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NIGHT TRAIN, FUNKY DELICACIES & SOUL-TAY-SHUS LABELS

Johnny Otis -> Pearl Woods

COMPACT DISCS
JOHNNY OTIS
THE JOHNNY OTIS BAND
ROBERT PARKER
THE PRIME MINISTERS
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR
WARDELL QUEZERQUE
JERRY RAINES
SAM & THE SOUL MACHINE

KING SOLOMON
THE T.S.U TORONADOS
BUDDY TATE
IKE TURNER
TUTS WASHINGTON
ANDRE WILLIAMS
MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS
JIMMY WITHERSPOON
PEARL WOODS

 

 

COMPACT DISCS

 
JOHNNY OTIS Night Train 7003 Be Bop Baby Blues ● CD $14.98
Was slightly miffed by the fact that, as this material is from Joe Swift sessions, there is not at least a mention of his name on the face of this CD. Joe recorded for Leon Rene's Exclusive label during 1948/49, accompanied by the Red Callender Quintet on the 200 series and the Johnny Otis Orch. on the red & silver double digit X series, which was issued concurrently. Joe, whose voice and approach was similar to that of Calvin Boze, suited the style of the times. Eye-peelers include the vocal version and previously unissued instrumental of Alligator Meat/ That's Your Last Boogie, the unreleased Kansas City Jumper/ Fat Man Blues/ Crying Blues/ Train Blues. The 17-piece Otis alumni included Maxwell Davis (tenor sax), Devonia Williams (piano), and Otis himself on drums. Fourteen songs, five of which emerge for the first time. Good fidelity and encapsulated notes by Dan Nooger. (OLN)

 
THE JOHNNY OTIS BAND Night Train 7006 Too Late To Holler ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 47 min., recommended
This is the second disc to be issued by Night Train featuring Otis as a late 40's drummer, band leader, and session man for the Swing Time, Supreme, and Exclusive labels. Featured blues vocalists this time out include Joe Swift, Earl Jackson, and Clifford "Fat Man" Blivens. Swift gets 13 tracks, including Poor Man Blues/ Loving Baby Blues, and the decidedly unliberated Chicken Leg Chick. Jackson's two numbers are If I Had One and So Help Me; and Blivens two cuts are Korea Blues and If I'm Wrong. The remaining track, Ice Man, is an Otis instrumental. All of these numbers are pretty obscure, 6 previously unssued, but well worth a listen for those interested in the dawn of the r&b era. Cover art features an artist's view of Otis as a relatively young man. Sound quality and liner notes are both solid. (DH)
JOHNNY OTIS ORCH.: Be Bob Baby Blues (Alternate Take*)/ Come to Me*/ Crazy 'Bout Your Cooking (Alternate Take*)/ Hold It/ I'll Laught While You Cry/ Ice Man (Instrumental)/ If I Had One/ If I'm Wrong/ Korea Blues/ Poor Man Blues/ So Help Me/ JOE SWIFT: Chicken Leg Chick/ Country Gal/ Don't Trust a Woman/ Love and Gold/ Loving Baby Blues/ Right Now Baby/ That's Your Last Boogie (Alternate Take)

 
ROBERT PARKER Night Train 7107 The Wardell Quezerque Sessions ● CD $14.98
A collection of 24 tracks recorded in 1966 and '67 by this session musician turned vocalist accompanied by top New Orleans musicians under the production guidance of Wardell Quezerque. Bobby is best known for his big hit Barefootin' which is featured here along with several follow ups which were all pretty much identical to his hit but with different lyrics. When he wasn't cloning his hit he did some fine R&B and soul songs including some nice covers of songs from the repertoire of Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Little Richard and others. Most of these tracks are making their first ever appearance on CD.
ROBERT PARKER: Barefootin'/ Barefootin' Boogaloo/ Boss Lovin'/ Bow Legs/ C.C. Rider/ Directly From My Heart/ Everybody's Hip Huggin/ Foxy Mama/ Funky Soul Train/ Happy Feet/ Heading for A Fall/ Holdin' Out/ I Can't Help Myself/ I Caught You in a Lie/ I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)/ In the Midnight Hour/ Let's Go Baby (Where the Action Is)/ Mr. Pitiful/ Secret Service/ Soul Kind of Loving/ Soul Sister/ The Scratch/ Tip Toe/ Yak Yak Yak

 
THE PRIME MINISTERS Night Train 7148 Read 'Em And Weep ● CD $14.98
13 tracks recorded live in 1965 by white soul-jazz group from New Orleans and previously unreleased. The band featured Jerry Jumonville on tenor and alto sax, Eddie Zip on bass and trumpet, Ronnie Barron on piano and vocals, Wayne Devilliere on organ and Freddy Staehle on drums. Includes Hot Cha/ Sac-O-Woe/ Time/ Watermelon Man/ The Peeper/ What A Difference A Day Makes and others.

