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JSP (JSP7789)

Mean Mistreated Lover, Highway 101, You Had Your Chance, Bad Luck And Trouble, Love When It Rains, My Life Depends On You, Up And Down Blues, That's Life, Reconsider Baby and many more...

Another excellent release from JSP, compiling some 98 early sides from the versatile and smart West Coast blues singer, pianist and song-writer who passed away just a few short months ago.

These recordings demonstrate the emergence of an artist from a generic jump blues exponent from the Big Joe Turner-school of belting it out, through to the development of a more unique and distinctive style. This style would, just a few short years after this set ends, hit commercial pay-dirt with the writing and recording of the big hit he is most commonly associated with, The Walk.

Included in these 4CDs are all the sides he cut during this period for a myriad of labels, from his debut for Globe in 1945 with Miss Mattie Left Me, through a number of tiny labels and on to the sides for Modern, Swing Time and Peacock. Most of this is course available elsewhere (notably on Ace) but is not compiled all in one place as it is now here.

As a bonus however, this set does end with nine tracks from a 1970s album (originally on Lunar #2 and previously issued on CD by JSP JSP1057). This revisits his earlier style and features a rocking band involving great work from saxophonist Wild Willie Moore.

A fine set befitting of a knock-out singer, including super notes by Neil Slaven on his life and recording career.


Review Date: April 2013

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