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Floating World (FLOATB6116)

Junior Wells: Little By Little, Cha Cha Cha In Blue, Come On In This House, You Don't Care, I Could Cry, Prison Bars All Around Me, Mickey Hawks and The Night Raiders: Bip Bop Boom, Rock And Roll Rhythm, Screamin' Mini Jeanie, Jessie & The Sequins: Hold My Hand, So Weak, Bobby Dean: It's Fad Ma!, Foster Brothers: Why Yi Yi, Trust In Me, The Night Raiders: Cottonpickin', Hidi Hidi Hidi, I'm Lost, Lil June & The Januarys: Oh What A Feeling, Oh My Love, The Noblemen: Dirty Robber.

Black music connoisseur Bill Dahl has put together an excellent selection of tracks released on Chicago's legendary Profile label from the time that it was competing admirably with Chess and Veejay during the late 50s and early 60s and this well-organised selection of hard-line blues, bopping R&B, dreamy doowop, straight ahead rock'n'roll and screaming sax is developing into one of my favourite albums of the year.

Junior Wells' cuts for Profile represent some of the best blues Chicago had to offer in the Golden Age. Apart from Junior's strident vocals and mesmeric harmonica work, the hits included here employ a stunning array of sidemen, ranging from guitarists Syl Johnson, Earl Hooker and David Myers to bassist Willie Dixon and pianists Lafayette Leake and Otis Spann.

The Night Raiders feature their energetic guitarist Bill Ballard on the crazy hepped up instrumental Cottonpickin' - a song that could give Link Wray a run for his money and the band really let rip when they join forces with Mickey Hawks for the pounding rocker Bip Bop Boom. Hawks sounds like Little Richard on speed as his echo-drenched vocals are bawled over the frenetic rhythm which goes into overdrive on the sax player's sizzling solos and some dizzying guitar runs from Mr Ballard. Rock And Roll Rhythm was issued as the b-side to this killer and sounds almost as wild. (I wish a copy of that 45 was mine!) Add to these tracks the polished harmonies of the Foster Brothers, the sublime doo-wop crooning of Jessie & The Sequins, the stomping rock of The Noblemen and the rocking lunacy of Bobby Dean and you've got a good idea of why the Profile label is held in high esteem by those in the know.

The Profile Records Story is a belting compilation that is highly recommended - especially at such a low, low price. Check it out.


Review Date: January 2012

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