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BLUES & GOSPEL

 
THE PACE JUBILEE SINGERS/FOUR HARMONY KINGS Document 5617 Vol. 1 ● CD $15.98
6 tracks by The Four Harmony Kings from 1921-24 and 19 by Pace Jubilee Singers from 1926/27.

 
THE PACE JUBILEE SINGERS/ C. & M.A. COLORED GOSPEL QUARTET Document 5618 Vol 2, 1928-29  ● CD $15.98
This features the remaining 19 cuts by The Pace Jubilee Singers from 1928 & '29 plus 4 tracks by C.M.A. Colored Gospel Quartet from their very obscure recordings on the Gospel Tabernacle label, sometime in the early 20s.

 
PAPA LIGHTFOOT Ace CDCHD 548 Natchez Trace ● CD $18.98
14 tracks, 61 mins, recommended
Entertaining and energetic selection from Mississippi singer and harmonica player Alexander "Papa George" Lightfoot recorded in 1969. 9 of these tracks were originally issued on a Vault LP and the remainder are unissued up to now. Lightfoot was a legend among blues collectors for his raucous Imperial recordings in the 50s and when he was rediscovered he was still in fine form. He was a gruff singer whose gruffness is accentuated by having him sing through his harp and was a dynamic harmonica player. His playing has a thick, full sound, at times reminiscent of Big Walter Horton. Though maybe not one of the greatest he was certainly an expressive and imaginative player. He was accompanied on these sessions by a hastily put together band and although there was little time for rehearsal they do an excellent job of following Lightfoot's occasional erratic timing. With the exception of Baby, Please Don't Go all the tracks are originals - a number of them instrumentals. The disc ends with an extended version of the spoken monologue that was on the original album. Lightfoot died two years later and so these and his rare 50s recordings are the only legacy of a very talented performer. (FS)

 
THE PARAMOUNT SINGERS Arhoolie 382 Work & Pray On ● CD $13.98
Using a somewhat unusual lineup (sextet with 4 tenors), the Paramounts continue a legacy of acapella gospel that goes back to their recording debut in 1941. Two of the present members have been Paramounts since the '40's, assuring a strong link with the classic sound of gospel's golden age. Innovative arrangements set them apart from the handful of traditional groups still active today, though other groups may have a "harder" sound and more vocal power. We might have gotten a stronger program if the group were given more than two sessions to do 20 songs! Still, there's plenty of stompin' soul in He Looked Beyond My Faults/ He'll Work It Out and even some convincing jubilee-style singing on Great Day/ It's Gonna Rain. Historical notes by Lee Hildebrand. (MB)
THE PARAMOUNT SINGERS: Child Of The King/ Deep River/ Ezekiel (Dry Bones)/ Family Prayer/ Great Day/ He Looked Beyond My Faults (Amazing Grace)/ He'll Work It Out (Problems)/ Heaven In My View/ If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again/ It's Gonna Rain/ Jesus Gave Me Water/ Jesus Is All This World To Me/ Mother/ My Lord What A Morning/ Oh, Rocks/ Out Of The Depths Of My Soul/ Peace In The Valley/ There's A Leak In This Old Building/ We've Come This Far By Faith/ Work And Pray On

 
THE PARAMOUNT JUBILEE SINGERS/ TASKIANA FOUR Document DOCD 5347 The Paramount Singers/ The Taskiana Four ● CD $15.98
25 tracks, 69 min., recommended
Volume two in this impressive series opens with six performances by the formal, university-taught Paramount Jubilee Singers including When All the Saints Come Marching In and I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray. The next 16 tracks, recorded between 1926 and 1928, belong to the less rigid Taskiana Four. They lend a freer, more modern sound to numbers like Creep Along Moses, Join That Band, I Shall Not Be Moved, Toot Toot Dixie, and Brightly Beams. Closing out the program are the only two known numbers by the Southern Jubilee Quartet, from 1927, Couldn't Hear Nobody Praying and Listen to the Lambs. An interesting disc, complete with solid notes by Ken Romanowski. (DH)

