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101. Dream Cafe
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102. Ray Charles: The Complete Country
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103. Train Home
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104. Big Trouble
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105. Higher Power
$11.98 $8.84
106. Hard Again (Exp)
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107. The Very Best of Big Joe Turner
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108. Foot Hill Stomp
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109. Watch Your Back
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110. Deluxe Edition
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111. Johnnie Taylor Chronicle: The
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112. Fathers and Sons [Expanded]
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113. Ultimate Collection
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114. Giant Step
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115. Roots of Rock N Roll: 1946-1954
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116. 70th Birthday Concert
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117. This Land Is Your Land: The Asch
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118. The Genius of Ray Charles
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119. Complete Decca Recordings-1937
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120. The Best of Clarence Carter: The

101. Dream Cafe
list price: $17.98
our price: $17.98
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Asin: B000001B9I
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 40696
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Dream Cafe
Insightful and inspirational. Quit reading this and buy it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Greg lets his finest come to your ears....
If you are familiar with Greg Brown, you probably are familiar with this release. If you don't have it, get it and treat yourself to an experience that take you on a journey of loves lost and loves to come. For those who are curious about Greg's work, this is an excellent place to start. There is not a bad cut here, and in particular, "Dream Cafe", "Spring Wind" and "Laughing River" are a trio of songs that somehow work some sort of magic into allowing me to see into life a bit deeper for a period of time. Two other releases that go along well with this are "Further In" and "The Poet Game."

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of Greg Brown
Very simply, this is Brown's greatest cd. And one of Folk's milestones in the 90's. So, if you have any interrest in this guy start here.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my most-played albums
Here's a miracle: the best damn song cycle about love since Blood On The Tracks, without a trace of sentimentality; soul-baring without being confessional or embarassing. But then, Greg Brown fans must be getting used to miracles. Greg's songs about old love, the ups and downs of marriages, and the vagaries of romance are shot full of self-deprecating humour, insights and beautiful images (I can't get that old couple 'burning their love letters so their children won't be shocked' in Spring Wind out of my head). This is the least precious, most life-affirming 'folk' record you'll ever hear.

5-0 out of 5 stars Gotta love Greg
Dream Cafe has to be one of Greg's best works. With tunes like Spring Wind, Dream Cafe, and I Don't Know That Guy how could it not? I have to say this, you haven't really heard Greg until you hear him live. Especially live with Bo. The two mesh so well it is almost scary. The tunes are different every time you hear them with a little improv by both artists mixed in throughout. I highly recommend this album. ... Read more


102. Ray Charles: The Complete Country & Western Recordings 1959-1986
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Asin: B00000C41G
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8627
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Feeling is what Ray Charles is all about--straight from the gut, exposed and vulnerable, real. And because it's the feeling of his music that matters most to him, whether it's found in the words he's singing or the notes he's playing, he has never seen any reason to limit himself to any particular style. He's played blues and gospel, jazz and soul, pop and rock and country, and for a half century now he's scored hits and created masterpieces with just about all of it--very often all of it at once! But no matter how startlingly dynamic his arrangements, the focus is always the feeling in Charles's voice. It's such an expressive, soulful instrument that, regardless of what's swirling around it--strings? gospel choir? pedal-steel guitar? all of the above?--it still demands the center of attention. Charles's version of country music takes the listener to unexpected places, musically and emotionally. Hearing all of his interactions with C&W pulled together like this simply amazes. --David Cantwell ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Ray Of Pure Light
With the exception of cd no:4 (which sounds too eighties for me) this is simply marvellous. I wouldn't call it soul, jazz or country - it's none of that, and all of it at the same time. "Take Me Home Country Roads" is way better than John Denvers version, "Ring Of Fire" sounds better than when Johnny Cash plays it. And the list goes on and on. "You Are My Sunshine" is another classic that Ray Charles breathes new life into.
This cd-box is quite expensive, but it's worth it. Three discs or four...

5-0 out of 5 stars Superlative box set -- probably the best in my collection
The soul and spirit in this collection is far beyond description. The feelin' starts on track 1 of disc 1 and continues on to track 22 of disc 4, and stays with you long after that. Sure, Ray Charles is a household name. But I don't think many people realize how deep of a soul singer and songwriter he is.

If you have any inkling as to who Ray Charles is and what he's about--and it appeals to you--then you will *LOVE* this entire collection (FORGET about "country"/"R&B" classifications--it is SOUL music). Some box sets are overkill with the content, making it hard to truly enjoy everything from beginning to end. This is a major exception. The songs range from the 1950s to the 1980s, and, to my wonderful surprise, the 1980s tracks don't have that fake, overproduced sound that most records from the 1980s have. And the tracks from the 1950s and 60s, of course, have that wonderful "live" sound that only recordings from that time could have. It's all good!

I was hesitant to buy this entire collection, and it makes me so happy to know that I took the chance because I wouldn't know what I was missing if I had simply gotten the "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" album.

Ray Charles RULES!

5-0 out of 5 stars BROTHER RAY!
What can you say about Ray Charles? He is indeed a One of a Kind SUperstar&Legend.Styles Of Music are Just Labels.Music is Either Feeling or Not.Ray Charles Passed on all Levels.His Playing&VOice Shine Really Bright here.He is Truly a Special Artist.this is a Great COllection on this Amazing Genius.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential recordings
No collection is at all complete without this set. The remastering is top notch, sounding better than the original LP's for the most part. The music is indispensable. It collects Charles' dealings with the country & western genre. I beleive this represents his strongest work

4-0 out of 5 stars An unusual view of Ray Charles
Few artists have had such a long and varied career that a collection of this sort could fill even a single disc, let alone 4. But Charles has proven himself time again to be more than just a pianist, more than just a soul singer, more than just a songwriter. He is an artist who fuses a variety of sources into something that is uniquely his own.

What's particularly interesting about this collection, drawn from a 28-year period, is the transition he makes. The early recordings take C&W songs and filter them through the jazz and soul stylings on which Charles made his name. The later recordings turn the formula inside-out, rearranging soul tunes with a C&W flair. Perhaps most impressive of all is that both work wonderfully. ... Read more


103. Train Home
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Asin: B0000A0DWG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3395
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

New Orleans-bred folk-bluesman Smither has few peers. As a musician he's expanded the six-strings-and-foot-stomps delivery of John Lee Hooker into an elegant, original style that draws as much on the sweet jazz melodies of gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt as the spidery swing of country bluesman John Hurt. And his writing has a poet's eye for detail, as when he's pondering mortality on the disc's title track. There's also a gentle, sincere quality that comes through the dusty tones of his voice, until he drops it to a mean-eyed growl to capture the soul of characters like his "Crocodile Man"--loners condemned to live in the dark neglected corners of their own hearts. But for much of this album, Smither's coming from a happier place, where love and life are full of possibilities, and his blues are just another way of expressing joy and wisdom. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Smither fans, rejoice
This is a honey of a CD. From the opening notes of the eerily beautiful "Train Home" I was hooked. The covers of "Crocodile Man" and (oh boy) "Desolation Row" are masterful. The account of Chris's woefully unsuccessful attempt at Zen-like detachment as he deals with the theft of his car ("Let It Go") makes me laugh out loud every time I listen to it. "Outside In" is one I return to again and again in appreciation of its wonderful lyrics regarding the futility of worry. Can you tell I can't choose my favorite cut? This is a CD that's going to be in my player for a long, long time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
I can listen to this CD everyday and I never seem to get tired of it. It's got a rare quality to it that's hard to define and near impossible to find. If nothing else buy this CD to hear his fantastic take of Dave Carter's song "Crocodile Man". It's worth buying the CD just to get that song.

5-0 out of 5 stars carry me awhile...
This is the kind of music that makes you stop and listen. The lyrics are intriguing ("with heavy-handed cheerfulness and a calculated smile, it says 'carry me awhile'") and the delivery arrestingly simple. The title track is like a George MacDonald purgatory transported to New York City. And he goes from channeling Tom Waits in "Crocodile Man" to covering Bob Dylan in "Desolation Row." All without stepping out of his own magnetic style. It's storytelling as much as singing. Buy it. Love it. Tell all your friends about it.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of his finest!
Roots-blues troubadour Chris Smither has been around so long that his '70s singer-songwriter status has shifted into that of an elder statesman of the alt.country scene. This is a remarkable album -- melliflous, calm and compelling, a very mature work. Some of his albums of the 1990s and early '00s have had their forced moments; here Smither seems entirely at ease, and seems to have nothing to prove. It's a very rich, rewarding album, well worth checking out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like a boat ride through fog in Mississippi
A outsatnding compilation of sometimes eerie, haunting and engaging melodies in a singing style that's a blend of Gordon Lightfoot and Arlo Gunthrie.

Muscially magnificent in the great American blues traditin. Own it! ... Read more


104. Big Trouble
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Asin: B000003JX9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2806
Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars We love Trout Fishing!
We bought this CD about 4 or 5 years ago after we saw them perform "Teddy Bear Picnic" for an adult audience in Texas. We were smitten. The music has become part of our family history. My husband sings the sweet "Lullaby" to our children and I always get a lump in my throat when I hear it. I think it will be a classic lullaby one day. Our kids sing all the words to all the songs. The lyrics are right on their level and are very funny. The CD is still a favorite even though they've grown and changed for 4 years. (Our oldest child is now 13.) I've never tired of hearing the music, because if you took away the words, the guitar and base music would grab you anyway. Keith and Ezra are very talented musicians and there's a thread of the blues running through some of their songs. Sometimes, I find myself (a non-singer) belting out a chorus along with my kids..."Pico de Gallo...don't get it in your eye-o!" We've gone to two of their live performances for children, which are great! If you want the feel of a children's concert, get their video "Go Fish." It has many of these same songs performed live on stage. I once got stopped for going 40 mph in a 30 mph zone. The policeman took one look at the photograph on my license and said, "Anyone who gets their picture taken wearing a Trout Fishing in America shirt can't be all bad." He did not give me a ticket! My kids were absolutely gleeful! Hey, you might say Trout Fishing got me off the HOOK!

