Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jimmy Reed's Classic Chicago Blues

Shout Factory continues its reissues from the legendary Vee Jay Records catalog and has made available some classic recordings on CD. This is a reissues of the original album and do not appear to be augmented by alternate takes or additional songs. They reproduce the original liner notes and have some contemporary commentary as well. Sound is very good.

Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall makes available the double LP album that was issued in 1961. Reed headlined a blues show at the venerable hall but his performance was not recorded. Instead he recreated the performance in the studio for one of the two discs (the first 11 tracks) while the second LP was comprised of reworking some of his best recordings, a Best of Jimmy Reed with new recordings. With drummer Earl Phillips on most of these recordings, his son, Jimmy Jr. handles guitar on eight of these tracks, while other selections feature Eddie Taylor, Lefty Bates, Lonnie Brooks, Johnny Littlejohn, Remo Biondi and Phil Upchurch.

Albert King is the drummer on the renditions of You Don’t Have to Go and Boogie in the Dark. The renditions of Bright Lights, Big City, Found Joy, Tell Me You Love Me, along with recreations of Baby What You Want me to Do, Honest I Love, and Take Out Some Insurance are done in the deceptively simple boogie shuffle style of Reed with his mush mouth vocals and simple high note harmonica, but delivered with complete sincerity that gave his music a wide-spread appeal.

This review originally appeared in the March 2008 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 303). I believe I received my review copy from the publication. This may be difficult to find. 

No comments: