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dimanche 5 décembre 2021

JOHNNY FULLER/ Complete Recordings 1948-62

 

 

JOHNNY FULLER/ Complete Recordings 1948-62

 

            


Il y a actuellement un net regain d’intérêt pour l’œuvre de Johnny Fuller et cet article répond donc à plusieurs demandes.

            Né à Edwards dans le Mississippi le 20 avril 1929, une bourgade ferroviaire non loin de Vicksburg, il y a vécu la dure vie des métayers de cette région et de cette époque: enfance chaotique, une poignée d’années d’école et le travail des champs dès l’âge de neuf ans. S’il est possible qu’il ait côtoyé des bluesmen locaux (n’oublions pas que Charlie Patton est originaire de la même localité), Johnny n’a toujours reconnu comme première influence que les musiciens de Country comme Gene Autry (son idole de jeunesse) de la marque duquel il avait obtenu sa première guitare, Jimmie Rodgers et, plus tard, Ernest Tubb.

            Il suit sa mère à Vallejo durant la guerre et trouve immédiatement du travail dans les importants chantiers navals de cette localité de la baie de San Francisco. C’est là qu’il dit avoir pour la première fois entendu du "vrai" blues, le style des innombrables Noirs venus du Texas chercher du travail durant la guerre. C'est dans ce style terrien et profond, immanquablement texan, que Fuller enregistre en 1948 pour le label Jaxyson trois morceaux de Gospel sous le nom de Brother Johnny Fuller. C'est encore dans ce même style texano-californien qu'il démarre vraiment sa carrière de bluesman en 1954 sous la houlette du producteur Bob Geddins qui a remarqué la popularité de ce musicien dans les bars de Oakland. Il enregistre une magnifique série de titres qui demeurent comme des chefs d'oeuvre absolus du downhome blues californien: guitare électrique et vibrante, arpèges dévastatrices, voix mourante, paroles évocatrices et amères. Mais Fuller fait déjà montre de sa grande versatilité et presque en même temps que ces blues, il grave - à la grande satisfaction de Geddins qui veut vendre à un public le plus large possible - des ballades pop comme You got me whistling qui flirte avec les Hit Parades.

            La carrière de Johnny Fuller semble désormais bien lancée et dès la fin de 1954, il abandonne son travail de manoeuvre pour diriger son propre ensemble, jouer et tourner à travers tout le Sud-Ouest. Il enregistre abondamment durant une décennie pour Geddins mais aussi de plus grands labels comme Specialty, Flair, Aladdin, Imperial et Checker, obtenant des succès avec des pièces de plus en plus proches du Rock'n'roll (Haunted house, Train train - une reprise de Mystery train, No more) ou de la pop. Fuller sera d'ailleurs un des très rares bluesmen noirs à interpréter de façon convaincante des morceaux de Rockabilly, un genre où il est d'ailleurs toujours reconnu comme un des leurs!

            Mais cet éclectisme qui lui permet de s'adresser à plusieurs publics à aussi un revers de la médaille: au fur et à mesure que les années 1960 s'avancent, il apparaît pour les uns ou les autres trop blues, trop pop, trop sirupeux, trop rock'n'roll... voire trop "blanc" pour un public de jeunes noirs qui se tournent alors massivement vers la Soul. Un genre auquel s'essaie sans aucunement convaincre Johnny Fuller!

            Et 1967 le voit sans orchestre, sans label, sans engagement notable et totalement négligé par le Blues Revival. Johnny reprend alors un travail d'ouvrier dans un garage, abandonne la musique. En 1973, il est "redécouvert" par Tom Mazzolini et des fans Australiens qui le ramènent dans les studios pour un excellent album enregistré en compagnie de Philip Walker et de son orchestre. Cela ne change malheureusement pas grand' chose pour Fuller qui ne fait que quelques rares apparitions sur scène (notamment le San Francisco blues festival) et ne réenregistrera plus.

            Le 20 mai 1985, il meurt d'un cancer du poumon à Oakland.

            Son oeuvre finalement copieuse est effectivement éclectique mais contient, dans chacun des genres que Fuller aborde, des morceaux de premier plan qu'il est intéressant de pouvoir écouter pour la première fois sur cette intégrale que je vous propose ici.