5-0 out of 5 stars Twenty-two years later, a rediscovery.
In 1982, I lived in Austin, Texas. You know, that place. One night, dejected after my English girlfriend dumped me for an English guy (probably cousins), I aimlessly headed out for a few "I'm sorry for myself" beers. I went to a tavern I'd never set foot in before when I noticed a sign for a group called "Trout Fishing in America." I read the sign again, thinking to myself, "Trout Fishing in America?" I went in.

The first sign that the evening might develop into something memorable was when I bumped into a guy with long blond hair, heading for the stage holding a guitar. Nothing unusual there, except I was about eye level with his Adams apple, and I'm six feet four inches. Then another guy who appeared to be about two feet shorter than the blond guy headed for the stage. "Hm," I thought. I shoved my beer back to the bartender and ordered coffee. Something told me that I wanted to be wide awake for this one.

I could have skipped the coffee. What followed was a slowly developing evening of enchantment. The great musicianship and particularly involving harmonies of those two guys had the effect of grabbing me, shaking the hardness out of my heart, and not letting go until closing time. I left the establishment with nary a thought of my now-former girlfriend and her English cousin.

Over the years, I sometimes thought about those guys, but before the internet, thinking about them was about all it came to. Fast forward to this year. My wife comes home and announces that we've been invited to go with some friends and their kids to see "Trout Fishing in America" here in northern California.

I ended up wiping tears from my eyes at least a couple of times that evening: once when I realized those two guys still had the magic, and again when I saw that my three-year-old son was enjoying them just as much as me.

So now, my son no longer demands to hear the Crash Test Dummies when we travel in the car. No, "Big Trouble" is now number one on his request list. As for myself, I'm entirely happy to oblige.

5-0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS FUN!
My 18 month old twins get sooooo excited when they hear the very first dinosaur roar on track 1. They dance and clap and squeal and can't seem to get enough of Mommy stomping around and singing with the music....I know all the words -giggle!-. I even catch my hubby singing the songs to himself when the CD isn't even on! :0)Your kids will LOVE it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Love these Fishermen!
I was first introduced to Trout Fishing in a bar when I was in college, and I LOVED them. I am so thrilled that they are still around and that they are still great. I love this CDs wry humor (I'm Gonna Be in Big Trouble) and the varied beats. These are two guys who totally remember what it was like to be a kid. My son (just 2) loves this CD and dances around the house with me when it's on. He really loves the gallumphing sound of When I Was a Dinosaur along with the dinosaur voices these guys have come up with. I love this CD and recommend it to anyone, but especially to anyone with kids.

5-0 out of 5 stars I loved this album even before I had children!
A friend introduced me to the music of Trout Fishing when I was a single law school student. This album immediately became my favorite, and I love it even more now that I have two boys with whom to share it! My husband had no idea what was in our CD player, but he was hooked by the end of the first song. Everyone I have shared it with buys a copy. The music captures the essence of childhood and the every-day things children think and say. A friend with a child who hated her after-school day care was able to eliminate the tantrums by having her listen to "Day Care Blues." Most children's comments trigger a lyric for me. All the songs are great, but I especially love "I think I'll Need a Band-Aid" (it makes me laugh) and "Lullaby" (it makes me cry). Who cares if you don't have children; you'll love it anyway! ... Read more


105. Higher Power
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Asin: B0002XV2X4
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 34222
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Album Description

Whether you pay your respects to Bernard Allison as one of the high powered blues guitarists in the world or, like Bernard, pay your respects to that Higher Power that guides you through life, these are 13 songs Bernard sings that will speak to you. There are bluesy songs, soul, funk, R&B songs and a couple of rock things which show the overall musicianship of Bernard Allison. Ruf. 2004. ... Read more


106. Hard Again (Exp)
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Asin: B00023GGGW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 32478
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent! But then again, it always was
Most artists in their 60s would just have rested on their laurels, being admired and cited as a major influence by legions of younger musicians.
But not Muddy Waters. He recorded and toured right up until the end of his life, and this gritty 1977 album, the first of three studio albums produced by Texas guitarist Johnny Winter, recharged his career as well as winning Muddy a Grammy (in the "Traditional Folk" category!).

This 2004 reissue has been remastered, but not remixed (there was no need, says former Muddy guitarist Bob Margolin, who has written the excellent, warm and informative anecdotal liner notes). And one bonus track has been added to the original nine songs, a great rendition of the classic "Walking Through The Park" which was omitted from the original album release (probably because of the limited playing time of the LP).

If you already own "Hard Again" on CD you don't need to run out and secure a copy right away...the sound on the first CD reissue was good enough, and if you're a Muddy fan you probably have "Walking Through The Park" somewhere in your collection already. And this 1977 re-recoring is not particularly different from the original.
But if you don't have it, go get it right away. These recordings usually don't show up on the various Muddy Waters-compilations (they only chronicle his Chess years), and while some of the songs are "only" new versions of 50s and 60s numbers, the album as a whole remains one of the strongest Muddy Waters ever recorded. The band is magnificent...Waters himself only sings, according to Bob Margolin, so all the Muddy Waters-like slide guitar riffs are actually played by Johnny Winter.
But there's no mistaking the great James Cotton, Muddy's former harmonica player drafted to play on this album, or the supple, muscular groove laid down by the great Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, one of the best-ever blues drummers (alongside Fred Below, of course). He and bassist Charles Calmese form a top-notch rhythm section all the way through.

The album has a wonderful "live" feel, and literally everything is great, from the opening holler of the one-chord "Mannish Boy" over the magnificent acoustic slide guitar blues "I Can't Be Satisfied" (originally the flip side of Muddy's first single), to the seven-minute slow grind of "Little Girl".
"Hard Again" (the origin of the title is explained in lurid detail by Bob Margolin) should not be missing from any collection of electric Chicago blues. It is one of Muddy Waters' finest moments, alongside the Newport album and 1969's "Fathers And Songs".

5-0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL AND REQUIRED, PART 1
If you are a fan of the blues, and more importantly, Muddy Waters, this is the beginning of an essential triad that marked the grand finale of a long and storied career of the seminal blues figure of American music. For all the talk about Robert Johnson and Charlie Payton, the blues would never have evolved without Muddy Waters. There are any number of great CDs available from his career, but none as protean as the final three he did with Johnny Winter, plus the MUDDY MISSISIPPI WATERS LIVE CD and THE WOODSTOCK ALBUM guided by Levon Helm. These are the very last of his efforts and they are precious documents of the man who plugged the guitar in. Think about that just for a moment.
The remastered LIVE CD is an honest and uncompromising document of the Waters band in full flight, and while what was the official release suffers from Winters' presence, the second disc of the set is just so amazing that words fail to convey its power. While I am no fan of Johnny Winters, his work at the controls and in the studio with Waters through the course of these recordings is truly genius. This particular disc is as raw and as primal as the blues gets. It features Muddy's band, including Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Willie Smith, Calvin Jones Luther Johnson in a fired up, red hot, incendiary mood, and they simply burn through the catalog. This version of "Mannish Boy" is the most feral you'll ever hear. "Deep Down in Florida" steams like the Everglades in August. "The Blues had a Baby" rocks with a hip grinding intensity. "I can't Be Satisfied" threatens all sorts of promiscuity, and "Crosseyed Cat" is as quintessentially a part of African American humour (which is also a key element of the blues) as it gets. A bonus track is added from the sessions.
The remastering is incredible: this sounds as though it was done live, first take, and they all nailed it. Were he to have passed away right here, Muddy would have left us with an endearing ememory of his force. But the best was still to come.
Make no mistake, get this. This IS the blues. ... Read more


107. The Very Best of Big Joe Turner
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Asin: B00000346I
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12518
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jump blues legend, a cut or two above the greats
Big Joe Tuner was as hep as heck! This dude was singing back in the early 40's when the bozos he was competing with on the rock charts in the late 50's were born! Turner is a cut above(or 10 cuts above) the rock competitors, who were influenced by him anyway(most of them listened to Turner on the radio as kids). Turner was mature and knowing in his songs and rocks hard on tunes like Flip, Flop & Fly, and gives Haley a run for his money of Shake, Rattle & Roll. A blues shouther heavily influenced by r&b, who pioneered rock'n'roll. These are Turner's hits and best songs from the 50's like TV Mama and The Chicken & The Hawk. Every cut a gem and full of energy and pep. Turner was timeless, and I'm sure very happy to be so popular this late in his career, or should I say his second career as a rock'n'roller. A great cd of GREAT jump blues.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fine introduction if a little skimpy
For years, Atlantic had a great CD simply called "Greatest Hits," now OOP but easy to find (and still listed on Amazon.com). Rhino has replaced that CD with this one, "The Very Best of Big Joe Turner." Here are the differences:

1. "Oke-She-Monke-She-Pop" on this CD is the original single/45 version, the first time it's ever been used for a CD. "Greatest Hits" uses an earlier, slower version (and makes the mistake of listing the session date and credits of the single/45 version).