 
JUNIOR PARKER Collectables 5624 The Mercury Recordings ● CD $13.98
JUNIOR PARKER: (ooh Wee Baby) That's The Way You Make Me Feel/ Baby, Please/ Come Back, Baby/ Country Girl/ Cracked Up Over You/ Hey Lawdy Mama/ Hurtin' Inside/ I Can't Put My Finger On It/ If I Had Your Love/ Just Like A Fish/ Sometimes I Wonder/ Wish Me Well/ You Ain't Got No Heart/ You Can Make It If You Try

 
SONNY PARKER Blue Moon BMCD 6003 The Complete, 1948-1953 ● CD $15.98
26 tracks, 72 min., highly recommended
Vocalist Sonny Parker's career lasted just about 6 years, recording (1st) with King Kolax (Columbia), Lionel Hampton (Decca, MGM), Johnny Board (Aladdin/Peacock), Gene Morris (Spire) and Jesse Stone (Brunswick). In all, 16 titles were issued under his own name. His other recordings were released as Lionel Hampton recordings, covering such R&B hits as Larry Darnell-Paul Gayten's For You My Love, Johnny Moore & The Blazers' Merry Christmas, Baby, Sticks McGhee Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee, and Mabel Scott's Boogie Woogie Santa Claus. Given the limitation of the CD technology, only 10 of the 21 sides he recorded with Hampton are included. As usual with Hampton, the musicianship is first-rate, featuring pianists Sammy Price (What's Happening Baby?), Milt Buckner (Don't Flee The Scene Salty), and Floyd Dixon (Cryin'). Other musicians include trombonist Al Grey (especially fine on Worried Life Blues), saxophonist Johnny Board, and a young Wes Montgomery (Pretty Baby). The mastering leaves something to be desired which accounts for it being only highly recommended. (EL) 

 
NEAL PATTMAN Cello-Music Maker 91003 Prison Blues ● CD $15.98
 

 
CHARLEY PATTON Black Swan 21/22 The Voice Of The Delta - The Complete Paramount Recordings ● CD $28.98
Two CD set.

 
CHARLEY PATTON Document DOCD 5009 Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1, 1929 ● CD $15.98
First of three discs featuring the complete recordings of one of the greatest and most influential of all Mississippi Delta bluesmen. Patton was a wonderful gruff singer who, in spite of the ferocity of singing was capable of great subtlety. He was also the consummate Delta blues guitarist both playing regular guitar or slide. The first volume features 20 tracks recorded in June and December of 1929 and includes several accompaniments by fiddler Henry Sims including the alternate take of Elder Greene Blues which was only discovered a few years ago and was previously reissued on Document 532. Also includes Mississippi Boweavil Blues/ Down The Dirt Road Blues/ Banty Rooster Blues/ Pea Vine Blues/ A Spoonful Blues/ Prayer Of Death, Parts 1 & 2 (a truly incredible gospel performance)/ I'm Goin' Home/ Circle 'Round The Moon/ Mean Black Cat Blues, etc. (FS)

 
CHARLEY PATTON Document DOCD 5010 Complete Recorded Works Vol. 2, 1929 ● CD $15.98
Another 20 gems recorded November/ December 1929 including the never before reissued Jim Lee Blues, Part 1 which was only discovered a few years ago. Also included are the alternate takes of Some These Days I'll Be Gone and Hammer Blues plus 2 accompaniments to the vocal & fiddle of Henry Sims. Also includes Frankie & Albert/ Green River Blues/ Magnolia Blues/ Heart Like Rialroad Steel/ You're Gonna Need Somebody When You Die/ High Water Everywhere, Part 1 & 2/ I Shall Not Be Moved, etc. (FS)

 
CHARLEY PATTON Document DOCD 5011 Complete Recorded Works Vol. 3, 1929 - 1934 ● CD $15.98
The third disc features 21 sides recorded in December 1929, May 1930 and January/ February, 1934. It includes the other side of the previously unreissued Jim Lee Blues - Some Summer Day, Part 1 - a variation on the Sittin' On Top Of The World theme with lovely two guitar work from Patton & Willie Brown (even though the discography on the disc lists only one guitar). It also includes more accompaniments by and to Henry Sims as well as accompaniments to Patton's wife Bertha Lee on two songs and two gsopel songs with Bertha Lee duetting with Patton. Included are Running Wild Blues/ Be True Be True Blues/ Mean Black Moan/ Moon Going Down (one of his greatest performances)/ Jersey Bull Blues/ Stone Pony Blues/ Mind Reader Blues/ Love My Stuff/ Oh Death/ Poor Me, etc. (FS)

