Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Outras músicas - Reinhardt & Grappelli

Le Quintette du Hot Club de France

Little Walter

Little Walter was born Marion Walter Jacobs on May 1, 1930 in Marksville, Louisiana. After quitting school by the age of 12, Jacobs left Louisiana and travelled wherever he chose, working odd jobs, busking and honing his musical skills with Sonny Boy Williamson and Big Bill Broonzy, among others.

Arriving in Chicago in 1945, he fell into the thriving Blues scene where Jacobs grew tired of being drowned out by electric guitarists, and developed a simple, but previously unused method: he cupped a small microphone in his hand while he played harmonica, and plugged the microphone into a guitar or public address amplifier. He could thus compete with any guitarist's volume, and furthermore, he utilized amplification to explore radical new timbres.

Little Walter made his first recordings in 1947 for the tiny Ora-Nelle label in Chicago. He joined Muddy Waters' band c. 1948, and by 1950 he was playing on Muddy's recordings for Chess Records. Tragically, the '60s saw the harp genius slide steadily into an alcohol. In 1964, he toured Great Britain with the Rolling Stones, but his once-prodigious skills were faltering badly.

Walter's eternally vicious temper led to his violent undoing in 1968. He was involved in a street fight and died from the incident's after-effects at age 37. His influence remains inescapable to this day. MP3: Rocker

Elmore James

Elmore James was born Elmore Brooks in Richland, Mississippi on January 27, 1918. Known as The King of the Slide Guitar, Elmore began playing as a teen, under the names Cleanhead and Joe Willie James, alongside musicians such as the first Sonny Boy Williamson, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, Johnny Temple, and Luther Huff.

He began recording in 1951, first as sideman to the second Sonny Boy Williamson and others, then debuting as a session leader in August with what became his signature song, "Dust My Broom". In 1952 he was recording a couple of sides with Chess. None sold well. Elmore spent the rest of the 50's moving back and forth between Chicago and Mississippi, depending on who wanted to hear his music more.

In 1957 he was discovered to have an ailing heart condition, but this didn't keep him from the road. In 1959 he recorded with some success with Fire records. In 1963 when he was preparing to go to the studio for a new session, Elmore James succumbed to his heart condition. He was 45 years old. MP3: Standing At The Crossroads

Monday, November 06, 2006

Outras músicas - Bill Evans trio

My Foolish Heart

Sonny Boy Williamson II

Sonny Boy Williamson II AKA Rice Miller, Willie Williamson, Willie Miller, "Little Boy Blue", "The Goat" and "Footsie," was born (acording to Sonny), on December 1889. Some say it was around 1912, but Miller's gravestone has his birthdate as March 11, 1908. He was born on the Sara Jones Plantation near Glendora, Mississippi in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi.

Miller lived and worked as a sharecropper until the early 1930s. By then he traveled around Mississippi and Arkansas and encountered Blind Lemon Jefferson, Big Joe Williams, Elmore James and Robert Lockwood Jr.. He was also associated with Robert Johnson during this period.Williamson lived in Twist, Arkansas for a time with Howlin' Wolf's sister Mary Burnett and taught Wolf to play harmonica. In 1941 Miller was hired to play the King Biscuit Time show on radio station KFFA in Helena, Arkansas with Lockwood.

It was at this point that the radio program's sponsor, Max Moore, began billing Miller as Sonny Boy Williamson, apparently in an attempt to capitalize on the fame of the well known Chicago-based harmonica player and singer John Lee Williamson. Williamson's first recording session took place in 1951. Soon after, his contract was sold to Chess records where he recorded 70 songs.

In the 1960s he toured Europe during the height of the British blues craze, recording with The Yardbirds and The Animals. It was during Williamson's tour of the UK in the '60s that he adopted the bowler hat and carried his harmonicas on stage in a briefcase, which became his trade mark in the last year of his life.

Williamson was characterized by a hip-flask of whiskey, a pistol, a knife, a foul mouth, and a short temper. He had always worn fancier suits than he could afford, and his tour of Europe allowed him further embellishment, adding a finely tailored two-tone suit and a bowler hat to his unique, grey-goateed image. Rice Miller was, however, notable as a highly original blues songwriter, and his laconic harmonica style and sly vocals mark him as a true artist. He died in 1965. MP3: Don't Start Me Talking

Freddy King

Freddy King was born Frederick Christian in Gilmer, Texas on September 3, 1934. He moved with his family from Texas to the southside of Chicago in 1950. There, at age 16 he used to sneak in to local clubs, where he heard blues music performed by the likes of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, and Sonny Boy Williamson.

