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Best of Wynonie Harris
     

Best of Wynonie Harris

by Wynonie Harris
 
This is a first-rate survey of Wynonie Harris' early career, starting with mid-'40s dates backed up by Johnny Otis and Illinois Jacquet's band and covering his career up to dates with his own band at the outset of the 1950s. Listening to this body of 18 songs, one hears the evolution of jump blues to full-blown R&B (and the birth of rock & roll -- though that wouldn't

Overview

This is a first-rate survey of Wynonie Harris' early career, starting with mid-'40s dates backed up by Johnny Otis and Illinois Jacquet's band and covering his career up to dates with his own band at the outset of the 1950s. Listening to this body of 18 songs, one hears the evolution of jump blues to full-blown R&B (and the birth of rock & roll -- though that wouldn't be obvious or relevant for a few years to come) between 1945 and 1948 in Harris' work. And while this CD is an education for the uninitiated, as well as a pleasure for anybody (and a great party record), it isn't quite as well organized as it could be -- the programming misses chronological order, just enough to keep the serious listener jumping a bit back and forward between sessions and personnel. "Here Comes the Blues," cut at Harris' second round of sessions, leads off the compilation in an uncharacteristically slow mode before the singer finds his more familiar tempo -- the jumping "Wynonie's Blues," featuring Jacquet, John Brown, and Arthur Dennis on tenor, alto, and baritone sax, respectively (plus Russell Jacquet on trumpet), throws the tempo into a higher gear, and the Otis-accompanied two-part "Around the Clock" dials back the beat but makes up for it with some suggestive lyrics. From 1948, however, with "Good Rocking Tonight," there was no turning back on the rhythm. And with the advent of recording tape around that same time, the accompaniments only stand out better -- Simeon Hatch's piano on "Baby, Shame on You" and Cat Anderson, Frank Culley, and Hal Singer on trumpet, alto, and tenor get showcased pretty well, as far forward as Harris' voice. And the playing and the singing only get better as the decade closes out with "Sittin' on It All the Time" -- by 1950, with "Mr. Blues Is Coming to Town," Harris was ripping the envelope with his singing and his songs. The transfers are clean and bright, and the whole CD is a keeper from start to finish.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/05/2005
Label:
Blues Forever
UPC:
0828317682326
catalogNumber:
6823

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wynonie Harris   Primary Artist,Vocals
Johnny Otis   Drums
Bill Doggett   Piano
Cat Anderson   Trumpet
Milt Buckner   Piano
Illinois Jacquet   Tenor Saxophone
Charles Mingus   Bass
Oscar Pettiford   Bass
Joe Williams   Bass
Russell Jacquet   Trumpet
Todd Rhodes   Piano
Hal Singer   Tenor Saxophone
Joe Wilder   Trumpet
Howard McGhee   Trumpet
Gene Phillips   Guitar
Sonny Thompson   Piano
Connie Kay   Drums
Jack McVea   Tenor Saxophone
Tom Archia   Tenor Saxophone
William Benjamin   Drums
Joe Britton   Trombone
Jimmy Butts   Bass
Henderson Chambers   Trombone
Frank Clarke   Bass
Arthur Dennis   Baritone Saxophone
Holley Dismukes   Alto Saxophone
Clarence Donaldson   Drums
Teddy Edwards   Tenor Saxophone
Charles Edwards   Tenor Saxophone
Bill Graham   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Johnny Greer   Tenor Saxophone
Simeon Hatch   Piano
Clarence Jones   Bass
Lee Wesley Jones   Piano
Joe Knight   Piano
Ulysses Livingston   Guitar
Stanley Morgan   Guitar
Bob Mosley   Piano
Hot Lips Page   Trumpet
Carl Pruitt   Bass
Franklin Skeete   Bass
Elmer Alexander   Baritone Saxophone
Joe Allston   Tenor Saxophone
Orrington Hall   Tenor Saxophone
Bruce Lawrence   Bass
Birdie Wallace   Piano
Wichard   Drums
George Tate   Tenor Saxophone
Carl "Flat Top" Wilson   Bass
Alfred Walker   Drums
Herman Mitchell   Guitar
Ted Buckner   Alto Saxophone
Vincent Bair Bey   Alto Saxophone
Moses Gant   Trombone
Sammy "Stick" Evans   Drums
Walter Fleming   Piano
Howard Thompson   Trumpet
Bill Martin   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Roy Brown   Composer
Wynonie Harris   Composer
Henry Bernard   Composer
Henry Glover   Composer
Will Weldon   Composer
Lois Mann   Composer
Sydney Mann   Composer

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