Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Redd Foxx Channels' Basie's "Boogie Woogie"

Listening to my ipod this morning (It has been reissued on several collections including The R&B Years 1947), I was startled by a solid jump blues, Shame On You" that clearly was based on the Jones-Smith Unlimited recording "Boogie Woogie. Jones-Smith Unlimited was a small group taken from Count Basie's Band that John Hammond recorded for Columbia after Hammond found out that Dave Kapp signed the Count Basie Orchestra to Decca Records. Jones Smith was named after drummer Jo Jones, and trumpeter Carl 'Tatti' Smith, but also included Count Basie, bassist Walter Page and tenor saxophonist Lester Young along with vocalist Jimmy Rushing in what is now viewed as all-time classic record date with one of the sides waxed being "Boogie Woogie." When I checked my ipod for the song title I discovered it was by Redd Foxx. Foxx's recording has a tenor saxophonist playing in a manner inspired by Lester Young with trumpet riffing in support (echoing Tatti Smith's playing on the original). Of course Redd Foxx would be best known as a raunchy comedian who pioneered with his raunchy party albums and then as George Sanford on the classic television comedy series, Sanford & Son (Foxx's real name was John Elroy Sanford). While Foxx may not have been a Jimmy Rushing or Joe Turner, this solid recording showed him to be a more than credible blues shouter. An intriguing footnote for a person who would become iconic as a comedian.

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