2. "Boogie Woogie Country Girl" has an extra 20 seconds at the end (it basically fades out 20 seconds later than the version on the "Greatest Hits" CD). I'm not sure if this is how it's supposed to be, but it's a good thing to have.

3. A complete set of liner notes by Billy Vera. Well-written and informative, the "Greatest Hits" CD had none. Furthermore, songwriting credits have been corrected - real names replace pseudonyms and songs originally credited to Big Joe Turner's wife are now credited to him (he is the actual writer, but for various reasons gave credit to his wife).

4. "Honey Hush" is slower and has a lower pitch (not-quite-half-a-semitone lower) than the "Greatest Hits" CD. This may or may not be correct.

5. Though 9 great tracks from the "Greatest Hits" CD do not appear here in any form or version, you do get 4 very good tracks that don't appear on the "Greatest Hits" CD. Still, that only leaves 16 on this disc with over a half-an-hour to spare. They could have easily squeezed 25 to 28 classic tracks on one CD.

6. There's less tape hiss than the "Greatest Hits" CD possibly from better source tapes, but like many Atlantic R&B CD's mastered by Dan Hersch and Bill Inglot, the sound is even brighter and harder from a treble and upper midrange boost. These recordings were pretty bright to begin with, and now they sound really harsh. The sound is also more bottom heavy and a lot louder than the "Greatest Hits" CD.

So not a bad introduction. If you're not a fan of Joe Turner or early r&b in general but want at least a little Joe Turner to round out your collection, this isn't a bad buy. Still, if you can find the old "Greatest Hits" CD, I'd pick that. It's not perfect, but in the long run, it will be more satisfying.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine single-disc overview
This certainly isn't everything you could want from blues shouter, jazz singer, Kansas City swing king Big Joe Turner, but as far as single-CD compilations go, this is a very fine one.

"The Very Best Of Big Joe Turner" takes the place of Atlantic Records' "Big Joe Turner's Greatest Hits", offering one of the great pioneering shouters of swinging, jazz-flavoured blues and hard-rockin' R&B at his wild and raving best.
At once loose and thoroughly committed, Big Joe Turner is at his very best on "Honey Hush", "TV Mama", "Corrine, Corrina", and the original version of "Shake, Rattle & Roll", written for Turner by Atlantic producer Jesse Stone.
Unfortunately, some of Turner's best slow songs are missing, including his magnificent take on "Honeydripper", but if you don't already have "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and "Honey Hush" in your collection, the handsomely packaged and excellently remastered "Very Best Of Big Joe Turner" is one disc you need to add to your library posthaste!
4 1/2 stars - highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars A rock legend, but a cut below the greats
I have listened to this record a lot more than when I first reviewed it, and have upgraded it to four stars. I underestimated Turner's style and force as an R&B singer. He does rock hard and he sings with a lot of soul. While he still remains a cut below the greats like Chuck Berry and Hank Ballard, he is a lot of fun and good freeway blaster.

Big Joe Turner is best known for "Shake, Rattle, and Roll," his biggest hit. His style of singing was Kansas City r&b/rock. While it's a great old sound, I do not think of Turner as being in the category of "great." Also, he did not write most of the songs he sang (although I should mention his own, "Honey, Hush" was a minor hit and is a terrific song), unlike the other three mentioned above. In fact, this record is a showcase of Ahmet Ertegun's writing skills. Ertegun was the founder of Atlantic Records. Along with Charles Calhoun and Lieber and Stoller, Ertegun was a seminal figure in the rhythm and blues era of the early Fifties. Nonetheless, This has become a favorite disc of mine so I have edited my original, lukewarm review.

4-0 out of 5 stars Shake, Rattle and Roll...
Pretty hard to categorize Big Joe..Rock and Roll, Big Band, Swing, Blues, Pop, Boogie-Woogie, R&B are all his style. Most of the time all these styles are displayed in 1 song. Listen to it and have fun. ... Read more


108. Foot Hill Stomp
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B00006IK2Y
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 44047
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Man Band.....naw One Man Experience
I was walking down beale street when I came upon a smal crowd gathered in the street around where music was playing. As I aproached the crowd I could see that a man was sitting there on the sidewalk playign what looked like to be the harmonica, a guitar(cigar box with a pickup and broomsticks for a neck) and the bass drums barefoot. I thought no way is he really playing all that at once, and I tried to look behind him to see if there was just a cd playing in the background. Sure enough though I was wrong, totally wrong. I am a fan of rock music but I also enjoy my blues every once and a while. I went into the music store behind him and bought his cd. It was $20 but believe me it was well spent. I like that semi-blues artists such as jack johnson and the white stripes are begining to make it mainstream, but I think that Richard Johnston has more musical talent than either of them. I desperately want my local radio station to start playing some of his songs, just so others can enjoy his music. "Miss Maebelle" is a great jam song to listen to while driving, and the begining of "Work Me Baby" almost sounds like a stripped down AC/DC song. All In All Great CD,(+ you should see him live if possible).

4-0 out of 5 stars For all people, not just blues fans
Richard is a strange bird indeed (that's a good thing). Here we have an artist who started playing out on the streets of Memphis (by way of Austin, TX and some years honing his craft in Japan!!) making it all the way into the pages rolling stone recently (not to mention winning the BB King guitar award and International Blues Artist of the year). Richard has helped to resurrect Mississippi Hill Country blues and presents it in its raw, powerfull and primal form. You can't help but tap your toes to most of the tunes included on this CD. As with other reviewers I was introduced to Richard via his live shows (which will mesmerize you) but I have had the CD for some time now to digest. Richard is the american dream, starting from humble beginnings to acclaim all through hard work, perserverance, and genuine love of the craft. This translates into his music. The CD was recorded in 48 hours but you would never know. There is energy and vibe captured here, not just notes strummed on a guitar. Richard's voice has a soulful edge but also an ease about it. The guitar sound is often "dirty" and gritty sounding, almost reminding you (in some way) of a washboard tone. This blends perfectly into the pace of most of the tunes. The stunners here are Miss Maebelle, Catfish Blues, Coal black Mattie and Work Me Baby. I dare anyone to listen to Coal black Mattie and NOT tap their foot... if you dont, better check for a pulse. I am aware of all the Junior Kimbrough references/history etc but as a somewhat 'non' blues fan it doesnt matter much to me. What matters is the feel and energy here, it isnt perfect throughout the whole album but this reaches far above anything you may have heard for some time. PS: Jessie May Hemphill adds some great flavor to this CD as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow. This guy rocks.
A friend who recently moved from my hometown of Boston to Rio Grand of Texas returned home on vacation with this CD is his discman. I played it in my car and within 24 hours bought it for myself. Fantastic blues! You can't help but want to tap your foot or nod your head to the raw power and pervasive energy that runs throughout the album. I know diddly about blues music or artists. But I know what I like and this album is now one of my favorites. Can't wait for more to be released.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Blues!
I first saw Richard Johnston at the 2002 Telluride Blues & Brews Festival. He was awesome! Unbelievably, the CD is just as good. Buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Richard Johnston knows how blues should sound!!!
Somewhere around the beginning of September, I was walking down Beale Street, and on one end there was a large crowd gathered. I checked it out, and what I found was a guy playing guitar, harmonica, drums, and singing all at the same time. There were people dancing in the street, and immediately, you could tell that Richard Johnston not only knows how to feel the blues, but plays them better than most. If you have the chance, see him live, but if not, get this CD! I bought it from him on the street, and I still listen to it on a daily basis. I'm ready for the next CD to come out, hopefully it will include a song called "201 Poplar" that he played live, but is not on his first CD. If you like country blues with power behind them, then this CD should be a part of your collection! ... Read more


109. Watch Your Back
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Asin: B0001XAMTA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11420
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Houston-born blues showman Guitar Shorty, who once taught his young brother-in-law Jimi Hendrix a few stage tricks, has been on the scene since 1957, blasting out rocking blues with over-the-top enthusiasm. His recording career, highlighted by a trio of fine Black Top releases in the '90s, has been unfortunately limited, but Watch Your Back might finally put him in the spotlight. Much of the material, except for muscular reworkings of Van Morrison's "I've Been Working" and the recently discofied Elvis hit "A Little Less Conversation," comes from his producer and pianist Jesse Harms, and it effectively showcases Shorty's aggressive approach: a big sound short on subtlety but permeated with passionate vocals and searing guitar work. He simply overpowers the songs with his energy, and you can either go with the flow or get swept aside by its immediacy. The music is uniformly loud and in your face, just as you would expect from such an extroverted entertainer, and, more often than not, its sheer intensity overcomes any musical shortcomings. --Michael Point ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Smokin' Blues!
Great stuff here. If you like your Blues on the rock side (without actually becoming rock) than you'll love this. A shame this guy is not huge.

