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lundi 26 février 2024

CAL GREEN/ Blues Guitar Masters Volume 11




CAL GREEN/ Blues Guitar Masters Volume 11



Cal Green was born in Dayton, Tx. on June 22nd 1935 but moved at a very early age to Houston. His mother who played spiritual taught him (as well to her elder son Clarence Green) the guitar and how to read music. As a teenager Cal saw his recording idol Gatemouth Brown who encouraged him to go further on guitar. So, Cal decided to make a living with his music.

            Quickly, Cal who had become a very versatile guitar player, able to play any kind of music, became in demand in cubs, venues and recording studios. He is featured as a sideman on many Texas blues and R&B records by Quinton Kimble, Connie McBooker, Big Mama Thornton etc... In 1954, he got the job of being the lead guitar player of Hank Ballard and The Midnighters who were becoming a big name in R&B. Cal so was constantly on the road and in studios. Cal has plenty of solos on most of Ballard's records, influencing many Rock'n'roll and rockabilly guitarists like Sleepy La Beef. Cal Green even managed to cut a couple of singles under his name that, though excellent, didn't sell too much. In 1959, Cal Green and Hank Ballard co-wrote The Twist that reached n°4 in the Billboard but went to be a monster international hit when Chubby Checker waxed it some months later, launching one of the most famous and still popular dance through the decades and until now!

            But the things suddenly turned bad for Cal who was framed for drug possession and served a 21 months jail sentence! During his time, Cal played with a band of convicts who were mostly in jazz and Green became a good Kenny Burrell's disciple! Out of jail, Cal moved to California, played with Gatemouth Brown, then El Paso playing with Long John Hunter before joining for two years Brother Jack McDuff's band in New York! There he played with many fellow jazz musicians like George Benson and Lou Donaldson.

            Back in Los Angeles, Cal made a good living as a sideman and studio musician, recording a lot behind musicians of all genres. He also recorded sporadically under his name, some singles and a jazz album (Trippin'). Some of his own records having been reissued for the new blues audiences from all over the world, Cal gained the interest of this public. He was featured on several blues magazines namely Living Blues n° 24 with a in-depth essay by Dick Shurman. Cal then came back to his blues roots and recorded a great album in 1988 that led him to tour in the USA and abroad.

            Cal Green died in his home of Lake View Terrace, Ca. on 4 July 2004.

            This post gathers all the recordings he made under his name.

                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT


CAL GREEN, vcl/g; Mark Patterson, tpt; Wilbert Dyer, a-sax; Jimmy Moore, t-sax; Danny Bank, b-sax; Ivory Joe Hunter, pno; Menth Martin, bs; George DeHurt, dms. New York City, 23 may 1956

01. I can hear my baby calling

02. The search is all over

Cal Green, vcl/g; Mark Patterson, tpt; Jimmy Moore, t-sax; Jimmy Johnson, pno; James Fisher, bs; George DeHurt, dms. Cincinnati, Oh. 14 january 1958

03. The big push

04. Green's blues

Cal Green, vcl/g; band. Houston, Tx. 1960

05. Huffing and puffing

06. Honky Tonk

07. Sawdust floor

Cal Green, vcl/g; band. Houston, Tx. 1962

08. Fast times in Houston

09. I knew I was wrong

10. All that slow jazz got me blue

Cal Green, vcl/g; The Specials, band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1965

11. I'll give you just a little more time

12. Stormy

13. Spanky

Cal Green, vcl/g; Charles Kynard, pno/org; Tracy Wright, bs; Billy Moore, dms/perc. Los Angeles, Ca. 1969

14. Days of wine and roses

15. Johnny goes to Vietnam

16. Mellow in blues

17. My Cherie amour

18. Sieda

19. Sweet september

20. Trippin'

Cal Green, g; band. Houston, Tx. 1972

21. Revolution rap I & II

Cal Green, vcl/g; Sammy D., t-sax; William Clarke, hca; Chuck Rowan, pno/org; Mike Saucier, bs; Roscoe Riley, dms. Hollywood, Ca. march 1988

22. What makes your pretty head so hard?

23. You don't know how it feels

24. Big leg woman

25. Greasy spoon

26. White pearl

27. 24 hours a day

28. Back where it used to be

29. Just want to make love to you

30. Mister silk



jeudi 15 février 2024

ROY MILTON/ The Later Years (1956-69)


ROY MILTON/ The Later Years (1956-69)



Between 1945 and 1953, Roy Milton and his band were extremely popular among the afro-American public. R.M. Blues, Milton's boogie, Rainy day, Best wishes, Confession blues and Them there eyes made it to the top of the national charts. R.M. Blues was even number one on the West Coast for almost all 1946.