 
CHARLEY PATTON JSP 7702 Charley Patton & Associates - Complete Recordings ● CD $28.98
5CDs, 92 tracks, 285 minutes
The importance of Charley Patton seems to have crested with three box sets in the last two years. Catfish entered in early 2001 with their well done, yet inexpensive, 3-disc set and Revenant finished out the year with an elaborate and costly 7-CD masterpiece. JSP hands in yet another Patton box, this time five CD's with close to five hours of playing time.
Chronologically laid out, disc one contains Patton's fourteen tracks as well as four from Buddy Boy Hawkins dating to the June, 1929, session in Richmond. Disc two gathers sixteen of the sides Charley delivered in October of 1929 in Grafton, Wisconsin, along with Edith North Johnson's four piano offerings, while the third disc in the set also stems from the same session; Patton's even dozen are coupled with four from Henry 'Son' Sims. Disc four compiles the stunning sixteen tracks from the June, 1930 date, where Patton brought along Son House, Willie Brown, and Louise Johnson. House is spellbinding for three two-part masterpieces; My Black Mama/ Preachin' The Blues, and Dry Spell Blues, while the test of Walkin' Blues sounds absolutely better than ever. Brown's pairing of Future Blues and M&O Blues is breathtaking as well, and Louise Johnson's five show a driving pianist not afraid to get in the alley with the two-part All Night Long. The fifth CD has a few additional Patton cuts from the same date plus Wheeler Ford's powerful vocals fronting the Delta Big Four in May, while the balance is made up of Charley's final sessions. He traveled to New York in late January of 1934, and over three days, he and Bertha Lee delivered a dozen sides.
While there's not a lot of gloss and shine to the JSP box, it does offer incredible value. With much more included compared to the Catfish box, JSP comes out far ahead. Granted, it doesn't measure up to Revenant's expensive polish, and although it is a little less designed than what Catfish offers, by comparing all three sets, "Charley Patton: Complete Recordings 1929 - 1934" wins in the bargain sweepstakes. Sound quality on all three is far better than what many Patton devotees have ever heard, but mastering by 'The Masked Marvel' on the JSP set does sound better in many spots over the other two contenders. (CR)

 
CHARLEY PATTON Yazoo 2010 Founder Of The Delta Blues ● CD $15.98

 
ASIE PAYTON Fat Possum 80353 Just Do Me Right ● CD $16.98
14 tracks, 46 minutes, good
This is Fat Possum's second posthumous release of Asie Payton material and was recorded between 1980 and 1994. Payton delivered the goods with a soulful voice and careening guitar in Do Me Right, a slice of pure delta while I Got A Friend offers dirge-like guitar and Need My Help delivers looped drums with other gadgets. Livin' In So Much Pain is stripped clean while You Got Me Doin' Things relies on rattling gizmos to keep with the present. Why'd You Do It returns to simplicity and Lose My Happy Home will thrill purists and adventure seekers with its cry-and-moan that isn't far from Wolf's territory. You Don't Want Me gets minimal assistance and Payton tackles Watch Yourself with solid success thanks to Kenny Brown's slide and Sam Carr's backbeats. Standard Fat Possum fare from the absolutely wicked to what-in-the-world-for. (CR)

 
PINETOP PERKINS Black & Blue 424-2 Pinetop Is Just Top ● CD $22.98
Now on CD. Good set recorded in France in 1976 with Luther Johnson Jr./gtr, Calvin Jones/ bass & Willie Smith/ drums.

 
PINETOP PERKINS Blind Pig 73088 After Hours ● CD $15.98
 

 
PINETOP PERKINS Earwig 4934 With The Blues Ice Band ● CD $15.98
1991 recordings featuring Chicago Beau on harp.