5-0 out of 5 stars Shorty Rocks The Blues
"This is the record I always wanted to do...the songs and arrangements are what's been inside my head my whole life" says Guitar Shorty in the liner notes. THis is his Alligator debut and he sounds fired up on this one. The arrangements are heavy bottom-heavy blues rock with Shorty's shoutin' vocals and intense guitar chops are full of energy. The thumping "What She Don't Know" & "I've Been Working" are intoxicating in the same way Buddy Guy's SWEET TEA disc was. Muscular, macho and in the groove. This is most likely his best disc and should win him a new legion of blues/rock fans. ... Read more


110. Deluxe Edition
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Asin: B00005UF1W
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8742
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Koko Taylor's something of a deluxe edition herself. With a Cadillac of a voice that rumbles the earth and rattles the glassware, she reigns as the undisputed empress of the blues. Deluxe Edition, a retrospective of her 15 years with Alligator Records, may not include such classics as "I Got What It Takes" and the Willie Dixon-penned"Twenty-Nine Ways," but it does have "I'm a Woman," Taylor's answer to Muddy Waters, just to kick things off. Other highlights include "Born Under a Bad Sign"--a duet with Buddy Guy, of course. Much of Taylor's work in the 1970s included such duets, and here can also be found Carey Bell (on "Mother Nature"), Pinetop Perkins (on"Hey Bartender"), and B.B. King (on "Blues Hotel"). Everything on Deluxe Edition brims with Taylor's trademark attitude, the sass and toughness for which she's well known. Yet Taylor is capable of astonishing tenderness as well, as is borne out by "I'd Rather Go Blind" and "Time Will Tell." Though this collection boasts only one obligatory previously unreleased track, it's a doozy: "Man Size Job," simply put, kicks ass. Looks like Taylor's reign is in no danger whatsoever.--Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Burnt My Fingers Putting On The Disc
This is one HOT album. There is a lot of stuff on this album, and it is smokin'. She has some guests you may have heard of like Buddy Guy, B. B. King, Carrey Bell, Pinetop Perkins, and Mighty Joe Young. I would recommend this album to anyone that doesn't have her previous albums (she's been with Alligator for over 26 years), or just wants a package with all her best in one healthy portion. For the price I paid, I definately got my money's worth. But with that voice, & those riffs, I'm surprised that Amazon got the package to me without catching fire. This is one HOT album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Holy Cow!!!!!
Koko belts it! That's all there is to say. She is UN-BE-LEEEEE-VABLE. And this disk is no exception. I also have 3 others. If you have not heard Koko Taylor belt blues, and you are (as I am) a lover of blues, this is a must! This is the greatest thing since "canned Peanut butter."
Enough of the flattery. If you like blues, this is an essential CD to add to your collection. Simply, each and every cut on the disk is, in it's own right and in my estimation, a piece of blues history.......... Aquire it and see for yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection of Koko's Best!
The choice of songs in this collection is outstanding, because it superbly showcases Koko's enormous talent at its very best. Backed by some of the best musicians in the business, she belts out her trademark tunes with power, attitude and conviction. This collection is a MUST for the die-hard blues fan, and it's also a great way to introduce new audiences to the "Queen of the Blues" and her music. Keep making the music, Koko . . . your fans love you!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice selection of Koko's work
Typcially nice Alliagtor Deluxe Edition that is a retrospective of the artist (sorta of a greatest hits). Few have had a longer tenure with the label that the "Queen" of the Blues Koko Taylor and this nicely samples her various albums. She belts out a number of tunes that are associated with her the most with some special guests on some tracks but the finest moments are Koko herself belting out her songs with so much feeling and authority. Hopefully if you are new to her, this will inspire you to check out more stuff by her ... Read more


111. Johnnie Taylor Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 54828
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for all R & B fans everywhere.
Few people realize that Johnnie Taylor was a Sam Cooke protege. After Sam left the gospel group "The Soul Stirrers", he hand picked Taylor to take his place. It was a great choice. He not only filled some pretty big shoes, he went on from there to do a great job in the R & B field. I would recomend this album of hits in a heartbeat.

4-0 out of 5 stars No Disco Lady - thank God
If the recent swell in Tito Puente sales is an indication, we should expect sales of Johnnie Taylor's catalog to take off with his passing this week.

While most news reports refered to Taylor as the artist behind Disco Lady, that #1 hit was not his best work.

This CD, featuring classier tracks like "Cheaper To Keep Her" and "Who's Making Love" ("to your old lady while you're out making love") is a truer representation of the man's soul and style.

If you're desparate for Disco Lady, the cheapest source for that track is the K-Tel Disco Fever collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic Johnnie Taylor
I HAVE 4 JOHNNIE TAYLOR CD'S THEY ARE ABSOULTY GREAT!!!!!.
I RECENTLY BOUGHT THE 20 CHRONICLE GREATEST HITS. I RECOMMEND THAT YOU GET THIS CD. TO ME IT'NOT LIKE HIS OTHER CD'S THIS ONE HAVE SLOW SONGS AND MY FAVORITE SONG IS "I BELIEVE IN YOU (YOU BELIEVE IN ME)". I HAVE ALWAYS LIKED LISTENING TO THE BLUES BUT,UNTIL I DIDN'T KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE THE BLUES.THIS CD IS OFF THE CHAIN!!!!!!!!!PLEASE HURRY GO OUT AND BUY THIS CD.THIS IS CLASSIC J.T.

5-0 out of 5 stars the greatest
this cd is great johnnie taylor is one hell of a soul singer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get an Attitude and Pack Your Bags
Of the three soulful Taylors (Johnnie, Johnny and Ted) Johnnie is, I guess, my favorite. There's not much to say about this except that it's completely unpretentious, cool music about screwing around. Don't do it is what Johnnie usually counsels, and in the ultimate Johnnie Taylor song, "Cheaper to Keep Her," he lets you know that "you're gonna pay some alimony, or do some time" if you get that divorce you want. Plus that other woman look good right now, but once wife-you-got-now get through with you, you won't have a damn thing so who's gonna want you anyway? Nothing gives me more pleasure than Johnnie Taylor singing "Cheaper to Keep Her"; it's good advice and good music, and that's an unbeatable combination. He recorded a zillion things for Malaco down in Jackson, and although I am not totally enamored of their concepts of modernizing soul with them drum machines and everything, his later stuff sounds good coming out of your car radio on I-55, and next time you're in Jackson stop in at Popeye's for some chicken and biscuits, hop over to the state capitol, and be sure to take some Johnnie Tayor with you. Works in Memphis and in Dallas, too. ... Read more


112. Fathers and Sons [Expanded]
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5746
Average Customer Review: 4.94 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars The best blues album I have ever heard!!!
This is CD is awesome!!! Muddy Waters (the greatest blues singer of all time) is amazing, and the band rocks! Paul Butterfield plays the meanest harmonica you'll ever hear, Michael Bloomfield is a blues guitar MASTER, and Otis Spann is THE blues pianist. The songs are rerecordings of Muddy's earlier singles, but they are wonderful, even better than the originals. Any one who likes Muddy Waters or blues in general must own this album. It's possibly one of the finest blues albums ever recorded and the best collaboration between a blues singer and white rock musicians. Buy it!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent expanded re-issue
This is probably the best of the "senior musician meets and plays with eager young fan"-projects of the sixties and seventies blues revival.

Blues legend Muddy Waters and his piano player Otis Spann, with veteran Sam Lay behind the drum kit, teamed up with three young white musicians to record this 1969 album: Guitarist Michael Bloomfield, bassist Donald 'Duck' Dunn (of Booker T & the Memphis Group), and harpist Paul Butterfield.
And the results are magnificent. 26-year old Paul Butterfield shows off some truly excellent harmonic playing, Dunn is rock-solid and funky, and the combined forces of Bloomfield and Muddy Waters himself produces some terrific guitar playing.

The sound is great, too, and Otis Spann (who is supposedly one of the "Fathers" of the album's title, even though he was only in his late 30s at the time) plays some of the best blues piano you'll ever hear.

Highlights include the tough, swinging "Blow Wind Blow" and "I'm Ready", the supremely groovy slow blues "Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had", the catchy "Forty Days And Forty Nights", Eddie Boyd's "Twenty-Four Hours", and the up-tempo rendition of "Sugar Sweet", which really shows off Otis Spann's masterful boogie piano playing.

Then comes four previously unreleased cuts, which aren't rejects by any means, although they didn't make the original double-LP, and six live tracks recorded on April 24th 1969 with the same band which had cut the studio tracks during the previous three days.
Muddy Waters' vocals on the slow slide-guitar workout "Long Distance Call" are sublime, and Butterfield's playing on the classic "Baby Please Don't Go" is pure Little Walter.
Out comes the bottleneck again for a grand rendition of "Honey Bee", followed by Willie Dixon's "The Same Thing" and an eight-minute take on "Got My Mojo Working", much to the delight of the crowd.

Not all attempts to "update" a blues artists sound were succesful, but this one is not only a succes, it is an excellent album which genuine adds to the legacy of Muddy Waters.

5-0 out of 5 stars this album rates at least 6 stars
this is a real kick-ass, get-down, blues album. Stop reading the reviews.......go hear the album

5-0 out of 5 stars If I could give it 6 stars...
I have about 100 CD's of the blues. Bands from A to Z. And this one right now is #1 on my list. Put this CD on in the car with a bunch of your boys liquored up and heading out, and you will have everyone tapping their feet and jamming. Everysong is 5 stars. If I had to pick one CD to listen to for a long car ride, like NYC to LA, and could take only one album for the ride, this would be it. Right now I don't even think my #2 CD is even in the same stratosphere with "Fathers and Sons". I hope this review encourages you to buy the CD, you will not regret it. I guarantee it.