 
PROFESSOR LONGHAIR Night Train 7106 Ball The Wall! Live At Tipitinas's 1978 ● CD $14.98
More poorly recorded live sides of Fess doing the same material he does on all those other poorly recorded sets. It's not without musical value but is it necesarry?

 
WARDELL QUEZERQUE Funky Delicacies 2CD 0038 Sixty Smokin' Soul Senders ● CD $18.98
2 CDs, 60 tracks, 2 hours, 38 min., highly recommended
After Allen Toussaint, Wardell Quezerque tops the list of great New Orleans soul producers during the 1960's (and beyond). These sixty Quezerque-produced and/or -arranged soul sides offer diversity (funk, doo-wop, girl group, ballads, up-tempo) and rarity (see the Jades Lucky Fellow b/w And Now), and obscurity (George Woods, Lydia Marcelle). The songs come from a variety of labels, including Nola, Atco, Mode, Hot Line, Axe, A.B.S., Shagg, Whurley Burley, and others. And while connoisseurs of rare soul will probably not be put off by the fact that this CD was made from vinyl sources (with the limitations inherent therein), they may be excused from wondering why the compilers couldn't find a better copy of a 45 or two. Specifically, Guitar Ray's Ball & Chain is a challenge to enjoy, thanks to a recurring collection of clicks and surface noise. And Denny Fox's It's You For Me sounds as if someone was randomly twisting the volume knob during recording--perhaps a result of a severely warped piece of wax. Difficult to explain their inclusion, given the circumstances. Still, that leaves 58 songs worth hearing, including such rewarding offerings as The Bates Sisters' So Broken Hearted, who sound like they walked out of a Tamla session in Detroit; The Medallions' You Are Irresistable, a nice slice of late doo-wop; Vickie Labat's When You're In Love and Got To Keep Hanging On; Earl King's Poor Sam; C.L. Blast's I'm In A Daze, and more . Other artists represented include June Gardner, Al Reed, Curley Moore, Marie Boubarere, Klickly Robinson, Raymond Parker, Senator Jones, Edward Jones, Yvonne Wise, Eddie Bo, Billy Tircuit, Sammy Ridgley, The Fabulettes, Elliot Small, Jerry Foucha, Warren Lee, and others. A nice retrospective of Mr. Q's 1960s material and well worth picking up. (JC)

 
JERRY RAINES Night Train 7089 Dangerous Redhead ● CD $14.98
28 tracks from fine obscure Louisiana rocker recorded between 1959 and 1981 - mostly late 50s/ early 60s. Jerry is a fine singer and his music has a strong R&B and swamp pop flavor. Includes sessions with his own band the Vikings as well as tracks with a studio band including Roy Montrell, Mac Rebennac, Lee Allen & Big Boy Myles. Includes a couple of unissued studio sides along with a bunch of forgettable demos with only piano or acoustic guitar accompaniment.

 
SAM & THE SOUL MACHINE Funky Delicacies 0039 Po'k Bones & Rice - Unreleased New Orleans Funk,1969-74 ● CD $14.98
18 tracks, 58 min., highly recommended
The first 12 tracks were recorded at Cosima Matassa's Camp Street studio in New Orleans in 1969 in a session somehow initiated by Allen Toussaint. But the IRS charged Cosimo with tax evasion and exacted their financial revenge on his studio, confiscating all his master tapes in the process because, well, they're the IRS and they don't want people listening to funky music and having a good time. Sam Henry fortunately kept a copy of the master tapes himself, otherwise this great funk album would have remained unheard. As it is the 12-pack of instrumentals features drum work from Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste and cool saxing from Gary Brown. Henry's Hammond B-3 glues everything together as The Soul Machine pump through a reworking of Sly Stone's Stand, the Rascals' Beautiful Morning, a James Brown-like groove called Meditation, Mercy-D, featuring guitar sparks from a young Eugene Sinegal, and others. The remaining six tracks show off the vocal side of the Machine a little. A hidden gem from one of New Orleans finest funk bands, even if they never did break out nationally. (JC)