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

 

           


There is a strong renewal of interest towards Johnny Fuller and this article is the answer to several queries from all over the world!

            Born in Edwards, Ms not far from Vicksburg (the same place that Charlie Patton!) on April 20th, 1929, Johnny Fuller has lived there the same usual hard childhood that the other sharecroppers: no education, full work at the age of 9... He said he then started to play the guitar and sing under the influence of Country Music icons like Jimmie Rodgers, Gene Autry and later Honky Tonk singer Ernest Tubb. After a brief stint in New Orleans, Johnny went during the war to the Bay Area, finding work on the shipyards of Vallejo. He said that it was there that he heard the real downhome blues for the first time, a deep Texas blues carried on the West Coast by the thousands of Texans who migrated in California during the war years.

            It is in this very style that Johnny started to play and record, first three Gospel sides in 1948 (one is missing in this comp!), then a batch of incredible deep blues waxed in 1954 for Bob Geddins. Those marvellous sides with devastating arpeggios, vibrant electric guitar licks, dying vocals and bittersweet lyrics stand as masterpieces of the downhome West Coast blues. But at the same time, Fuller is also able to record pop ballads like You Got me whistling, rocking pieces - almost rockabilly - like Haunted house that hits the Top 100 nationwide.

            Fuller then drop his day job and leads his own band, touring the Southwestern States, recording constantly for label as prestigious as Specialty, Flair, Aladdin, Imperial or Checker numerous 45s that mix with equal ease blues (less and less frequently) with ballads, rock'n'roll numbers, doo woop, corny pop pieces...

            But this versatility has also his setback. During the mid-60's, Johnny Fuller is unable to gain the attention of the new mostly white and international public of the Blues Revival as well as the young African-Americans who wants Soul, a genre that Fuller tries to make a hand but with no success.

            And in 1967, Johnny is forced to stop his musical career and work as an auto mechanic in the Bay Area, largely forgotten by the blues world. In 1973, thanks to Tom Mazzolini, he is rediscovered by a group of Australian fans and record a very good album for an Ossie label with Philip Walker and his band. Unfortunately, this record doesn't do too much for Fuller who appears only sporadically on stage (SF blues Festival) and won't record anymore.

            On 20th of May 1985, he dies of a lung cancer in Oakland.

            His recorded output has only been reissued partly and raggedly. This .mp3 comp gather all his records in chronological order and thus allows to fully appreciate his very often first rate works.

                             Gérard HERZHAFT

 

 

 

JOHNNY FULLER/ Complete Recordings 1948-62

Brother Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; pno. Oakland, Ca. 1948

Poor pilgrim of sorrow

01. I must tell Jesus

02. From bad to worse

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; George Hurst, pno/vcl on *; Walter Robinson, hca; Eugene Keel, bs; Tommy Ramerson, dms. San Francisco, Ca. mars 1954

03. Hard times

04. Buddy*

05. Back home

06. It's your life

07. Prowling blues

08. Johnny low's down blues

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; Eugene Keel, bs; Tomy Ramerson, dms. San Francisco, Ca. avril 1954

09. These young girls

10. I walk all night

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; band. San Francisco, Ca. juin 1954

11. Fool (Fool's paradise)

12. First stage of the blues n°1

13. Lovin' lovin' man

14. Remember

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; Walter Robinson, hca; saxes; George Hurst, pno; Robert Dixon, bs; Tommy Ramerson, dms. novembre 1954

15. Train train blues

16. Bad luck overtook me (Black cat)

17. Troubles (Mean old world)

18. How long

19. Sunny road

20. I can't succeed

21. Too late to change

22. Roughest place int own

23. My mama told me

24. Coming around the corner

25. Johnny Ace's last letter

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; band. Los Angeles, Ca. mars 1955

26. Cruel cruel world

27. My heart beats for you

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; Que Martyn, t-sax; George Hurst, pno; Robert Dixon, bs; Tommy Ramerson, dms. San Francisco, Ca. 2 septembre 1955