5-0 out of 5 stars not much i can add.....
the results are in....an almost unanimous ***** for this gigantic piece of work which has been in my collection [and in my brain] since 1970. you should buy it. but just for the record....it's not the paul butterfield band backing - it's mr. butterfield and mr. bloomfield only of that troupe doing inspired work each....i'm here to tell ya that the cd notes are quite an improvement on the original 2-lp liner notes, which were non-existent....other reviewers have given their favorites, none of which is "long distance call" which is mine [dig the finish]....and also dig the double harp work on "all aboard" [first track] - only work i know of mr. jeff carp, but a fine piece it is....did i mention that you should buy it? ... Read more


113. Ultimate Collection
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 38777
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic melodic, poppy blues
They say timing is everything, and in Freddie King's case, that certainly was true. His early hits, especially the classic instrumentals, "Hide Away" and "San-Ho-Zay," came out in 1960 and '61, at precisely the right moment for his career to intersect with the SoCal surf scene (which also centered on instrumental numbers) and the nascent British blues revival, which was ever eager to find American bluesmen to latch onto and laud. Here, white kids on both sides of the Atlantic had a guy who bridged the gap between raw authenticity and pop polish, setting the standard for the zilllion-and-one future Fendermen who sought to sharpen their guitar chops. Fittingly, King cracked into the US Top 40 while also picking up flocks of converts (such as Eric Clapton) who worshipped his fluid, pop-tinged electric guitar leads. King's style was a perfect distillation of the smooth yet soulful postwar blues style, rootsy yet accessible and perfectly pitched for the ears of adoring white blues fans. His career had its ups and downs, but by the time he passed away in 1976, he had packed them in on the pop and blues circuits... This disc covers the breadth of his career, matching the ace oldies up with a good selection of his often overly-bombastic later material.

5-0 out of 5 stars Freddie King is a blues master
I don't have this actual CD, but I have most of the songs that are on it from other collections and they are all great. This is a great collection of Freddie King's work from his earliest recordings (1960's "Have You Ever Loved A Woman") to his later Shelter records material (1969's "Palace of the King" and "Going Down"). If you like blues guitar, then at least one Freddie King CD should be in your collection. He influenced countless guitarists, particularly Eric Clapton. This is a good place to start if you're new to this blues guitar master.

5-0 out of 5 stars "if you like rock mixed with blues then this is the place"
Freddie King is a one-of-kind-artist ~ his talent is tremendous ~ check out the style you've come to love from this down-home-finger-picking icon.

Of course there are stand outs ~ "HAVE YOU EVER LOVED A WOMAN", "HIDE AWAY" and "AIN'T NOBODY'S BUSINESS" are just but a few that grab you, but then the whole album pulls you in ~ hook, line and sinker.

The influence of this great artist can still be heard through recordings of the musicians of today ~ the short time this legend was here on this planet will be missed, but they'll never be another to pass this way again ~ FREDDIE KING!

Total Time: 59:43 on 18 Tracks ~ Hip-O Records 314 520 909 2 ~ (2001) ... Read more


114. Giant Step
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9819
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

One of the more woefully underappreciated blues artists of the last three decades, Taj Mahal has consistently made great records that combine his extensive knowledge of roots music with a refreshingly non-elitist sensibility. Giant Step/De Ole Folks At Home from 1969 was Taj's commercial high point, and it's easy to understand why. The first half of the album (originally released as a two-record set) features Taj and band blending rock, pop and blues on songs like "Take a Giant Step," "Give Your Woman What She Wants" and "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl." The second half is more laid-back and down-home, with Taj essaying solo renditions of "Fishing Blues," "Stagger Lee" and "Light Rain Blues" on banjo, harmonica and acoustic guitar. The most effortlessly enjoyable record of an effortlessly enjoyable career. --Dan Epstein ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great American Album
Taj at his best with a GREAT band , but Jesse Ed Davis III ,-alone-, is reason enough to need this cd. His perfect string bending solos and fills are backed up by his own keyboard work,(Taj himself makes -no- apparent instrumental contribution on tracks such as the classic re-working of 'Six Days On The Road'), and the songs are marked down in the liner notes in his artful handwriting. He manages to use modern effects,(for the time,such as guitar through a Leslie speaker), and still sound down-home all the while, and played impossibly difficult riffs with such grace,relaxation, and musicality that he could easily be taken for granted. Davis is a great forgotten American treasure,(perhaps best known for the fills and solos on Jackson Brown's 'Doctor My Eyes', {but even -that- was thirty years ago}, he was favorite of Eric Clapton and George Harrison).

5-0 out of 5 stars A Unique Experience
If you've never heard him before, it's hard to describe Taj's music. He's usually labelled as a blues man - but his music is a mixture of all kinds of folk traditions - including american, african, and caribbean. I've seen him live several times - he's intelligent, articulate, warm, and has a great sense of humor. He plays a wide range of instruments - most often guitar or banjo. There is something truly special about him. His songs are usually playful and infectious - you just can't help tappin' your toes and humming along. He's recorded a number of great albums, but Giant Step has always been my favorite. The CD includes both albums in the original vinyl release, Giant Step and De Ole Folks At Home. On Giant Step, Taj is backed by a small group of electric blues musicians (featuring Jesse Ed Davis on lead guitar). On the more down-home De Ole Folks At Home, he plays solo, accompanying himself on guitar, banjo, and harmonica. My favorite song is "Take a Giant Step" - it's a tender look at rediscovering love. There's something about this song that captures Taj's essence - it's simple and direct and honest. Taj is a unique soul - his music always makes me feel good.

5-0 out of 5 stars Landmark Recording
Taj has contributed a lot of great music over the years he's recorded music but I keep coming back to this one. A lot of critics have termed it a "blues" recording but it's really more than that. I see it as a very enduring document of American folk music...not Dylan...more like an audio history of rural southern America...the subjects he deals with are those dealt with daily in the rural south by the common man living there. There are a number of songs that work their way into your mind...simply irresistible tunes...you find yourself humming them at the oddest moments... If you only buy one Taj Mahal recording, make it this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Still A Classic After 30 Years!
Originally released in 1969 as a 2-album set, this is one of Taj's best discs! Now it's all together on 1 CD, so no more album flipping and swapping. The first 9 tracks are electric blues band based, with Jesse Ed Davis on lead guitar. Some of the excellent tracks on this portion are: "Keep Your Hands Off Her", "Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond", Dave Dudley's "6 Days On The Road", "Give Your Woman What She Wants", "Bacon Fat", and a great bluesy version of The Monkees' hit "Take A Giant Step". The "De Old Folks" portion of the disc is solo Taj singing & playing banjo on such classic turn-of-the-century "down home" country-fied black tunes as "Colored Aristocracy", "Fishin' Blues", "Cluck Old Hen", "Stagger Lee" and "Candy Man". A wonderful disc by one of the most underrated blues artists of the past 30 years. Loads of fun to listen to, and the band plays in great ensemble on the electric stuff. Still a classic after 30 years, and still one of my favorites by Taj, or any blues artist. ... Read more


115. Roots of Rock N Roll: 1946-1954
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8640
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great collection offers the real history!
Typically, we're asked to believe that rock and roll started with Elvis. Or that rock and roll was, more than anything else, an evolutionary variation on country music. Or that rock and roll represented (and continues to represent) a white-black fusion.

Certainly, this collection lays waste to the first two notions. In his informative liner notes, Pete Grendysa tells us that rock and roll existed long before the main (i.e. middle-class white) record-buying public knew about it. And the country examples are relatively few. I'd have been happy if they were none, but I can live with the well-chosen examples here.

In particular, Hank William's "Move It On Over," while not exactly rock and roll (a two-beat pulse doesn't qualify as such, to my ears), does feature a verse identical to the first four bars of "Rock Around the Clock." And, like Hank Snow's "I'm Movin' On" (Disc 2, track 4), it is a hillbilly boogie in standard twelve-bar blues form. It's not far from the mark.

And The Delmore Brother's "Freight Train Boogie," from 1946, turns into pure Carl Perkins near the end, easily out-rocking anything Elvis recorded at Sun. Having heard other Delmore Brothers sides that aren't anything like rock and roll, I was surprised and delighted by this number.

But the black recordings are the real, and whole, point of this collection. Such sides have far too often been disgracefully dismissed by too many rock historians as primitive, artistically-incomplete efforts by African-American musicians struggling toward something higher--"something higher" meaning, of course, Elvis. But listen for yourself. Most of these African-American numbers rock with the force of a thousand Elvises. And these are not performances striving to become whole; they are more than whole. The musicianship, for the most part, is assured and aggressive and infinitely more competent than some of what was to come after rock and roll had conquered the pop charts.

Many thanks to the genius who thought to include Lionel Hampton's 1946 if-it-ain't-rock-and-roll-what-the-heck-is-it masterpiece "Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop" (with its wonderful, be-boppy jazz piano chords in eight-note triplets at the start). Many more thanks for Jimmy Preston's 1949 recorded-in-an-insane-asylum "Rock the Joint" (however did Bill Haley manage to tame this tune down so drastically?). More thanks, even, for Hal Singer's proto-surf "Cornbread" (1948), Percy Mayfield's masterful "Please Send Me Someone to Love" (1950), and Ruth Brown's superbly soulful "Teardrops from My Eyes" (1950, again--a great year for Soul).

The best compilation of its kind. If you want to know the real Story of Rock and Roll, you've got to hear the records. And they're here.

5-0 out of 5 stars "big backbeat and some simple chords"
This rare glimpse into the early beginnings and became today's music, could be called "The Roots of Rock 'N' Roll 1946-1954", just when we thought we knew everything about this genre ~ nothing can be any further from the truth ~ what you will hear in the next sixty tracks is the very heart and soul of the early days ~ music that changed America and the rest of the world followed suit.

