here are new links for:

TABBY THOMAS/ Louisiana Swamp pop



Il est très compliqué de conserver ces liens plus ou moins longtemps. Aussi, utilisez les tant qu'ils durent si vous le souhaitez

It's very difficult to keep those links more or less available for a long time. So, if you want em, grab'em while it lasts!

vendredi 18 octobre 2019

CAROL FRAN/ Louisiana Swamp blues

CAROL FRAN/ Louisiana Swamp blues

Carol Fran, certainly one of the Queen of the Louisiana Swamp blues, was born Carol Anthony Martin in the city of Lafayette, at the very heart of the Cajun country, on October 23, 1933. Her mother wanted her to be a classical pianist and Carol followed piano (and dance) lessons at a very early age. But as she told in an in-depth interview to Living Blues Magazine (n°116), she hated those piano lessons and instead lent an ear to R&B local and national acts, particularly Ella Mae Morse, Dinah Washington or Camille Howard.
            Anyway, she was already a proficient piano player when, at just 15!, she started to play in the Louisiana clubs with the Don Coway Orchestra. Don encouraged her to sing and soon she was fronting the band and garnering good followings. Another step and Carol was hired by Bubba Lutcher's (brother of Nellie and Joe) agency from Lake Charles and she started to tour across the South West from Texas to California before settling awhile in New Orleans. There she sang in many cabarets of the French Quarter with many bands, those of Edgar Blanchard, Sugar Boy Crawford and even Guitar Slim, becoming a very favorite female singer of Bourbon Street and, of course, she married in New Orleans to saxophonist Bob François. She then dropped her maiden name and began a new career under the name of Carol Fran, thinking François was too difficult to pronounce in Texas or California!
            A two years and fruitful contract with the main venue of Ciudad Juarez at the Mexican border and Carol was at last recorded in 1957 by the ever smart Jay Miller from Crowley who recognized in Carol a major talent. The nice swamp pop ballad Emmitt Lee, penned by Carol and issued by Excello was a modest local hit but the driving and witty Knock Knock enjoyed a wider success and the song is still a Swamp blues/rock classic.
            Carol signed then a contract with the Lyric label from Lake Charles: The great pretender was a smash hit from Houston to New Orleans and Carol became a major New Orleans artist, singing at the Dew Drop Inn and the Sugar Bowl clubs and appearing with Earl King, Lee Dorsey, Joe Tex... This is on a tour with the Joe Tex Revue that she appeared in New York at the famous
At the Apollo. Courtesy Living Blues
Apollo Theatre and signing with the Port Records label for which she recorded her smoldering Crying in the Chapel, an instant hit that would be very soon recorded by Elvis Presley. She toured the USA from coast to coast with the Joe Tex Revue until, tired of the hectic life on the road, she settled in Miami and around 1977 in Houston, to be closer to her kinfolks. At that time, the opportunities were scarce but Carol formed a duo with her second husband, ace Texas guitarist Clarence Holliman. Her early records having a great reputation in Europe, she was "re-discovered" by local producers and Carol and Clarence started to appear in festivals all around the USA and Europe, recording a string of mostly excellent albums for Black Top and JSP.
            After the death of Clarence Hollimon in 2000, she was devastated but managed to pursue her career, touring Europe and recording a very emotional album Fran-Tastic backed by Louisiana guitarist Selwyn Cooper. She relocated in Lafayette, appearing in festivals all over the world and on records by Grady Gaines, Bob Corritore or Anson Funderburgh. She gained a National Endowment for the Arts Awards in 2013.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT
A lot of thanks to Benoit Blue Boy, Apesville and Mike K. from Australia for their help and loan of rare records.