28. Garden of memories

29. Mercy mercy

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; Lee Allen, t-sax; Alvin "Red" Tyler, b-sax; Salvador Doucette, pno; Frank Fields, bs; Earl Phillips, dms. New Orleans, La.  janvier 1956

30. Don't slam that door

31. Sister Jenny

32. My heart is bleeding

33. Restless

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; Al Reed, pno; Justin Adams, g; band. New Orleans, La. 21 août 1956

34. Heavenly love

35. Deep in my soul

36. Whispering wind

37. Stop look and listen

38. Miss you

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; band. San Francisco, Ca. décembre 1956

39. Strange land

40. Weeping and mourning

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; CandyMan Mc Guirt, pno; George Hurst, g; Willie Moore, t-sax; Floyd Montgomery, bs. Henry Bess, dms. San Francisco, Ca. 1957

41. No more no more

42. First stage of the blues n°2

43. You got me whistling

44. All night long

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; George Hurst, pno; og; bs; Tommy Ramerson, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. avril 1958

45. Haunted house n°1

46. The mighty hand

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; band. Los Angeles, Ca. octobre 1958

47. Swinging at the creek

48. Many rivers mighty seas

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; band. San Francisco, Ca. 1960

49. She's too much

50. No more loving

51. Wyatt Earp shot Stagger Lee

52. Haunted house n°2

Johnny Fuller, vcl/g; band. San Francisco, Ca. 1962

53. The power

54. No more

 

samedi 13 novembre 2021

SOUTH ILLINOIS COUNTRY BLUES FESTIVALS/ The early 70's

 

 

SOUTH ILLINOIS COUNTRY BLUES FESTIVALS/ The 1970's

 

           


While the music enjoyed a more and more strong following in Europe, the late 60's and early 1970's were very lean years for the blues in the USA. Many a bluesmen that we saw and chatted with or interviewed when they were touring France during this era told us that those European tours were almost the only lucrative gigs they had! The country blues artists who had enjoyed some quite large exposures during the early 1960's were now playing almost only for friends or family with a very few paid gigs in colleges and Universities or some folk clubs. I saw Larry Johnson in 1973 in New York City in a Greenwich Village coffeehouse when he was playing a great set, backed by an excellent drummer (Bobby King), for an audience less than ten people, including us!

            So those sets! They have been recorded at two distinct small Southern Illinois Festivals sponsored by the Illinois Valley Community College and have been available only very confidentially. Pianist Memphis Piano Red, legendaries Tennessee bluesmen Furry Lewis, Sleepy John Estes, Hammie Nixon appear in good shape and deliver fine performances. But to my ears the highlight here is the still very young (at that time) Larry Johnson who demonstrates masterful Piedmont style country blues with a driving fingerpicking guitar style and good vocals.

            Thanks a lot to all involved in the recordings and preservation of the music and to the website Downstate Sounds (Exploring the musical past of Illinois outside Chicagoland!) and enjoy this rare performances.

                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT



 

MEMPHIS PIANO RED, vcl/pno. Oglesby, Ill. 22 mars 1974

01. Pinetop's boogie woogie

02. Home at last

03. You don't have to go

04. Mother-in-law blues

SLEEPY JOHN ESTES, vcl/g; Hammie Nixon, hca/jug/kazoo/vcls. Oglesby, Ill. 22 mars 1974

05. Corrina Corrina

06. President Kennedy stayed away too long

07. Rats in my kitchen

HAMMIE NIXON, vcl/hca/jug; Sleepy John Estes, g. Oglesby, Ill. 22 mars 1974

08. Yellow yam blues

FURRY LEWIS, vcl/g. Oglesby, Ill. 22 mars 1974

09. Mary Tell blues

LARRY JOHNSON, vcl/g. Normal, Ill. 21 mai 1971

10. Ragged and dirty

11. How long blues

12. Got the blues can't be satisfied

13. Nobody's business if I do

14. Saturday night blues

15. Pick poor Robin clean

(The performances here were recorded by Greg Steil at Illinois Valley Community College)