Featuring an astounding group of musicians ~ Johnny Ace, Faye Adams, Hank Ballard & The Midnighters, Tiny Bradshaw, Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, Roy Brown, Ruth Brown, Roy Byrd & His Blues Jumpers, The Chords, The Clovers, Pee Wee Crayton & His Guitar, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Five Keys, Delmore Brothers, Fats Domino, The Drifters, Five Royales, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jimmy Forrest, Rosco Gordon, Guitar Slim, Bill Haley & His Comets, Lionel Hampton, Peppermint Harris, Wynonie Harris, Ivory Joe Hunter, Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five, B.B. King, The Larks, Joe Liggins, Little Junior's Blue Flames, Little Richard (w/Johnny Otis Orch), Little Willie Littlefield, Willie Mabon, Percy Mayfield, Steve McGhee & His Buddies, Amos Milburn, Wild Bill Moore, The Orioles, Johnny Otis Orchestra (w/Mel Walker & Little Esther), Jimmy Preston & His Prestonians, Lloyd Price, The Ravens, Johnnie Ray (w/Four Lads), The Robins, Hal Singer, Hank Snow, Sister Rosetta Tharpe & Marie Knight, Big Mama Thornton, Merle Travis, Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, Billy Ward & The Dominoes, Muddy Waters, Hank Williams, Paul Williams, Chuck Willies, Howlin' Wolf ~ each track strongly rooted into the classic genre that will last forever ~ showcasing various sub-genres like country, blues, soul and even big band, yes this new music from the undercurrent of what was going to be bigger than anyone had expected ~ the youth loved and craved every tune that came out during the mid '40s and '50s ~ it came out of nowhere and was gaining steam and coming up fast!

Each selection has been re-mastered with that original sound, works so well with todays collectors of lost music ~ entire 3-CD set is uniquely, so personal and chuck full of wonderful memories ~ regardless of the time or place, this compilation is the ultimate of talent weaving a timeless tapestry that we've come to love and appreciate ~ and you know we gotta love it!

Total Time: 3-CD-Set ~ Hip-O Records 62006 ~ (4/13/2004) ... Read more


116. 70th Birthday Concert
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Asin: B0000EMYOD
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3969
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars John Mayall's 70th Mott Breakers
On the occasion of John Mayall's 70th Birthday, the father of the British blues boom held a special concert at Liverpool docks on July 19th, 2003. Thankfully the concert was recorded for posterity, as it is - without doubt - the finest British blues album in decades.

The music kicks off with a couple of numbers from the Bluesbreakers minus their illustrious leader. Although this sets the standards for the rest of the night already very high, things really start to cook when the great man arrives and whips out his harmonica for their third song. After a few more numbers the festivities truly begin with the introduction of Mick Taylor on lead guitar. Now remember, Mick Taylor originally made his name with the Bluesbreakers before he was poached away by the glimmer twins for a five year stint as a Rolling Stone. Mick Taylor has certainly lost none of his chops and leads the ensemble through a riotous collection of blues and boogie.

Then Mick Taylor leaves the stage to give space to John Mayall's most famous protégé, a certain Mr. Eric 'Slowhand' Clapton. The selection of songs from the seminal John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers album featuring Eric Clapton, let's one step back and wonder with awe.

Next up is the inspired inclusion of Chris Barber on trombone, who sets up some wonderful duels with Clapton. In the late fifties Chris Barber was responsible for bringing over to the British shores such artists as 'Big Bill Broonzy', Sister Rossetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry, and the great Muddy Waters. So, who knows what state the British music would be in without the introduction of these American greats to further inspire the likes of 'The Beatles', 'The Kinks', and 'The Pretty Things'?

Although all these great musicians are on stage, the actual Bluesbreakers are never overawed. In the contrary, they leave the featured artist space to excel, none more than to the man himself - John Mayall. Mayall, entering his eighth decade, shows no sign of slowing down or losing his amazing abilities.

The concert is brought to a climax with twenty-five minutes of encores with the entire cast on stage. Everybody fights for space to solo, but usually politely await their turns. The whole thing really rocks.

At just over two and a half hours there is not a moment on this two disc set that is not covered in magic. The concert was recorded for DVD, which is also available.

It is quite fun to have a look at all the artists who could of been invited to this show, who have at one time or another passed through the ranks of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. There's Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton's old running buddy in Cream. The third part of that particular trio, Ginger Baker, also played with the Bluesbreakers once, but only sitting in for a jam on the drums. Peter Green; John McVie; Mick Fleetwood, who left Mayall to form Fleetwood Mac; Aynsley Dunbar; a fifteen year old Andy Fraser of Free fame, and Micky Waller. John Hiseman, Tony Reeves, and Dick Heckstall-Smith who all sneaked off together to form Colosseum. Keef Hartley; Hughie Flint.... Oh! the list is endless, but it does go to show how important John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers are to British blues.

After a particularly brilliant interchange between Clapton and Barber, which brings 'Have You Heard' to a dramatic finish, John Mayall shouts from the stage "The blues does not get better than that". The man is correct.

Bluesed by Mott the Dog
Slid past by Ella Crew

5-0 out of 5 stars The Mottbreakers
On the occasion of John Mayall's 70th Birthday, the father of the British blues boom held a special concert at Liverpool docks on July 19th, 2003. Thankfully the concert was recorded for posterity, as it is - without doubt - the finest British blues album in decades.

The music kicks off with a couple of numbers from the Bluesbreakers minus their illustrious leader. Although this sets the standards for the rest of the night already very high, things really start to cook when the great man arrives and whips out his harmonica for their third song. After a few more numbers the festivities truly begin with the introduction of Mick Taylor on lead guitar. Now remember, Mick Taylor originally made his name with the Bluesbreakers before he was poached away by the glimmer twins for a five year stint as a Rolling Stone. Mick Taylor has certainly lost none of his chops and leads the ensemble through a riotous collection of blues and boogie.

Then Mick Taylor leaves the stage to give space to John Mayall's most famous protégé, a certain Mr. Eric 'Slowhand' Clapton. The selection of songs from the seminal John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers album featuring Eric Clapton, let's one step back and wonder with awe.

Next up is the inspired inclusion of Chris Barber on trombone, who sets up some wonderful duels with Clapton. In the late fifties Chris Barber was responsible for bringing over to the British shores such artists as 'Big Bill Broonzy', Sister Rossetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry, and the great Muddy Waters. So, who knows what state the British music would be in without the introduction of these American greats to further inspire the likes of 'The Beatles', 'The Kinks', and 'The Pretty Things'?

Although all these great musicians are on stage, the actual Bluesbreakers are never overawed. In the contrary, they leave the featured artist space to excel, none more than to the man himself - John Mayall. Mayall, entering his eighth decade, shows no sign of slowing down or losing his amazing abilities.

The concert is brought to a climax with twenty-five minutes of encores with the entire cast on stage. Everybody fights for space to solo, but usually politely await their turns. The whole thing really rocks.

At just over two and a half hours there is not a moment on this two disc set that is not covered in magic. The concert was recorded for DVD, which is also available.

It is quite fun to have a look at all the artists who could of been invited to this show, who have at one time or another passed through the ranks of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. There's Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton's old running buddy in Cream. The third part of that particular trio, Ginger Baker, also played with the Bluesbreakers once, but only sitting in for a jam on the drums. Peter Green; John McVie; Mick Fleetwood, who left Mayall to form Fleetwood Mac; Aynsley Dunbar; a fifteen year old Andy Fraser of Free fame, and Micky Waller. John Hiseman, Tony Reeves, and Dick Heckstall-Smith who all sneaked off together to form Colosseum. Keef Hartley; Hughie Flint.... Oh! the list is endless, but it does go to show how important John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers are to British blues.

After a particularly brilliant interchange between Clapton and Barber, which brings 'Have You Heard' to a dramatic finish, John Mayall shouts from the stage "The blues does not get better than that". The man is correct.

Bluesed by Mott the Dog
Slid past by Ella Crew

5-0 out of 5 stars 70th Birthday Concert Brings Back the Mayall Magic
John Mayall was already the elder statesman of the British blues revival when Eric Clapton, a refugee from the Yardbirds, joined Mayall's Bluesbreakers in 1965. Mayall celebrated his 70th birthday in 2003 and this two disc, 19 song compliation is a persuasive reminder that Mayall still can righfully claim his royalty as leader of the most enduring British blues band and a singular performer in his own right.

Mayall performs a set of music with his current line-up, a short set with Mick Taylor, and final set with Eric Clapton and Chris Barber. Tribute concerts, like this, look good on paper but frequently are mediocre because the guest musicians usually play on autopilot and sleep walk their way through a set-list of songs they hoped to never play again, or, worse, had just plain forgotten the chops. This is not the case with Mayall and this Bluesbreaker 70th Birthday Tribute. These highly esteemed musicians pull out all the stops for the man who, in most cases, mentored them, offered his guidance and showcased each of these great musicians at the threshold of their lifelong devotion to playing American blues.

When Clapton launches into his early blues signature song,"Hideaway", a Freddy King instumental, it's elementary observation that Clapton is nearly incapable of playing anything without using his searing slow-handed tension/release style he prefected as a Bluesbreaker. I always thought Mick Taylor should have never played second guitar to Keith Richards in the Rolling Stones. Taylor was just too good a guitarist to play second fiddle to anyone. Mick has stayed under the radar since leaving the Stones in 1975. It's great to reappreciate Mick Taylor's enternally lingering single note sustains and expressive tonality of his Fender slide guitar, as he plays with as much conviction as he did at 19 years old in his debut on John Mayall's Bluesbreaker Crusade album. You will not hear any better sixties British blues revival music than the 19 live-wired perfomances on "70th Birthday Concert".