 
KING SOLOMON Night Train 7138 You Ain't Nothing But A Teenager ● CD $14.98
24 tracks, highly recommended
Great collection of soul flavored blues recorded for various small California labels in the 60s and 70s by King Sylvester Lee, or as he was better known, King Solomon. Solomon got his start in gospel groups and his vocals have a strong gospel feel to them. His first single for the Ball label, the two part Non Support Blues recorded for the L.A. based Ball label became a local and was picked up by the Checker label though all his subsequent releases were confined to small labels and the tracks here were released on labels like Magnum, Don-J, Resist, Highland, Mader-D, Ashanti and Celestial. There are lots of fine songs here like Separation, the Howling Wolf flavored Yodeling This Morning, the fine slow blues I Got To Move, the funk flavored The Natural Look and others. The last seven tracks are from an LP released on the Celestial label in 1978 featuring a blend of blues, soul and funk including the topical songs Energy Crisis. Most of the accompanying musicians are unknown but there are some excellent bands with top notch guitar on many of the tracks. Includes eight page fold out booklet with detailed notes and rare photos. Like many Night Train titles the remastering could be better but there's lots of fine and infrequently heard music here. (FS)
KING SOLOMON: A Little Dab Will Do Ya (Celestial version)/ A Little Dab Will Do Ya (Mader-D version)/ Ain't It Funky Y'all/ Big Thing/ Don't Play This Song/ Energy Crisis/ Get Up Soul Brother/ I Got To Move/ I Got a Sweet Tooth/ I Want to Know/ If I Were a Strong Man/ Moonwalk/ Natural Look/ No Woman's No Stranger/ Non Support Blues (part 1)/ Non Support Blues (part 2)/ Politician Rag/ Scratch My Back/ Separation (Mader-D version)/ Separation (Magnum version)/ Sexy Baby/ The Miracle Worker/ Yodeling This Morning/ You Ain't Nothing But a Teenager

 
THE T.S.U TORONADOS Funky Delicacies 0016 One Flight Too Many ● CD $14.98
25 tracks, 73 min., essential
Named after Texas State University and a 1960s Oldsmobile muscle car, the TSU Toronados delivered some of the tightest and funkiest instrumental and vocal tracks going. This album collects all of their released singles and throws in 10 previously unreleased tracks. The Toronados made a name for themselves (or should have) when they backed Archie Bell and the Drells on the massive hit Tighten Up. As it turned out, they received no credit and just $27.50 each for their troubles. They recorded for Ovide records from 1967-71, pumping out incredible horn-driven funk such as The Blautche, A Thousand Wonders, Back After The News, The Goose,and the JB-ish Work On It. But despite charting on the R&B and Pop charts with the remarkable Getting The Corners, our heroes saw little financial gain for all their artistic success. A well-deserved collection from a group whose live shows were legendary. When they played a cover of a Supremes song, they apparently took the stage donning wigs and dresses. Now that's commitment. (JC)

 
BUDDY TATE Night Train 7023 Tate's A Jumpin' ● CD $14.98
Rare 40s recordings by former Basie sideman including some accompaniments to Jimmy Witherspoon.

 
IKE TURNER & THE KINGS OF RHYTHM Funky Delicacies 0047 A Black Man's Soul ● CD $14.98
Reissue of 1969 Pompeii album with three bonus cuts. The original 13 track album was all instrumental featuring Ike, Oliver Sain & the Kings Of Rhythm on a selection of original tunes and covers blending R&B, funk and a bit of rock - Thinking Black/ Ghetto Funk/ Black Angel/ Funky Mule/ Scotty Souling/ Nuttin' Up/ Chain Of Fools, etc. The bonus tracks feature Tina on vocals on fine versions of No More Doggin'/ Knock On Wood and a particularly fine Drifting Blues

 
TUTS WASHINGTON Night Train 7101 Live At Tipitina's '78 ● CD $14.98
19 tracks, 59 mins, recommended
Tuts Washington is the patron saint of New Orleans piano playing having influenced everyone from Professor Longhair to Henry Butler. He only made a handful of recordings so this rare live recording is welcome though the much less than stellar sound quality reduces the listening enjoyment. He demonstrates his facility here with blues, jazz and pop - no pyrotechnics here just great playing. Too bad about the sound though. (FS)

 
ANDRE WILLIAMS Soul-Tay-Shus 6345 Rib Tips & Pig Snoots ● CD $14.98
A collection of funk flavored soul and R&B - mostly instrumental - produced by and featuring Motor City legend Andre Williams. These were recorded between 1965 and 1971 for labels like Avin, Sport & Wingate and includes some unissued tunes and alternate takes - Jivin' Around/ You Got It & I Want It/ Pearl Time/ I Heard It Through The Grapevine/ Hard Hustling/ Do It/ Loose Juice/ Black Bull/ Chicken Thighs/ Christmas Wish, etc.