 
PINETOP PERKINS Evidence 26011 Boogie Woogie King ● CD $12.98

 
LUCKY PETERSON Alligator 4770 Lucky Strikes! ● CD $13.98
 

 
LUCKY PETERSON Alligator 4789 Triple Play ● CD $13.98
New recording by grown-up child prodigy, now an accomplished guitarist and singer in addition to his keyboard abilities. Triple Play presents 10 cuts in a pop-oriented R&B/ blues vein similar to Robert Cray's recent efforts. Nice version of the Falcon's I Found A Love. (MB)

 
BREWER PHILLIPS Delmark 686 Homebrew ● CD $15.98
16 cuts, 61 minutes, recommended
Brewer made his best music years ago as the rhythm guitarist with Hound Dog Taylor's Houserockers. Now in his 70s, He makes his 1st US LP as a leader. Lots of good-time, rough-hewn boogie & blues, with a quartet with pianist Aaron Moore, bassist Willie Black & former Magic Sam drummer Robert "Huckleberry Hound" Wright. Mostly originals by Moore, who also sings, with a few choice covers, like You Don't Have To Go, Let The Good Times Roll & Laundromat Blues. (GM)

 
BREWER PHILLIPS Wolf 120.608 Brewer "Houserocker" Phillips ● CD $15.98

 
GENE PHILLIPS Ace CDCHD 746 Swinging The Blues ● CD $18.98
25 tracks, 64 min., essential
Painstakingly transferred from 16' acetates, these 1947-1950 Modern Music/Modern Recordings feature the outstanding singer/electric guitarist/songwriter Gene Phillips accompanied by distinguished West Coast soloists like tenor saxophonist/arranger Maxwell Davis, pianist Lloyd Glenn, trumpter Vernon "Jake" Porter, and saxophonists Marshal Royal and Jack McVea. Eugene Floyd Phillips was born 1915, St. Louis, MO., and died in 1990 in Lakewood, CA. Though most of these sides were reissued on two 1986/1988 Ace albums, first time listeners are in for a treat as Phillips' swing style will please all of you who enjoy the music of Jimmy Rushing, Eddie Vinson, and Louis Jordan. His (sometimes lap steel) guitar playing is featured on tracks like How Long Blues, My Baby's Mistr'Me, Slippin' & Slidin' (with Jack McVea), Snuff Dripping Mama, and others. As a bonus, the set includes a charming 34th "Happy Birthday" greeting to his good friend and producer Jules Bihari. As a songwriter, his songs Hey Lawdy Mama (to be included in volume 2) and Honey Chile had previously been recorded for Melodisc (1945) when he was a member of a trio led by the well respected California-born pianist Lorenzo Orlando Flennoy. Finally, instrumental city jump blues fans will rejoice with tracks like Gene's Guitar Blues (a tribute to his mentor Floyd Smith), Jumpin' With Lloyd (a live JATP-type bebop featuring Lloyd Glenn, Maxwell Davis and Marshal Royal), and a two-sax blowout on Lionel Hampton's Flying Home (with Maxwell Davis and (I believe) Jewell L. Grant). The first of two volumes, this set is essential to all fans of early post-war II Jump 'n Swing blues. (EL)
GENE PHILLIPS: Big Fat Mama/ Big Legs/ Broke And Disgusted aka It's A Lonely World/ Cherry Red/ Crying Won't Help You None/ Fatso/ Flying Home (inst)/ Gene Jumps The Blues/ Gene's Guitar Blues (inst)/ Happy Birthday (Jules Bihari)/ Honey Chile/ Honky Tonk Train/ How Long Blues/ I Wonder What The Poor Folks Are Doin'/ It's Raining/ Jumping With Lloyd (inst)/ My Baby's Mistreatin' Me/ My Mama Told Me/ Punkin' Head Woman/ Ramblin' Woman/ See See Rider aka C.C. Rider/ Short Haired Ugly Woman/ Slippin' & Slidin'/ Snuff Dripping Mama/ To Each His Own, Brother

 
GENE PHILLIPS & HIS RHYTHM ACES Ace CDCHM 894 Drinkin' And Stinkin' ● CD $13.98
19 tracks, 53 mins, highly recommended
Another superb collection of West Coast blues recorded for Modern between 1946 and 1950. Complementing Ace 746 this features one take of every tune not featured on that CD including several songs not originally issued on 78 rpm. Gene's fine vocal and guitar work are accompanied by top West Coast sidemen like tenor saxophonist/ arranger Maxwell Davis, pianist Lloyd Glenn, trumpeter Jake Porter, saxophonist Marshal Royal and others. One track features him in the company of Jack McVea & His Orchestra and two tracks were recorded live at "Frank Bull & Gene Norman's Blues Jamboree" in Los Angeles in 1950. A fine blend of slow blues, jump blues and a couple of jazzy instrumentals with sterling instrumental work throughout. Sound quality is stunning and there are detailed notes by Tony Rounce and, a rarity for Ace, a complete gene Phillips Modern discography. (FS)

 
PIANO RED Arhoolie 379 Atlanta Bounce ● CD $13.98
21 tracks, 73 mins, recommended
This one's been out for a while but we haven't had a chance to review it before. Willie "Piano Red" Perryman from Atlanta was a terrifically entertaining performer with a raucus vocal and piano style. Though steeped in traditional blues stylings he made many popular recordings with an R&B band and in the early 60s crossed over into the pop charts with recordings under the name of Dr. Feelgood. All his classic commercial recordings are reissued on the incredible Bear Family box set (Bear Family 15685 - $99.50). This delightful set finds Red alone with his piano and without a band one really gets an idea of the scope of his music - 8 of these were originally issued on Arhoolie 1064 ad 7 were previously unissued from the same session. The set is rounded out by five exciting cuts with his band from a chaotic 1956 live performance. (FS)
PIANO RED: Atlanta Bounce/ Blues, Blues, Blues/ Boogie Time/ Corrine, Corrina/ Do She Love Me/ Don't Get Around Much Anymore/ Got You On My Mind/ Got You On My Mind/ Let's Get It On!/ My Baby Left Me/ Please, Baby, Come On Home/ Pushing That Thing/ Red's Boogie/ Red's How Long Blues/ Right String But The Wrong Yo-Yo #1/ Right String But The Wrong Yo-Yo #2/ Rockin' With Red/ Telephone Blues/ Ten Cent Shot/ Umph-Umph-Umph/ You Ain't Got A Chance

 
PIANO RED Delmark 740 Dr. Feelgood ● CD $11.98
Reissue of solo 1975 session by this distinctive singer and piano player. Originally issued as an LP on the Euphonic Sounds label.

 
DAN PICKETT Collectables 5311 1949 Country Blues ● CD $11.98
CD issue of Krazy Kat 811. Back in the 60s some of the most highly prized 78s among blues collectors were the rare Gotham records of Dan Pickett. These were valued, not only for their rarity but for the fact that they were among the finest commercial recordings of country blues in the post war era. At that time no one could have imagined that there would be an album available of Pickett's recordings but, here it is and not only do we get all of Pickett's sides issued on 78 rpm but four previously unissued titles and most of it from original master tapes thanks to Gotham's foresight in recording on to tape as early as 1948. Pickett, whose real name was apparently James Founty was a stunning performer. A distinctive vocalist he had a remarkable vocal technique in which he sometimes compressed an amazing amount of syllables into one line. He was also a stunning guitar player performing in either a rhythmic percussive picking style or a lovely melodic slide style stunning accentuating his playing with rapping on the guitar. The songs are mostly versions of songs originally recorded in the 30s including Leroy Carr's How Long , Buddy Moss's Ride To A Funeral In A V-8 , Blind Boy Fuller's Let me Squeeze Your Lemons (which Pickett calls Lemon Man and others including a spellbinding version of 99 1/2 Won't Do Pickett's only gospel performance. Pickett transforms the songs into totally unique ones. The unissued songs are every bit as good as the issued ones. Album has excellent sound and informative notes by Chris Smith. A special hand of thanks to Bruce Bastin whose foraging in the Gotham vaults has turned up this gem.  (FS)

 
BILLIE & DEDE PIERCE Original Blues Classics 534 Vocal Blues And Cornet In The Classic Tradition ● CD $11.98
 

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