The band plays so many encores that a gaggle of cops show up to cite the band for breaking curfew law. The Bluesbreaker crew plays on in defiance of the constabulary, and Mayall wryly remarks to the crowd, "It's okay we'll pay all the fines latter." That's what the blues is all about, folks. It's John Mayall's best album in thirty years and is highly recommended as one of the best live music performance CDs of the new millenium.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pinnacle Of British Blues!!
Anyone who is a fan of Mayall's music or the 60's & 70's British Blues Scene (Yardbirds, Ten Years After, Fleetwood Mac, Savoy Brown etc...) will find this two disc set to be "white boy blues" nirvana (for the uninitiated, before you get on my case about the previous term "white boy blues", enter it in the music search box and see what comes up, okay?). Having Clapton & Taylor on the same stage is pure magic. Eric must feel the need to show he's still got the "slowhand", because his playing here is 10 times better than any of his recent, more commercial albums. The guitar playing on this album also reminds me of the "guitar battle" scene from the movie "Crossroads". The players just don't sit back and go through the motions (even Eric), they rip away with abandon and a sense of real competition. Not necessarily trying to upstage one another, but to show each other they mean business and have killer chops too. My favorite moment is during the solos of "Blues For The Lost Days".
Buddy Whittingham rips off a solo with playing that would make Stevie Ray look down and smile. Mick Taylor's solo follows; and it's as if Mick is talking thru his Les Paul to Buddy saying "is that all you got big boy?". Taylor follows with a solo for the blues history books that ends with a "fuzz-wah" pedal flurry that left me stunned. Mayall's singing is also really good, better than most of his studio releases.
So I get a little carried away! You almost have to with this set. Two discs of music at a reasonable price. My only regret is the absence of Peter Green; his contribution to Mayall's legacy is as great as any.
Regardless this is a must, add to cart!

5-0 out of 5 stars Best I have heard in long time
With out a doubt, some of the best British Blues I have heard, Mick Taylor, and Eric Clapton just add to the wonder of it all. This cd is worth being in anyone's collection if you love the Blues. ... Read more


117. This Land Is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000001DJY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7725
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars pastures of plenty
I am impressed by this CD. It contains the Asch Recordings of the great American Folk Singer Mr Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (1912-1967). To my ears, these are distinctly American in flavour. This collection includes a large variety of his songs including social protest, songs written for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), college drinking songs, cowboy songs, sentimental parlour songs, talking blues and Southern African-American blues. My favourites are the ones which betray a sense of humour. "Talking Hard Work", "Talking Fishing" and "The Biggest Thing Man Has Ever Done" are bragging songs sung tongue in cheek. The children's songs, "Car Song" in which Mr Guthrie imitates the sounds of an automobile, and "Why, Oh Why" are delightful. Smithsonian Folkways has maintained its reputation with thorough notes which span more than 30 pages. Mr Guy Logsdon writes about Moses Asch, Folkway Records, and annotates each song with meticulous detail. Of particular interest to me is the song "Jesus Christ". Mr Logsdon writes, "Woody was a religious man, but not in the conventional sense". Mr Guthrie may not have been conventional, even so, his observations are poignant. He tells that his inspiration for the song came when "I saw how the rich folks lived, and the poor folks down and out and cold and hungry..." He sings that the working men believed what Jesus said while the rich and powerful fought against it. "If Jesus was to preach as he preached in Galilee, they would lay him in his grave." In an honest expression, Mr Guthrie is preaching the gospel message. Namely, the good news of salvation. He is also identifying an age old truth. The gospel proclaimed meets a two-fold response, (1) some believe and dedicate their life, while (2) others reject it and those who preach it. I am impressed with the brilliance of Mr Guthrie as he combines so much into a simple song. If you are interested in songs by a musician who "played a major role in developing the foundation for the song and social movement" or in fun songs that are distincty "American", this CD will interest you.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely the place to begin discovering Guthrie
I had the four-CD set a few years ago, but my home was burglarized and all my CDs were stolen. When it came time to replace them, I opted to choose just CD1 of the Guthrie collection. Volumes 2-3 and OK, but the cowboy songs of Volume 4 just wasn't my cup of tea. Volume One, however, is easily on my list of the 10 best albums/CDs ever released. I've loaned it out to several friends who were not familiar with Guthrie and each has returned it with a, "Wow! That's great! I'm going to get that myself." The album opens with one of three (!) versions of This Land is Your Land that are on the CD. The same song closes the CD. In between are classics, such as Do-Re-Mi, Rambling Round Your City, the humorous Car Song, some great examples of Guthrie's talking blues that would so profoundly influence Bob Dylan, and, well, just a treasure trove of material. The CD clocks in at over 70 minutes, so there's not much "dead air" on this CD. If you're an old Guthrie fan, this CD blows away some of the other CDs out there (although the remastered "Dust Bowl Ballads" is classic, too) and you will really enjoy this. If you're new to the folk, or folk-rock scene, or Americana, and you want an introduction to the "Big Daddy" of 'em all, then this CD is absolutely the best place to begin. It's worth every cent that you pay for it!

1-0 out of 5 stars dont like his voice
My daddy showd me a better singer of This land is your land much better then woody and sounds better too. His name is Cisco Houston. woody sounds to hicky.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Land is Your Land: The Asch Recordings, Vol. 1
I had heard of Woody Guthrie, and Arlo, and knew they were related somehow, but it wasn't until I had a child of my own and purchased Woody's songs for children, that my curiousity was aroused. After listening to his other work, and reading the marvelous biography "Ramblin' Man" by Ed Cray, I now realize Woody Guthrie's music is nothing less than a national treasure. This c.d. will transport you back to a time when America was a simpler place, but no less troubled than today's world. His social conscience was inspiring and humbling at the same time. His voice is often soothing with a touch of melancholy. I think he is still greatly under-appreciated... kids should learn about Woody Guthrie in school; he wasn't Roosevelt, but his simple songs described the common man's plight during the Depression like no one else. You won't find any Hollywood escapism in his music; this is the real thing. Bob Dylan doesn't even come close.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for traveling
I bought this CD because I was very tired of the same old kids music as we traveled. This is a nice collection of songs. Some of them are upbeat, some of them are nice even tempo and some of them are slow. There is a nice combination of songs. My children (ages 2 and 4) have really enjoyed the music. I will admit it's not their favorite CD, but they enjoy it and will sing along with some of the songs. Woody is truly a classic in music and well worth introducing children to and well worth revisiting as an adult.

Enjoy. ... Read more


118. The Genius of Ray Charles
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002I4U
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1977
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Why you'd want to limit yourself to owning just one Ray Charles album is a question only you can answer, but if that's the case, The Genius is a strong contender for the slot. Half big-band settings of tunes as diverse as "Let the Good Times Roll," "When Your Lover Has Gone," and "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and half string-drenched ballads like "Just for a Thrill" and "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'," this 1959 disc lives up to its title in more ways than there's room here to count. Suffice it to say that the album finds Charles at a peak of musical and emotional energy, working in thoroughly sympathetic settings with perfectly matched soloists like tenor men Paul Gonsalves and David "Fathead" Newman and arrangers on the order of Quincy Jones and Ralph Burns. And the closing cut, "Come Rain or Come Shine," may be Charles's single greatest performance. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Soulful ballads from Ray Charles's breakthrough album
Ray Charles passed away today and the reason everybody is talking about him as the creator of soul music is because no other musician did more to develop the form. There is no argument that other singers, such as Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson, were influential in pioneering soul music but it was Ray Charles who merged 1950's R&B with gospel-powered vocals into a new form of black pop music. This 1959 album produced by Atlantic Records lives up to its title, but you have to remember that this was originally a record album. That is not because "The Genius of Ray Charles" sounds old but because there are clearly two distinct sides to the album.

The "A" side has the Ray Charles band being complemented by members of the bands of Count Basie and Duke Ellington (such as David "Fathead" Newman and Paul Gonsalves on tenor sax and Marcus Belgrave on trumpet) playing a half-dozen songs arranged by Quincy Jones. "It Had to Be You" and the old Irving Berlin standard "Alexander's Ragtime Band" are the most familiar songs, but the two best on the first half of the album are "Let the Good Times Roll" and "Deed I Do."

The "B" side consists of six ballads, arranged by Ralph Burns with the backing of a string orchestra. The two standout tracks here are "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'" and the final track, the truly outstanding version of Mercer & Arlen's "Come Rain or Come Shine." With all the orchestration Charles' piano playing is lost in the mix but what stands out is his voice. In terms of the vocal phrasing he displays on these ballads this is really a breakthrough album in terms of the singing.

How good is "The Genius of Ray Charles"? Well, listen to the classic saloon songs of Frank Sinatra's 1958 album "Only the Lonely," and Charles doing "Come Rain or Come Shine" does not suffer in comparison. Of course the fact that Ray Charles was that good is not news to anybody who loved listening to that man sing for almost fifty years. There are lots of hit collections that you can pick up to honor his memory, but there is something to be said for complete albums and in that regard "The Genius of Ray Charles" would be on anyone's short list.

