Saturday, December 10, 2016

Wynonie Harris - Don’t You Want To Rock?

Wynonie Harris 
Don’t You Want To Rock? 
The King & Deluxe Acetate series 
Ace Records 2-CD set UK Import 

Wynonie Harris, the great blue shouter known as “Mr. Blues,” is the subject of a superb double-CD reissue on the English Ace label which the label describes on its website as “23 of the R&B superstar’s seminal King sides in best-ever sound, plus an entire CD of alternates, all mastered from fresh transfers from the original acetates.” These are Harris’ first recordings for the Cincinnati based King Records label and find him backed by Dexter Gordon, Hot Lips Page, Tom Archia and many others with songs that would become classics, including his cover of Roy Brown’s “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” heard with an alternate take and a breakdown take. There are the big band renditions of Louis Prima’s “Oh Babe!” and the Ruth Brown hit “Teardrops From My Eyes,” bawdy numbers like “She Just Won’t Sell No More,” and “I Like My Baby’s Pudding,” and the humor of “Grandma Plays the Numbers.” There is a lavish booklet with session-by-session annotation that comes with this. It is probably this writer’s favorite blues reissue of 2015. 

 I purchased this and it was published the the 2015 Jazz & Blues Report Gift Guide (downloadable from website as a pdf file that includes 2016 Gift Guide and Gift Guides from prior years).  Here is the Wynonie Harris recording of  "Grandma Plays the Numbers."

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