            Born Roy Bunny Milton in Wynnewood, Ok. on 31st July 1907 in a wealthy family with native American grandparents, he moved to Tulsa and was strongly influenced by the pre-swing bands of the era. He joined Ernie Fields band as a drummer and singer during the 1920's. After moving permanently to Los Angeles in 1933, Roy formed his own band, the Solid Senders which gathered some of the most brilliant musicians of the West Coast like the pianist Camille Howard. They recorded Milton's boogie on the Miltone label (owned by Roy of course) but he get a big break in 1945 with R.M. Blues that led him to a contract with Art Rupe's Specialty label. He then recorded prolifically for Specialty, touring from coast to coast with some of the best bands of the era. A witty composer, a dynamic singer, and a driving showman Roy and his band became one of the favorite R&B band of the late 1940's, contributing greatly to define the genre.

            But after 1953, R&B became less and less in favor among the African American public and although Milton was certainly one of the Rock n'Roll forerunner he, unlike Big Joe Turner, never was recognized as such and didn't enjoy the interest of the younger generation, least of all the European blues buffs. After 1955, he struggled to live with his music, recording only sporadically during the 1960's. He enjoyed a kind of recognition when his old friend Johnny Otis took him with his band at the Monterrey Jazz Festival and recorded him a whole LP in 1969. Milton would tour Europe during the 1970's, recording an excellent album for Black & Blue. I had the chance to see him during his 1977 tour of France and he was still a great entertainer leading a wonderful band with, among others, Roy Gaines and Billy Butler.

            Roy died in Los Angeles on 16th September 1983.

            His early and Specialty works are largely reissued, particularly on the Ace label but his later recordings (1956-69) are much more difficult to get although they are still very good with great musicianship all over. We have thus tried to gather most of them minus two tracks.

                                                           Gérard HERZHAFT



Roy Milton, vcl/dms; Walter Williams, tpt; Harvey Braxton, a-sax; Clifford Salomon, t-sax; Oscar estelle, b-sax; Emmanuel Kennebrew, pno; Johnny Rogers, g; Lawrence Kato, bs. Cincinnati, Oh. 17 october 1956

01. You're gonna suffer (vcl: Iñez Coleman)

02. One zippy zam

03. Succotash

Roy Milton, vcl/dms; Walter Williams, tpt; Harvey Braxton, a-sax; Clifford Salomon, t-sax; Oscar estelle, b-sax; Emmanuel Kennebrew, pno; Johnny Rogers, g; Lawrence Kato, bs. Los Angeles, Ca. 27 february 1957

04. I'm grateful

05. Skid row (King)

Roy Milton, vcl/dms; Walter Williams, tpt; Harvey Braxton, a-sax; Clifford Salomon, t-sax; Oscar estelle, b-sax; Emmanuel Kennebrew, pno; Johnny Rogers, g; Lawrence Kato, bs. Cincinnati, Oh. 2 july 1957

06. Rocking pneumonia and booge wogie flu

07. A brand new thrill

08. R.M. blues 1957

09. Jeep's blues

Roy Milton, vcl/dms; band. New York City, 16 july 1960

10. Early in the morning

11. Bless your heart

12. Red light (Warwick)

13. So tired

14. Best wishes

15. RM blues 1960

Roy Milton, vcl/dms; Roy Gaines, g; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1961

16. Come home when you're thru

17. Baby you don't know

18. I wonder

19. Hop skip jump

20. I can't go on

Thelma Lou

How was I to know?

Roy Milton, vcl/dms; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1963

21. Driveway blues

22. I'm forgettin' about you

Roy Milton, vcl/dms; Charles Gillum, tpt; Jackie Kelso, a-sax; James Jackson, t-sax; Leon Blue, pno; Junior Ryder, g; La La Wilso, bs. Los Angeles, Ca. 1964

23. You could have kissed me goodbye

24. Have it your way

Roy Milton, vcl/dms; band. Los Angeles, Ca. 1967

25. Miss you so

26. A true confession

Roy Milton, vcl; Larry Reed, pno; Shuggie Otis, g/og/bs; Melvin Moore, tpt; Preston Love, t-sax; Jackie Kelso, a-sax; Johnny Otis, dms. Los Angeles, Ca. 1969

27. Best wishes

28. Hop skip and jump

29. I got a big fat mama

30. Information blues

31. R.M. blues

32. Red light

33. Roy’s boogie

34. Roy’s groove

35. So tired