 

dimanche 31 octobre 2021

BIG JOE TURNER/ The Pablo Sessions





           
Quand Big Joe Turner (1911-85) enregistre pour Norman Granz, il est quelque peu oublié. Pionnier du blues de Kansas City, partie prenante de la folie du boogie woogie dans les années 30 auprès de Pete Johnson, chanteur ultra puissant archétype des Blues Shouters, Joe est le chanteur des grands orchestres de Benny Moten, Andy Kirk, Count Basie avant d'enregistrer en vedette du R&B une oeuvre copieuse pour de nombreux labels. Très avisé, superbe showman, Big Joe va savoir maintenir intacte sa popularité longtemps. Il est d'ailleurs un des rares artistes noirs du R&Blues capable de s'arrimer au courant du Rock n'Roll. Il signe sur le label Atlantic en 1951 qui l'entoure des meilleurs musiciens du moment, le produit intelligemment et distribue ses disques dans toute l'Amérique. Shake, rattle and roll; Flip, flop and fly et Teenage letter obtiennent autant de succès dans les Hit Parades "Rhythm & Blues" que "pop" et son nom est associé aux stars adolescentes du Rock'n'roll!, notamment dans plusieurs films.
            Mais dans les années 60, Big Joe apparaît largement comme une figure du passé. Il essaie de s'adapter aux goûts du blues revival mais, malgré la très grande qualité de ses disques (magnifique album Kent avec George Smith!), sa manière d'être et de chanter ne plaisent guère à ce nouveau public qui ne jure plus que par les bluesmen du Delta ou ceux du ghetto de Chicago.
            Big Joe s'installe alors en Californie et apparaît surtout dans des festivals de jazz et de façon irrégulière dans les clubs de Los Angeles. Lorsque le producteur de jazz Norman Granz, après une éclipse forcée, décide de relancer son label Pablo et de reprendre des tournées internationales de big bands, il pense en premier à Count Basie à qui il adjoint Big Joe Turner. Le succès de cette tournée au printemps 1972 est tel que Granz décide d'enregistrer live le concert parisien et de le sortir sur Pablo.
            Les dés sont lancés: Joe Turner revient à son rôle favori de blues shouter et, devenu très ami avec Granz, il va enregistrer pas moins de neuf autres albums pour Pablo entre 1972 et 78, entouré de certains des noms les plus prestigieux du jazz. Si l'album The Bosses (avec Count Basie mais en studio) recueille de bonnes critiques, les autres sont très fraîchement accueillis, notamment par les critiques de blues qui soulignent l'absence de nouveau répertoire, les solos très longs, les morceaux étirés, les disques enregistrés en très peu de temps. Joe n'est pas non plus toujours dans une grande forme. Sa santé se détériore beaucoup durant cette période et il ne se déplace plus que difficilement et à l'aide d'une canne.
            Malgré tout, ces disques prennent avec le temps une autre dimension: ils réunissent de grands musiciens qui ont marqué l'histoire et qui ont d'évidence du plaisir à se retrouver ensemble. Et finalement, ce long corpus permet à Big Joe Turner, un des plus grands noms de l'histoire du blues, d'ajouter - presque en fin de carrière - une nouvelle pierre solide à sa longue et riche oeuvre.
            La plupart de ces LPs sont aujourd'hui introuvables et nous remercions tous ceux qui ont permis de les rassembler ici: Marc (Fr), Hartmut Münnich, Kempen, Steve 626...
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

