Thursday, September 18, 2014

How Long How Long Blues

Today's blog is devoted to simply presenting a number of renditions of a song most associated with Leroy Carr, How Long, How Long Blues. This was a major hot for Carr and became one of the true blues classics.

First up is Carr's original recording

Second is Tampa Red although I wish we just had the music, not the video and audio of a 78 playing.

Ida Cox's How Long Daddy speaks about that southbound train. It predates Carr's recording. Cox was one of the early blues greatest talents.

Kokomo Arnold also did a terrific rendition of this

Let us not forget some superb instrumental piano renditions including Count Basie

And no instrumemntal rendition touches me as much as that by the great Jimmy Yancey.

A year before he died, Jimmy Yancey did this with Mama Yancey singing wonderfully

Carr' song was a favorite of blues shouters like Jimmy Rushing, Jimmy Witherspoon and Big Joe Turner. Here is the Boss of the Blues singing it from the essential album The Boss of the Blues Sings Kansas City Jazz.

Other singer-pianists have done including Memphis Slim and Champion Jack Dupree. I have included Dupree's rendition from 1945.

It has been a song that jazz performers have interpreted such as Coleman Hawkins. There is a superb duet performance by Archie Shepp and pianist Horace Parlan on the terrific album Trouble in Mind. Here is Coleman Hawkins.

Among recent blues renditions, I consider the best to be from pianist Butch Thompson and guitarist Pat Donohue. Here is Thompson channeling Jimmy Yancey as I close this blog post.

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