The 40 tracks compiled on this two-disc set represent the entire span of pianist and singer Leroy Carr's recording career that spanned a brief seven years, from 1928-1935. The material represented here – all but one of these tracks were recorded for the Vocalion label – features accompaniment by guitarist Scrapper Blackwell on all but one selection, and Josh White on a handful as well. Carr's material here ranges from the classic piano blues of the era that spawned Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to vaudeville and hokum tunes made popular by artists like Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. Carr's voice is the haunting thing here; it's higher and very clear, sweet almost, as evidenced by most of these sides. But there was an edge, too; one that belied a kind of pathos underneath even the most cheery material – check "Mean Mistreater Blues" or "Bread Baker." But the darker material such as "Suicide Blues" (one of six previously unissued performances), "Straight Alky Blues," or "Shinin' Pistol," is strange and eerie given Carr's smooth approach. Carr may not be the most well-known bluesman of the era, but his contribution is profound and lasting. This collection puts to shame almost all others with the exception of the multi-volume complete recordings on Document.
40 CD box set. Artists include John Lee 'Sonny Boy' Williamson, Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, Mississippi John Hurt, Memphis Minnie, John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Williams and many more. 725 tracks all digitally remastered to enhance the original recordings without manipulating the character of the music. Recordings made between 1923 and 1948. 20 double slimline jewel cases housed together in a cardboard box.
This 52-disc (no, that is not a typo) comp, ABC of the Blues: The Ultimate Collection from the Delta to the Big Cities, may just indeed live up to its name. There are 98 artists represented , performing 1,040 tracks. The music begins at the beginning (though the set is not sequenced chronologically) with Charlie Patton, Son House, and Robert Johnson, and moves all the way through the vintage Chicago years of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, with stops along the way in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, New York, and all points in between. Certainly, some of these artists are considered more rhythm & blues than purely blues artists: the inclusion of music by Johnny Otis, Wynonie Harris, Bo Diddley, and others makes that clear…
During the last quarter of the 20th century, and thanks largely to Eric Clapton's remarkable devotion to his memory, Robert Leroy Johnson posthumously became the most celebrated Delta blues musician of the pre-WWII era. Among numerous editions of his complete works and various anthologies that combine his recordings with those of his contemporaries and followers, J.S.P.'s The Road to Robert Johnson and Beyond combines many of his essential performances with those by dozens of other blues artists from Blind Lemon Jefferson and Henry Thomas to Muddy Waters and Elmore James.
Popular and prolific, Bumble Bee Slim parlayed a familiar but rudimentary style into one of the earliest flowerings of the Chicago style. Much of what he performed he adapted from the groundbreaking duo Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell – Slim built on Carr's laconic, relaxed vocal style and Blackwell's guitar technique. During the mid-'30s, Bumble Bee Slim recorded a number of sides for a variety of labels, including Bluebird, Vocalion, and Decca, becoming one of the most-recorded bluesmen of the decade.Born in Georgia, Bumble Bee Slim left his home when he was a teenager. He joined a circus and travelled thorughout the south and the Midwest for much of his adolescence and early adulthood. Eventually, he made a home in Indianapolis, where he played local parties and dance halls.Bumble Bee Slim moved to Chicago in the early '30s…..
Another masterpiece of British jazz reissued on Universal's outstanding Impressed Re-pressed series, where it joins other long unavailable classics such as Amancio D'Silva's Integration , reviewed last month. Recorded in '69, Greek Variations & Other Aegean Exercises is irresistible on two counts. First, for its daringly conceived and brilliantly performed music, inspired by Greek folk songs and instrumental textures and deep enough to reveal all its treasures only after many repeated listenings. Second, for being recorded at the moment when the Don Rendell/Ian Carr Quintet, a major force in British straight-ahead jazz since '62, had broken up and Carr's equally influential jazz-rock band Nucleus was rising from the ashes.
Like any form of popular music, the blues has reflected the social conditions of the times, sometimes quite explicitly. News & the Blues offers 20 songs from the Columbia vaults from between 1927 and 1947. The Depression is reflected often, as expected, but there are also songs about natrual disasters, public figures like Joe Louis, World War II, and even the atomic bomb. Memphis Minnie and Bill Gaither even take the step of recording specific tributes to other blues singers (Ma Rainey and Leroy Carr respectively). Many of the performers are well-known – Bessie Smith, Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, Charley Patton, Memphis Minnie, Bukka White…