Howlin' Wolf took him under his wing, and Freddie also began jamming with Muddy Waters' sidemen, who included Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Lockwood Jr. and Little Walter.

By 1952 he had married a Texas girl, Jessie Burnett. He gigged at night and worked days in a steel mill. He got occasional work as a sideman on recording sessions. He formed the first band of his own, the Every Hour Blues Boys, with guitarist Jimmy Lee Robinson and drummer Sonny Scott.

In 1960 he recorded Hide Away an adaptation of a tune by Hound Dog Taylor. It was a huge success but on the personal side, Freddie was fond, perhaps overly fond, of the Chicago night life. His official website refers to him "Gambling til dawn in the backroom of Mike's cleaners." His wife, now with six children, decided to move back to Texas.

Realising that the family were definitely not coming back to Chicago, Freddie, in the spring of 1963, himself moved back to Texas to rejoin them. He moved to Atlantic records and then to Shelters records while touring heavily. He died in Dallas in 1976 from a heart attack and complications arising from bleeding ulcers and pancreatitis. He was just 42 years of age. MP3: Hide Away

Outras músicas - Lester Young

Luther Allison

Luther Allison was born August 17, 1939, in Widener, AR, the 14th of 15 children, the son of cotton farmers. His parents moved to Chicago when he was in his early teens, but he had a solid awareness of blues before he left Arkansas, as he played organ in the church and learned to sing gospel in Widener as well.

It was while living with his family on Chicago's West Side that he had his first awareness of wanting to become a full-time bluesman, and he played bass behind guitarist Jimmy Dawkins, who Allison grew up with. Also in Allison's neighborhood were established blues greats like Freddie King, Magic Sam, and Otis Rush. He distinctly remembers everyone talking about Buddy Guy when he came to town from his native Louisiana.

His first album, Love Me Mama, was released in 1969 and afterwards he signed with Motown. Although his Motown albums got him to places he'd never been before, like Japan and new venues in Europe, the recordings didn't sell well. Allison settled outside of Paris, since France and Germany were such major markets for him. At home in the U.S., Allison continued to perform sporadically, when knowledgeable blues festival organizers or blues societies would book him. In July of 1997, he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. Just over a month later, he died. MP3: Move From The Wood

Friday, November 03, 2006

Albinia Jones

Albinia Jones was born on November 1914 in Gulfport, Mississippi and died on June 1989, New York City, New York, USA. Jones arrived in New York in 1932, her only singing experience at the Mt. Holy Baptists Church in Gulfport.

Her first professional engagement was at the Elk's Rendez-vous Club, which proved so successful that she was retained for nine months. Other nightclubs she sang in included the Club Harlem, the Village Vanguard and Murrains Cafe. Her first recordings in late 30's and early 40's featured jazz musicians Lester Young and Dizzy Gillespie. MP3: Give It Up Daddy Blues

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Outras músicas - Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart

Willie the Pimp

Pinetop Perkins

Born Willie Perkins, in Belzoni, MS, in 1913, Pinetop started out playing guitar at house parties and honky tonks, and switched to piano after sustaining a serious injury that made picking a guitar painful. Perkins took is name from a song he composed “Pinetop’s Boogie”, dedicated to Clarence “Pinetop” Smith.

Perkins worked primarily in the Mississippi Delta throughout the thirties and forties, spending five years with Sonny Boy Williamson, toured extensively with slide guitar player Robert Nighthawk and briefly worked with B.B. King in Memphis. By 1953, Pinetop had developed his own unmistakable sound. His right hand plays horn lines while his left kicks out bass lines and lots of bottom.

In 1969 he joined the great Muddy Waters Band replacing Otis Spann and holding down the piano chair for twelve years. In 1980, Pinetop and other Waters’ alumni decided to go out on their own and formed the Legendary Blues Band. Tired of being a sideman throughout most of his career, Pinetop left Legendary to concentrate on a solo career. He is still alive and performing at the age of 93. MP3: Pinetop's Boogie