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Bebop Spoken There

Ethan Iverson: "Oscar Peterson famously said that Bud [Powell] played just too many wrong notes. He was really critical of Bud as a player, which I think is not right." - (DownBeat March 2021)

Archive quotes.

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".

'606' Club: "A toast to Lance Liddle of the terrific jazz blog 'Bebop Spoken Here'"

Postage

12,557 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 276 of them this year alone and, so far, 127 this month (Feb. 28).

Wednesday March 3

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MILES WATSON

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Album review: Big Joe Williams - Four Classic Albums

Big Joe Williams (vocals, guitar); J.D. Short (vocals, harmonica); Mary Williams (vocals); Ransom Knowling (double bass)

Jazz and blues are inextricably linked, musically and socially. Bluesman Big Joe Williams, not to be confused with Count Basie's vocalist Joe Williams, travelled the same road as many jazz musicians, migrating north from Mississippi, seeking work and recording opportunities. A new release from Avid presents a wonderful package of Williams' recordings from the late fifties and early sixties. 

Four Classic Albums is just that, three LPs recorded in Chicago, one in California. This two-disc package comprises forty nine tracks with a total running time in excess of two and a half hours. Piney Woods Blues from 1958, 'mostly recorded at the Blue Note record shop', opens with perhaps the most famous of Williams' tunes, Baby, Please Don't Go. Track 6, Big Joe Talking, is just that, Big Joe recounting his life on the road (and railroad) hitching a ride to the next town. 

The following year, '59, Williams reached California where he recorded Tough Times. Songs of women, loves lost and hard times include a vocal by Williams' wife Mary on I Want My Crown. Fast forward to 1961, Williams returned to Chicago to record two more albums - Blues on Highway 49 and Mississippi's Big Joe Williams and His Nine String Guitar - accompanied by bass player Ransom Knowling (the man who played on Arthur Crudup's That's All Right). 

On all four albums Williams sings and plays his nine-string guitar. The voice is commanding (a young Muddy Waters travelled with Williams, the influence is evident), the guitar technique is his own. Four Classic Albums (Avid AMSC1385) is available from: www.avidgroup.co.uk. Highly recommended. 
Russell

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