            When Big Joe Turner (1911-85) began his series of recordings for Norman Granz' rejuvenated Pablo label, he was a little bit forgotten. Pioneer of the Kansas City blues, linked with the boogie woogie craze of the 1930's, particularly with his fellow Pete Johnson, Joe is a consummate showman and an ultra-powerful blues shouter with the big bands of Andy Kirk, Benny Moten or Count Basie before launching a personal career as a major name of the R&B, heavily recording for numerous labels. Moreover, when signing with the Atlantic label in 1951, Joe became one of the few black R&B star to be able to crossover in the emerging Rock'n'roll field, singing before audience of teenagers, appearing in many R'n'R movies and placing records like Shake, rattle and roll; Flip, flop and fly or Teenage letter into the Tops 40 of R&B as well as Pop!
            But in the 60's, Big Joe seems to be a figure of the past. He tries to cope with the tastes of the new Blues Revival audiences, waxing excellent deep blues albums (one with George Smith) but he was not the Delta or the Chicago ghetto bluesman that this public wanted exclusively at that time.
            Big Joe comes to live in California and appears irregularly on jazz festivals and L.A. clubs. When in 1972 producer and former civic rights activist Norman Granz decided to launch a big band tour of Europe, he chose to reunite old Kansas City partners, Count Basie and his Orchestra with blues shouter Big Joe Turner. The tour proved to be so successful that Granz recorded live the Paris concert and issued it on his Pablo label. This started a new association between Turner and Granz that gave nine subsequent LP's until 1978! Joe is once again the blues shouter supreme surrounded by some of the biggest and most respected jazzmen still working then. But if The Bosses (with Count Basie) has some good reviews, the other albums are mildly welcomed, particularly by blues critics who point out the lack of new material, the overlong numbers and solos, the quickly recorded sessions and sometimes a lacking of rehearsal... Joe's health is also declining and it shows sometimes in his voice.
            Anyway, the passing years give those LPs a better significance: they brought together great musicians (and some of the greatest) who evidently enjoyed playing with each other and at last those late sessions are a welcomed addition to the recording works of one of the true giants of the blues.
            Most of those records are unavailable today, sometimes very hard to find and all those who have made possible this project must be thanked: Marc (Fr) particularly, Hartmut Münnich, Kempen, Steve 626..

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

JOE TURNER/ THE COMPLETE PABLO SESSIONS
Joe Turner with Count Basie - Flip flop and fly
Joe Turner, vcl; Count Basie, pno; Freddie Green, g; Pete Minger, tpt; Waymon Reed, tpt; Sonny Cohn, tpt; Mel Wanzo, tb; Al Grey, tb; Frank Cooks, tb; Bill Hughes, tb; Bobby Platter, a-sax; Curtis Beagler, a-sax; John Williams, b-sax; Eddie Lockjaw Davis, t-sax; Eric Dixon, t-sax; Jimmy Forrest, t-sax; Norman Keenan, bs; Sonny Payne, dms. Paris, Fr. avril 1972
01. Hide and seek
02. T.V. Momma
03. Corrine Corrina
04. Cherry Red
05. Shake, rattle and roll
06. Since I fell for you
07. Flip flop and fly
08. Everyday I have the blues
09. Good morning blues

Count Basie & Joe Turner - The Bosses
Joe Turner, vcl; Count Basie, pno/og; Harry Edison, tpt; J.J. Johnson, tb; Eddie Davis, t-sax; Zoot Sims, t-sax; Irving Ashby, g; Roy Brown, bs; Louis Bellson, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 11 décembre 1973
10. Honeydripper
11. Honey Hush
12. Cherry Red
13. Night time is the right time
14. Blues around the clock
15. Since I fell for you
16. Flip flop and fly
17. Wee baby blues
18. Good morning blues
19. Roll'em Pete

Joe Turner - Life Ain't Easy
Joe Turner, vcl; Roy Eldridge (trumpet) Al Grey (trombone) Lee Allen (tenor saxophone) Jimmy Robins (piano, organ) Thomas Gadson (guitar) Ray Brown (bass) Earl Palmer (drums) Los Angeles, CA, June 3, 1974
20. Life Ain't Easy
21. Plant Your Garden
22. So Long
23. For Growin' Up
24. (What's Your Story,) Morning Glory
25. Kick The Front Door In

The Trumpet Kings meet Joe Turner
Joe Turner, vcl; Harry Edison, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry (trumpet) Jimmy Robins (piano, organ) Pee Wee Crayton (guitar) Chuck Norris (bass) Washington Rucker (drums) Los Angeles, CA, September 18, 1974
26. Stormy Monday
27. Mornin' noon and night
28. I know you love me baby
29. T.V. mama
30. Tain't nobody's bizness if I do

