Roc Doc: Louis Jordan on Mercury 1956-1957

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
When Louis Jordan hitched up with Mercury for a brief stint in 1956 and 1957, his commercial fortunes were way in decline. The strategy hit upon as an attempt to revive his recording career was not one bound to find favor with critics when his catalog was reassessed in the decades to come. On Mercury, he'd concentrate on re-recording his jump blues classics, modernizing the arrangements somewhat with an eye for the then-exploding rock & roll market. This 28-track compilation has much of what he recorded for the label, taken from two LPs and various singles. As Dave Penny's sympathetic liner notes point out, it wasn't as crass an approach at the time as it might ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
When Louis Jordan hitched up with Mercury for a brief stint in 1956 and 1957, his commercial fortunes were way in decline. The strategy hit upon as an attempt to revive his recording career was not one bound to find favor with critics when his catalog was reassessed in the decades to come. On Mercury, he'd concentrate on re-recording his jump blues classics, modernizing the arrangements somewhat with an eye for the then-exploding rock & roll market. This 28-track compilation has much of what he recorded for the label, taken from two LPs and various singles. As Dave Penny's sympathetic liner notes point out, it wasn't as crass an approach at the time as it might seem from a distance; the long-playing market had just emerged, and since Jordan's original hit singles were no longer in print, for a while this was the only way to hear Louis do these tunes on record at all. Now that those classic original jump blues versions are ready available, of course, these remakes can't help but seem not only less essential, but inessential. Inessential, however, doesn't mean that these were bad recordings by any means, even if no one should acquire these before getting the original versions. Jordan's performances were nothing if not professional and lively; the backing players were talented, including quite a few sides with Mickey Baker on guitar and Quincy Jones as musical director; and he did sprinkle some tunes into the sessions that weren't remakes of familiar old hits (though listeners should be aware that one of these tracks features Dottie Smith on vocals rather than Jordan himself). Still, those remakes of familiar old hits like "Saturday Night Fish Fry" and "Caldonia" couldn't compete with the prototypes, and Baker didn't let loose on guitar as much as he could have, though he'll occasionally burn it up, especially on "Caldonia." If this was all that survived of Jordan as a recording artist, the material would be viewed more kindly, since his considerable abilities as a jump bluesman and R&B singer are well in evidence, and he wasn't all that bad even when the arrangements kowtowed to rock & roll trends. But viewed within the context of his entire discography, this has to be considered a lower-priority item, and one mostly for devoted Jordan fans.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/13/2008
  • Label: Rev-Ola
  • EAN: 5013929454422
  • Catalog Number: 244

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Louis Jordan Primary Artist, Alto Saxophone, Vocals
Jimmy Cleveland Trombone
Budd Johnson Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Quincy Jones Musical Direction
Irving Ashby Guitar
Ernie Royal Trumpet
Mickey Baker Guitar
Sam "The Man" Taylor Tenor Saxophone
William K. "Billy" Hadnott Bass
Ernie Hayes Piano
Wendell Marshall Bass
Marvin Oliver Drums
Charlie Persip Drums
Francisco Pozo Latin Percussion
Dorothea Smith Conga, Vocals, Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Norman Blake Recreation
Brook Benton Composer
Hoagy Carmichael Composer
Louis Jordan Composer
Ray Noble Composer
Bobby Troup Composer
Denver Darling Composer
Andy Razaf Composer
Dallas Bartley Composer
Chester Cohn Composer
Milt Gabler Composer
Benny Krueger Composer
Teddy McRae Composer
Mitchell Parish Composer
Dave Penny Producer, Liner Notes, Annotation
Jule Styne Composer
Ned Washington Composer
Will Weldon Composer
Joe Foster Producer, Recreation
Vaughn Horton Composer
John Chilton Liner Notes
Clifford R. Burwell Composer
Fleecie Moore Composer
Joan Whitney Composer
Bill Austin Composer
Lloyd Shaffer Composer
Bill Tennyson Composer
Mamie Thomas Composer
Sam Theard Composer
Joe Willoughby Composer
Mayme Watts Composer
Alex Kramer Composer
Andy Morten Artwork
Morry Lasco Composer
Dick Adams Composer
Leo Hickman Composer
Walter Merrick Composer
Roy Jacobs Composer
Preston Foster Composer
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