5-0 out of 5 stars The peak
This album boldly declares Ray Charles' genius. I've never heard anybody argue with the appelation. When this came out, he was established as a brilliant R&B singer, songwriter and performer. Here he hooks up (on what was side one) with an all-star jazz big band, featuring players from both Basie and Ellington, to make music that is hard to categorize as anything other than Ray. His piano envelopes the whole group in his R&B style, so while it's a lot of jazz players displaying their jazz chops, the result is something else. Then, on what was side 2, he takes another turn, playing with a small combo and a huge orchestra--pointing the way, with cuts like "You Won't Let Me Go" toward his brilliant take on country & western, and toward his (recently-unearthed) collaboration with Jimmy Scott on his timeless version of "Come Rain or Come Shine."

You can't really review this album, because it puts to shame all the other 5-star ratings I've given on Amazon. Every cut on here is a classic, a pathbreaker, a rich emotional experience, and a swinging time will be had by all.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of his best
Several great musical traditions flow through this album. How many albums have songs by Percy Mayfield as well as Irving Berlin, or big band arrangements by Quincy Jones as well as strings arranged by Ralph Burns? Nobody could bring it all together like Ray Charles; in his hands, it's all just great American music.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST Have
this album is solid all the way through.Ray Charles is a Genius he handles all types of styles.he is a true Musical AMbassador.you can hear the Soul&Honesty in his voice.as well in his Piano Playing.

5-0 out of 5 stars a perfect mix of popular and soul stylings from the genius
C'mon - you won't find a better renedering of these standards anywhere than by the greatest ever, Ray Charles. Perfect for an introduction to the artist or as a way to see him capture his smoother side after he invented soul music. ... Read more


119. Complete Decca Recordings-1937
list price: $38.98
our price: $34.99
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Asin: B000003N3G
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8096
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Ellington's band had more grace and sophistication, but no big band swung harder than the incomparable Basie band. Recorded between 1937 and 1939, these 63 classics feature a cornucopia of legendary musicians: Herschel Evans' big-toned, earthy tenor balances Lester Young's ethereal tenor. Harry "Sweets" Edison's soaring blares complement Buck Clayton's muted trumpet. Jimmy Rushing's nasal, booming operatics contrast with Helen Humes's precise elegance. The Freddie Green-Walter Page-Jo Jones rhythm section flawlessly anchors the driving 4/4 rhythm. And, of course, there's the leader's minimalist piano, using just the right, essential mix of boogie-woogie and stride. These three CDs are peppered with what would become jazz standards and should be a cornerstone of any music library. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for your jazz collection...
...this one. The definitive first half of the Basie "Old Testament Band" studio catalogue. Good-quality sound, for the era, as well as excellent remastering of the source material. These versions of these songs are what took Basie from a mid-western regional band status to national prominence. Better material than the 3 discs extant comprising most of the second half of the "Old Testament" studio catalogue ("Essential" series, V.1-3 from Columbia Records), as well (if one must choose). I give this one 6 stars from a strictly swing-era only perspective.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
This box collection of early recordings by the Basie Band is wonderful. The sound quality is remarkable considering these were recorded in 1937-39. The solos are bright and energetic and the band play with a loose fury that swings so hard. This is a must pick up for the jazz fan looking to hear where the big bands got their swing.

5-0 out of 5 stars for all who have ears
If you have ears and do not have this set, something is wrong!

Basie's band is here fresh from Kansas City. Its approach is simple. The greatest rhythm section in the history of Jazz, Basie, Walter Page, Joe Jones, and (first Claude Williams followed by the classic) Freddie Green set the tempo, lightly to hardly swinging, the sections come in, and then the great soloists of this orchestra Buck Clayton, Herschel Evans, and the great Genius Lester Young come in to make some of the greatest performances in Jazz history. The tunes, particularly on the first CD are triumphs of the blues based "head arrangements" that were the stock in trade of Kansas City Jazz.

We aksi gave the magnificent singing and swinging of the incomparable Jimmy Rushing and later the singing of Helen Humes.During the first year or so of the Decca contract Billie Holiday was Basie's female singer. However, because she was already signed with Columbia-Brunswick she never recorded with the band. What a tragedy that we only have three air checks from radio of Billie with this band, none on this CD.

It should be noted that on the last set of recordings here after Herschel Evans died, the great Tenor man Chu Berry joined the band to later be replaced by Buddy Tate. The competition between Evans and Young was the stuff of legends, but the blowing battles that triumph between Berry and Young on Cherokee and Lady Be Good on the last CD here is as good as it gets in 1930s Jazz.

How can you choose between the tracks or selections with the smaller collections of Decca Basie do you select One o'clock Jump over Jumpin' at the Woodside, Texas Shuffle over Good Morning Blues, no you can't. There are a lot of gems here that aren't as widely known and do nto appear in smaller compilations. The most import are the many sides with only Basie's piano supported by the rest of the rhythm section. If you are serious about playing, jazz, blues, or swing or just music, particularly if you play a rhythm instrument, program these sides on your CD and try to play along. Just listening without playing is a real education in blues and swing.

The rhetoric is of course that later the band got to be more and more of an arranged band and less swinging than this. I don't agree with that at all. However, there is a gritty bluesy magic here that does tend to float away after they left Decca.

Of course, the sad history of these recordings is that Decca signed Basie to the three years of these recordings for 700 bucks before Basie got to New York and realized what the orchestra could mean. It took the union and lawyers John Hammond found to get Decca to pay the band members union scale for these classic sides. It's also evident if you compare the last of these Decca sides to the first Columbia sides that Decca wasn't as concerned with the recording quality of these records as Columbia. But that's life under capitalism, great art getting ripped off by big money.

There is simply no excuse for anyone with ears not to have this collection. The sides aren't just great art or necessary history, they are fun, they are moving, and they are going to put a song in your heart and a smile on your face!

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb, and great sound.
This is an excellent recording, obviously mastered by some masterful recording engineers. My only wish is that I could've been in the recording studio or dance hall myself, but this is about the next best thing. Duke Ellington I adore and will forever, but this selection puts jazz band music in a whole different perspective. Smoke is coming out of my speakers. The whole house is shaking. The roof is buckling. Don't say you weren't warned!

5-0 out of 5 stars Lively, humorous and energetic!
I recently suffered a loss of nearly 1/2 of my cd collection, and when I realized that this set wasn't stolen, I literally cried tears of joy!

I love jazz and swing and the blues and Basie et. al. know what they're doing, and go at it with zest and a sense of fun. Track 7 on Disc 2, "Mama don't want no peas 'n' rice 'n' cocnut oil", never fails to make me smile and often laugh. It's a great story, concept and song. If only for this track, the collection would be worthwhile.

The trick of it is, I'd easily give you a list of 50% of the songs that right off, you're likely to love and find essential to your quality of life. But then again, the other 50% give life balance.

The clarity of the recordings is a pleasure not just because of the absence of pops, clicks or hiss (some tracks have a wee bit, but compared to other period re-releases, this is about as good as it gets), but the recordings have a sense of a "clean, open" headspace, no bounce or reverb or other additions. It's very much as if you're listening to them in a studio or small, empty club. Just you and them and the music. Maybe a pack of smokes and a drink and your best guy/gal.

Close your eyes and smile! ... Read more


120. The Best of Clarence Carter: The Dr.'s Greatest Prescriptions [Koch]
list price: $16.98
our price: $14.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005A0LI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5978
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Fairly good songs, sad production . . .
Clarence Carter has a wonderful voice that really oozes soul of the Southern variety, and he's in not really in bad form here. The songs (for the most part) are solidly written and veer from heartfelt ballads of love ("I Was In The Neighborhood") to his infamous lustful tales ("Strokin'") - not all are great, but there are several good ones.

Many of these songs were big hits, particularly with older fans of R&B. Unfortunately, they were recorded in the 80's and suffer greatly from the production sins of that decade. Linn drums, drum machines in general, synth basses, MOR synth strings, you name it, it's here. Perhaps the most offensive aspect of it is that his vocals are buried in the mix, below layers of drums, and even the backing vocalists have more oomph behind them than Carter's voice. While this is truer with some songs than others ("Dr CC" is one of the more flawed tunes, for example), none of the songs are entirely free from it.

Given that Carter's brand of soul is so innately organic, the heavily-dated machine-oriented production style found throughout is much more offensive than similarly produced records from the 80's. I suppose Men Without Hats or the Fixx or Kajagoogoo used these same production techniques to their advantage, it's just not what I want to hear on a Clarence Carter record. You can't fault most of the songs here, but fans of southern soul are better directed to "Snatchin' It Back", a compilation of Carter's material for Atlantic, recorded in they heyday of southern soul and with an appropriate sound for the music.

Koch deserve demerits for including nothing in the way of liner notes or release date information for these songs. It's almost as if they knew people would stay away if they knew. I would have!

5-0 out of 5 stars Party Blues CD...
....if you have just one Clarence Carter CD in your collection, it's gotta be this. These are great, great tunes from his 80's and 90's Big C/Ichiban records days that are bluesy and funky and fun. From the street risque numbers "Strokin'", "Grandpa Can't Fly his Kite", "Love Me With A Feelin" (all of which has benefitted from a word of mouth hyping--you probably won't ever hear these on radio) to the Dr's jams "Dr. CC" and "I'm Not Just Good" to "Slip Away" (Redux)...in a phrase, they are near masterpieces. Mark my words, people are gonna catch on and catch up with these jams and make them their greatest medicine for whatever ails them. They are just that good. ... Read more


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