 
ANDRE WILLIAMS & THE OUT OF SIGHTERS Soul-Tay-Shus 6361 Red Beans & Biscuits - Rare & Unreleased Recordings ● CD $14.98
16 tracks, 55 min., highly recommended
Too often "rare and unreleased" is a euphemism for "bad." But for Andre Williams (who had his first hit with Bacon Fat in 1957 and began producing records in the 1960s), it means rare and unreleased. He takes writing and production credits on these 16 tracks, half of which are previously unissued. Nineteen-year-old Jo Ann Garrett's Can You Deal With That if first-rate funk with an attitude, just as The Profiles' If I Didn't Love You is as fine a slice of mid-tempo soul as you're likely to hear any time soon. And the many Andre Williams instrumentals start a fire and keep it burning. Wish everybody's lesser achievements sounded this good. (Extra points for Williams for cashing in on a fad by cutting Streakin' Song and for observing that "nudists go real slow" and "winter is a bummer.") (JC)

 
MAURICE WILLIAMS & THE ZODIACS Night Train 7020 Live At Myrtle Beach 1965 ● CD $14.98
This is, (I think), the digital reissue of the similarly titled LP from 1965 (Snyder 5586), a live set recorded at South Carolina's Myrtle Beach. The program as a whole has a nice spontaneous feel to it, and the numbers recorded reflect the varied musical ambiance of the mid-60's - In Crowd, Something You Got, Soldier Boy, Twist & Shout, It's Not Unusual, You've Lost That Loving Feeling, If I Had a Hammer, and Sherry. On the whole, this set suggests something of a third incarnation for Williams and his group. The grittiness of the Gladiolas of Little Darlin' fame is gone, as is the still-caught-in-the-50's sound of the Zodiacs who recorded Stay for the Herald label. This is just what the title suggests it is, Beach style party music, complete with covers of the hits of others. (DH)

 
JIMMY WITHERSPOON Night Train 7008 Cold Blooded Boogie ● CD $14.98
20 tracks, 56 mins, recommended
Complementing, and in some cases duplicating (!), Night Train 7004 this is another splendid collection of late 40s Supreme and Swingtime recordings by one of the greatest of the blues shouters. 'Spoon's powerful vocals are accompanied by the top notch bands of Jay McShann or Buddy Tate. It includes alternates of two of 'Spoon's most famous songs, the ever topical Times Getting Tougher and Ain't Nobody's Business. He does interesting covers of early blues songs - Leroy Carr's In The Evening and Bessie Smith's Backwater Blues and a heap of other fine titles like Six Foor Two Blues/ Cain River Blues/ Call My Baby/ Wandering Gal/ The New Look and others. Excellent sound and good notes by Jim Dawson (same as on Night Train 7004) but no discographical data. (FS)
JIMMY WITHERSPOON: Ain't Nobody's Business/ Backwater Blues/ Big Eyes Blues/ Cain River Blues/ Call My Baby/ Cold Blooded Boogie/ Early One Morning/ Frogomore Blues/ Hey Mr. Landlord/ In The Evening/ Lush Head Woman/ Miss Clawdy B./ Money Eyes Woman/ Mr. Hootie/ Six Foot Two Blues/ Skid Row Blues/ The New Look/ Third Floor Blues/ Time Getting Tougher/ Wandering Gal

 
PEARL WOODS Night Train 7147 Sippin' Sorrow (With A Spoon) ● CD $14.98
19 tracks, 47 min., highly recommended
Woods spent much of her early musical career as an in-demand demo singer for other artists to copy, and her handful of solo releases demonstrates why. Blessed with a gifted voice and an ear for phrasing, Woods never gained the success her talent called for, even though she did appear in the popular 1950s film Rockin' The Blues. Also a fine songwriter, Woods has had her words recorded by such musical heavy hitters as Ray Charles, Etta James, Dinah Washington, and Bobby "Blue" Bland, to name but a (famous) few. This release includes four songs with the Wanderers (for vocal group fans), a pair with The Upsetters (Little Richard's Band), and wonderful originals such as the up-tempo Fool Like Me and the sweet and slow I'm Gonna Stick With You . That Let Him Go never climbed the Billboard charts throws the very concept of a justice into question. Woods, seemingly the only soul singer not raised singing in the church, gave up secular music in 1970 in favor of gospel, so there won't be any more like these. A soul discovery worth making. (JC)

   
 
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