Joe Turner - Everyday I have the blues
Joe Turner, vcl; Sonny Stitt, a-sax/t-sax; J.D. Nicholson, Pee Wee Crayton, g; Charles Norris, bs; Washington Rucker, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 3 mars 1975
31. Stormy monday
32. Piney Brown
33. Martin Luther King Southside
34. Everyday I have the blues
35. Shake rattle and roll
36. Lucille
Big Joe Turner Nobody in mind
Joe Turner, vcl; Roy Eldridge, tpt; J.D. Nicholson, pno; Milt Jackson, vb; Pee Wee Crayton, g; William Walker, bs; Charles Randall, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 27 août 1975
37. I want a little girl
38. Nobody in mind
39. The Chicken and the Hawk
40. I just didn't have the price
41. How long how long blues
42. Crawdad hole
43. Juke Joint blues
44. Red Sails in the sunset

Joe Turner - In The Evening
Joe Turner, vcl; Bob Smith, a-sax; J.D. Nicholson, pno; Herman Bennett, g; Pee Wee Crayton, g; Winston McGregor, bs; Charles Randall, dms. Los Angeles, CA, 10 mars 1976
45. In The Evening
46. Summertime
47. Sweet Lorraine
48. Too Late, Too Late
49. I've Got The World On A String
50. Chains Of Love
51. Corrine, Corrina
52. J.T. Blues
53. Pennies From Heaven
54. Two Loves Have I

Joe Turner - The Midnight Special
Joe Turner, vcl; Jake Porter, tpt; Roy Brewster, b-sax; Curtis Peagler, t-sax; Curtis Kirk, hca; Sylvester Scott, pno; Cal Green, g; Bobby Haynes, bs; Washington Rucker, dms. Los Angeles, CA, 27 mai 1976
55. The Things That I Used To Do
56. The Midnight Special
57. You're Driving Me Crazy
58. So Long
59. I Left My Heart In San Francisco
60. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter
61. I Can't Give You Anything But Love
62. After My Laughter Came Tears
63. Stoop Down Baby

Joe Turner - Things That I Used To Do 
Joe Turner, vcl; Blue Mitchell, tpt; Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, a-sax; Rashid Jamal Ali, t-sax; Wild Bill Moore, t-sax; Lloyd Glenn, pno; Gildo Mahones, og; Greg Beck, g; Gary Bell, g; Lawrence Gales, bs; Bruno Carr, dms. Los Angeles, CA, 8 février 1977
64. Time After Time
65. The Things That I Used To Do
66. S.K. Blues
67. Jelly Jelly Blues
68. Hey Little Girl
69. Shake It And Break It
70. St. Louis Blues
71. Oke-She-Moke-She-Pop
72. My Train Rolled Up In Texas

Have No Fear, Joe Turner Is Here
Joe Turner, vcl; Joe Banks, tpt; Bobby Smith, a-sax; Bill Clark, t-sax; Hollis Gilmore, t-sax; Lloyd Glenn, pno; Pee Wee Crayton, g; Evan Walker, g; Bill Walker, bs; Charles Randall, dms; Frederick Woods, perc. Hollywood, CA, 22 juin 1978
73. Rocks In My Bed
74. So Long
75. Howlin' Wind
76. Woman You Must Be Crazy
77. How Come My Dog Don't Bark
78. Long Way From Home
79. Somebody Loves Me
80. Love Is Like A Faucet

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vendredi 29 octobre 2021

CHICAGO/ The Blues Yesterday Volume 25

 

CHICAGO/ The Blues Yesterday/ Volume 25

The Drummers

 

           


After a long hiatus, we are getting back to our Chicago/ The Blues Yesterday Series. This 25th (!) volume brings the focus on some drummers who played in or around Chicago during the great musical postwar years .

            I don't know too much about Count Demon who led a driving R&B band based on Champaign (Illinois), a city at 200 kilometers South of Chicago. His son L. Jennings posted some years ago some quick infos about his father who was very popular in the area. He was associated with famous organist Brother Jack McDuff who is probably (and aurally) the "High Priest" from the discographies. Whatever, Count Demon recorded some great 45s during the late 60's.