Carol Fran, vcl; band. Crowley, La. 12 June 1957
01. Tomorrow
Carol Fran, vcl; John Johnson, g; Guitar Gable, g; Fats Perrodin, bs; Clarence Etienne, dms. Crowley, La. 22 February 1958
02. Emmitt Lee
03. One look at you daddy
Carol Fran, vcl; band. Crowley, La. 18 June 1958
04. I quit my knockin'
If we should meet again (Thanks to Apesville for sharing this rare track)
Carol Fran, vcl; band. Crowley, La. 24 February1959
05. Knock knock I & II
06. Emmitt Lee's come back
Carol Fran, vcl; band. Crowley, La. March 1960
07. One more chance
08. Run a while (Running and hiding)
09. Hold me
Carol Fran, vcl; band. Lake Charles, La. 1961
So tired of crying
10. Just because you're mine
Carol Fran, vcl; Cookie Thierry, t-sax; Sheldon Dunaway, t-sax; Ernest Jacobs, pno; Marshall Ladee, g; Joe Landry, bs; Soko Richardson, dms. Lake Charles, La. 1962
11. The great pretender
12. Please stand by me
Carol Fran, vcl; band. Lake Charles, La. late 1962
13. After a night out
It's you (Thanks to Apesville for sharing this rare track)
Carol Fran, vcl; band. New York City, 1964
14. Crying in the chapel
15. I'm gonna try
Carol Fran, vcl; Sammy Lowe Orchestra. New York City, early 1965
16. It's my turn now
17. You can't stop me
18. A world without you
19. I know
Carol Fran, vcl; band. New York City, late 1965
20. Any day love walks in
21. Just a letter
Carol Fran, vcl; band. New York City, 1966
22. So close
23. Out of sight, out of mind
Carol Fran, vcl; band. New York City, March 1967
24. My runaway heart
25. C'mon let's make up
26. You're my pleasure
27. A woman in love
28. I was such a fool
29. Roll with the Punches

mardi 15 octobre 2019

MEMPHIS SLIM/ The Complete 1967 Clyde Otis Sessions

MEMPHIS SLIM/ The complete Clyde Otis 1967 Sessions

In 1967 ace pianist John Len "Peter" Chatman aka Memphis Slim was already living in France for 5 years and also remarried with a French lady. He was a very favourite of French and European scenes, either jazz or blues ones, was a regular at the Trois Mailletz, a Quartier Latin noted jazz club where Sorbonne's students (including yours truly) were gathering almost every evening. Memphis, a classy and smart Ambassador of the blues, was appearing in numerous French TV shows and even played some small parts in movies (for which he would also write the soundtracks) and of course was recording an enormous amount of albums, featuring him mostly as a solo act or just backed by his French drummer, Michel Denis or his fellow American expatriate Mickey Baker.
            He seemed to be quite happy to live in France with his new family but of course he liked also very much coming back to the States ("I miss a lot of things from the States " he once said "even the US TV commercials"), particularly in New York City where he was still in-demand in folk and jazz clubs.
It's during one of those trips in June 1967 that jazz and R&B producer Clyde Otis proposed him to record with an all US jazz band composed of stellar New York City sessions men like guitarist Billy Butler, tenor saxophonist Eddie Chamblee, bassist Lloyd Trotman and drummer Herb Lovelle. For a couple of days, Memphis Slim and his band waxed more than 20 tracks, Slim seeming very happy to be backed again by such a great array of musicians. He was in fine voice and as usual a wonderful piano player, bluesin' and boogieing as hell, and he left also plenty space for his accompanists to shine.
            We don't know for sure what happened really to those sessions. Clyde Otis was probably involved with more lucrative jobs or whatever... One 45 (Gone again/ Little lonely girl) was issued in 1967, selling very poorly and going nowhere, and the subsequent years several albums popped up here and there with some tracks from those sessions, sometimes re-titled, sometimes shortened (on the Beacon, Jubilee, Musidisc...). Even a couple of unissued tracks appeared decades later on CD!
            But those very good Memphis Slim 1967 sessions were never completely gathered on one disc. This is what we have tried to do here, so enjoy and relax while listening to the one and only Memphis Slim in top form.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

Memphis Slim, vcl/pno; Billy Butler, g; Eddie  Chamblee, t-sax; Lloyd Trotman, bs; Herb Lovelle, dms. New York City, June 1967
01. A long time baby
02. All by myself
03. Ballin' the jack
04. Broadway boogie
05. Dear Abby and Anne
06. Everyday I have the blues
07. Forty years or more
08. Freedom
09. Gamblers' blues
10. Gone again
11. I am the blues
12. I'm too poor to die
13. Key to the highway
14. Lend me your love
15. Let's get with it
16. Little lonely girl
17. Long time gone
18. Only fools have fun
19. Rock me baby
20. Sassy Mae
21. Strollin' thru the park
22. There's a fool in town
23. This little woman
24. Too late

photo courtesy Natalie Chatman
According to Peter Diedrichs, this compilation I have posted does not gather all the 27 tracks recorded by Memphis Slim during those sessions.