Hot Sax, Cool Licks [Ace]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Here's a complete summary of Curtis' sessions as a soloist for Atlantic in the late '50s. It includes not only the tracks he cut under his own name for both the 45 and long-playing formats, but also five previously unissued songs, and three hits he played on as a session man the Coasters' "Yakety Yak" and "That Is Rock & Roll," and Chuck Willis' "What Am I Living For?". Curtis' playing on these is very good, cementing his standing as perhaps the finest rock saxophonist of the time. It also shows more versatility than he was able to convey with the famous trademark stuttering style that was heard on solos such as the one he played for the Coasters' "Yakety Yak." ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Here's a complete summary of Curtis' sessions as a soloist for Atlantic in the late '50s. It includes not only the tracks he cut under his own name for both the 45 and long-playing formats, but also five previously unissued songs, and three hits he played on as a session man the Coasters' "Yakety Yak" and "That Is Rock & Roll," and Chuck Willis' "What Am I Living For?". Curtis' playing on these is very good, cementing his standing as perhaps the finest rock saxophonist of the time. It also shows more versatility than he was able to convey with the famous trademark stuttering style that was heard on solos such as the one he played for the Coasters' "Yakety Yak." What keeps this from being that great a CD, though, is the failing common to many instrumental rock collections: The songs are not terribly strong or varied. Many of these are pretty basic R&B-rock crossover workouts sometimes with a calypso beat, though they do benefit from support by noted sidemen, including guitarists Jimmy Spruill, Mickey Baker, and Al Casey; drummer Panama Francis; and tenor saxophonist Noble Watts. The 1958 single "Castle Rock" is the best track, with a jazzy beat, hot Casey solos, and drum solos on the order of Cozy Cole's "Topsy II." Curtis does get a chance to stretch into relatively straight jazz occasionally as on the previously unissued "Splankin'". The 1958 single "You Made Me Love You I Didn't Want to Do It" makes its first appearance on a reissue here, though as a jazz ballad with female vocals that seem to be backgrounds missing a lead, it's one of his worst records. [This U.K. import is not available for sale in North America.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2003
  • Label: Ace Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667175722
  • Catalog Number: 757

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 That Is Rock and Roll (2:25)
  2. 2 What Am I Living For? (2:28)
  3. 3 Yakety Yak (1:52)
  4. 4 Jest Smoochin' (2:45)
  5. 5 Birth of the Blues (2:35)
  6. 6 You Made Me Love You (2:02)
  7. 7 Ific (2:03)
  8. 8 Castle Rock (2:10)
  9. 9 Chili (2:08)
  10. 10 Train Song (2:20)
  11. 11 Splankin' (2:39)
  12. 12 Peter Gun (2:56)
  13. 13 Linda (3:14)
  14. 14 Lil' Brother (4:54)
  15. 15 Cuban Twilight (2:51)
  16. 16 Restless Guitar (2:08)
  17. 17 Heavenly Blues (2:32)
  18. 18 Chains (2:28)
  19. 19 The Honey Dripper, Pt. 1 (2:00)
  20. 20 The Honey Dripper (2:59)
  21. 21 Groove (3:12)
  22. 22 Snake Eyes (3:00)
  23. 23 Jaywalk (4:17)
  24. 24 The Shake (2:43)
  25. 25 Midnight Ramble (2:32)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
King Curtis Primary Artist, Tenor Saxophone
George Barnes Guitar
Budd Johnson Baritone Saxophone
Herman Foster Piano
Jimmy Lewis Bass
Joe Puma Guitar
Al Caiola Guitar
Mickey Baker Guitar
Billy Mure Guitar
Noble "Thin Man" Watts Tenor Saxophone
Abie Baker Bass
Everett Barksdale Guitar
Ruth Berman Harp
Belton Evans Drums
Panama Francis Drums
Ernie Hayes Organ, Piano
Phil Kraus Percussion
Wendell Marshall Bass
Roger "Ram" Ramirez Organ
Wally Richardson Guitar
Bobby Rosengarden Percussion
Wild Jimmy Spruill Guitar
Walter Spriggs Bongos
Technical Credits
Chuck Willis Contributor
Helen Carr Contributor
Jerry Leiber Producer
Herb Abramson Producer
Nesuhi Ertegun Producer
Mike Stoller Producer
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