Category Archives: Blues

CULT CLASSIC: DONALD BYRD-BYRD IN FLIGHT.

Cult Classic: Donald Byrd-Byrd In Flight. When Donald Byrd signed to Blue Note Records in 1958, he was twenty-five and had already recorded five solo albums and had collaborated on albums with Art Farmer, Phil Woods and Gigi Gryce.  The Detroit-born trumpeter was also in demand as a sideman and had already worked with some …

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CLASSIC ALBUM: DR JOHN-DR JOHN’S GUMBO.

Classic Album: Dr John-Dr John’s Gumbo. Success didn’t come overnight for the late, great Dr John. His first three albums failed to chart and his fourth album The Sun, Moon and Herbs stalled at 184 in the US Billboard 200 in August 1971. This was progress for one of music’s great survivors. He was on his way and returned in April 1972 with his breakthrough album Dr John’s …

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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE DOORS.

The Life and Times Of The Doors. By 1972, The Doors  had decided to call the upon their career  after the tragic death of their charismatic frontman Jim Morrison, who had died on the 3rd July 1971. The Lizard King became the latest entrant into the twenty-seven club, where he joined Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Alan Wilson and Jimi …

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LONNIE MACK-SA-BA HOOLA! TWO SIDES OF LONNIE MACK.

Lonnie Mack-Sa-Ba Hola! Two Sides Of Lonnie Mack. Label: Ace Records. Format: LP. On the ‘8th’ of June 1963 Lonnie Mack’s instrumental version of Chuck Berry’s Memphis entered the US Billboard 100 and eventually reached number five and four on the US R&B chart during the thirteen weeks it spent on the charts. This was …

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CULT CLASSIC: DR JOHN-IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD.

Cult Classic: Dr John-In A Sentimental Mood. There aren’t many musicians who enjoy the longevity that the late, great Dr John enjoyed. His career lasted the best part of sixty years and he released thirty studio albums and nine live albums. Dr John also won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and …

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HANK MOBLEY-SOUL STATION

Hank Mobley-Soul Station. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. It was Leonard Feather, the British-born jazz pianist, composer, producer and music writer who described Hank Mobley as the: “middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone.” This metaphor made sense to critics and connoisseurs of jazz.  His tone was neither as aggressive as John Coltrane nor as …

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CULT CLASSIC: JIMMY SMITH WITH STANLEY TURRENTINE-PRAYER MEETIN’.

Cult Classic: Jimmy Smith With Stanley Turrentine-Prayer Meetin’. When Jimmy Smith entered Van Gelder Studio on February the ‘8th’ 1963, he was about to record his fourth album in a week. This meant that he had fulfilled the terms of his contract with Blue Note and could sign with Verve. The album he was about …

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ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS-MOANIN’.

Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers-Moanin’. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. Although Philly-born tenor saxophonist Benny Golson’s tenure with The Jazz Messengers was short-lived, he still played an important part in the development and history of the group. He joined in 1958, and during the summer, helped Art Blakey recruit three new Messengers. They …

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CLASSIC ALBUM: DR JOHN-IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

Classic Album: Dr John-In The Right Place. Very few musicians or bands can be accurately described as an overnight success. That is something that hardly ever exists except in the minds of a few tabloid journalists . The reality is that most bands need to do the hard yards and hone their sound before commercial …

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CULT CLASSIC: JACKIE MCLEAN-IT’S TIME!

Cult Classic: Jackie McLean-It’s Time! When Jackie McLean and his band journeyed to Van Gelder Studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on August the ‘5th’ 1964, it was his fourteenth solo session for Blue Note Records and resulted in the album It’s Time! It which featured a new band and saw him revisit his old …

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CULT CLASSIC: DR JOHN-REMEDIES.

Cult Classic: Dr John-Remedies. Although Dr John eventually won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2011, commercial success and critical acclaim didn’t come overnight for the great showman who released thirty studio albums and nine live albums during a career that spanned six  decades where his music fell in and out of fashion. Dr John …

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THE SONGS OF LEON RUSSELL.

The Songs Of Leon Russell. Label: Ace Records. Format: CD. Leon Russell embarked upon a career as a professional musician in the late-fifties, and over the next six decades, the versatile singer-songwriter worked with some of the biggest names in music when he worked as a touring musician and session player. He worked with everyone …

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CULT CLASSIC: STANLEY TURRENTINE-THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT.

Cult Classic: Stanley Turrentine-That’s Where It’s At. In September 1962, twenty-eight year old saxophonist Stanley Turrentine released That’s Where It’s At which was his fifth album for Blue Note Records.  It was his much-anticipated followup to Dearly Beloved which at the time, many critics hailed as his finest album. That’s Where It’s At had  a …

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CULT CLASSIC: AL GREEN-GREEN IS BLUES.

Cult Classic: Al Green-Green Is Blues. The day that Al Green met Willie Mitchell in 1969 was, without doubt, the most important day in the twenty-two year old singer’s career. His career had stalled and he someone who could get it back on track. Willie Mitchell was the man to do that and when he …

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CULT CLASSIC: BOBBIE GENTRY-THE DELTA SWEETE.

Cult Classic: Bobbie Gentry-The Delta Sweete. Less than three weeks after Bobbie Gentry released Ode To Billie Joe as a single on the ‘10th’ of July 1967 the song topped the US Billboard 100 and US Country charts. The song was penned by Bobbie Gentry and was the twenty-five year old’s debut single as a …

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DONALD BYRD-BYRD IN FLIGHT.

Donald Byrd-Byrd In Flight. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. When Donald Byrd signed to Blue Note Records in 1958, he was twenty-five and had already recorded five solo albums and had collaborated on albums with Art Farmer, Phil Woods and Gigi Gryce.  The Detroit-born trumpeter was also in demand as a sideman and had …

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CULT CLASSIC: BRAINCHILD-HEALING OF THE LUNATIC OWL.

Cult Classic: Brainchild-Healing Of The Lunatic Owl. Progressive brass rock pioneers Brainchild were formed in Somerset in the late-sixties, and by the 1970 the septet had signed to A&M. This was perfect timing as the brass rock boom began in 1969 and continued until 1972. By then,  Chicago, Blood, Sweat and Tears and The Electric …

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HERBIE HANCOCK-MY POINT OF VIEW.

Herbie Hancock-My Point Of View. Label: Blue Note Records. Format: LP. By the time Herbie Hancock signed to Blue Note Records, the Chicago-born pianist was just twenty-two, and had already worked with Donald Byrd and Coleman Hawkins. On May the ‘28th’ 1962, he recorded his debut solo album Takin’ Off which featured the jazz standard …

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CULT CLASSIC: SUN RA-CELESTIAL LOVE.

Cult Classic: Sun Ra-Celestial Love. Nowadays, maybe music journalists are guilty of using the words innovator and musical pioneer all too freely, but that is the perfect description of the inimitable Sun Ra. He’s quite rightly regarded as one of the true pioneers of free jazz and a truly innovative and influential musician who pushed musical boundaries …

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