 

            Drummer and bandleader Willie Wright must not be confused with the folk/ soul singer or the deep blues guitarist of the same name. This Willie Wright is from Muskogee (Oklahoma) where he fronted his own band The Sparklers during the 1950's/60's, recording several singles for Federal and then a whole album for Chess's Argo subsidiary. Among the singers of the group was the powerful Jesse Anderson (cf Chicago/the blues yesterday on this blog).

 

            Al Duncan is a very well known name among blues fans for his long stint as a house drummer at Vee Jay or Cobra labels, particularly behind Jimmy Reed. Born Alrook James Duncan on 8 October 1926 he, if I'm right, recorded only two singles under his name. He died on 3 January 1995 in Las Vegas.

 

            Odie Payne is also very well known, having drummed for several decades behind some of the greatest Chicago bluesmen: Tampa Red, Elmore James, Junior Wells, Louis Myers, Muddy Waters and many others. Born in Chicago on 27 August 1926, he recorded some odd tracks under his name as well as a whole album in 1979, playing not only his drums but also taking the vocals and some harmonica blowing. The tracks in this post come from this rare album (thanks to Xyros for sharing this). Odie Payne died in Chicago on 1 March 1989.

 

            Blues singer and drummer Harold Tidwell was active in and around Chicago during the 1950's/early 60's, recording with Detroit Jr, Syl Johnson, M.T. Murphy, Lillian Offit and particularly Earl Hooker who is the guitarist on the two tracks we are offering here.

 

            At last J.C. Heard (1917-88) was a noted jazz drummer influenced by Jo Jones. He played and recorded with several jazz greats like Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter, Louis Jordan, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and such! He was more living in Detroit than in Chicago but it's in the windy city that he recorded his most bluesy tracks under his name.

 



 

                                                   Gérard HERZHAFT

 

 

COUNT DEMON, vcl/dms; "High Priest" (prob. Jack Mc Duff), og; Chuck Fields, t-sax; Lament Parson, g; Freddie Davis, bs; Vick Mc Guire, bongos. Champaign, Ill. 1968

01. My Isabella

02. I don't believe

03. Take it upstairs I

04. C.C. Rider

05. I got to work with it

WILLIE WRIGHT, dms; Sammy J. Faggit, vcl; Jesse Anderson, t-sax; Eddie Caddell, t-sax; Gordon Sims, org; Herbie Witch, g; Carl Wright, bs. Chicago, Ill. 27 May 1960

06. Bloodhound

07. Gibble gobble

03. Got a feeling (vcl: Jesse Anderson)

09. Hard times (vcl: Sammy J. Faggit)

10. I want to love you (vcl: Sammy J. Faggit)

11. I'm gonna leave you baby (vcl: Jesse Anderson)

12. Slowly losing my mind (vcl: Sammy J. Faggit)

13. Suffering in mind (vcl: Sammy J. Faggit)

14. What will I say? (vcl: Jesse Anderson)

15. Just let me love you (vcl: Gordon Sims)

Yourletter

AL DUNCAN, dms; Lefty Bates, g. Red Holloway, t-sax; Horace Palm, pno; bs. Chicago, Ill. 1962

16. Cossack walk

17. Bawana Jinde

ODIE PAYNE, vcl/dms/hca; Herman Smith, tpt; Chrissy Brooks, tb; Horace Smith, t-sax; Ulysses Wilson, g; Ron Wheeler, g; Sunnyland Slim, pno; Darlene Wells, dms; Odie Payne IV, perc. Orland Park, Ill. 1979

18. Blues blues all the time

19. Howdy do

20. I don't know

21. I left from home

22. Kansas City

23. Tell me yes or no I & II

HAROLD TIDWELL, vcl/dms; Lorenzo Smith, t-sax; Earl Hooker, g; Tall Paul Hankins, pno; Jack Myers, bs. Chicago, Ill. 23 May 1959

24. Señorita Jaunita

25. Sweet Suzie

J.C. HEARD, vcl/dms; Joe Newman, tpt; Benny Powell, tb; Frank Wess, a-sax/ft: Charlie Fowlkes, b-sax; Ronnell Bright, pno; Johnnye Pate, bs. Chicago, Ill. 1958

26. Blues for sale

27. For you my love


 Odie Payne