Buddy & The juniors



The historical details surrounding the recording session that became Buddy & the Juniors are almost as entertaining -- and oddly satisfying -- as the music itself. Released on Blue Thumb in 1970 on multi-colored wax, this session, were it not for a very real economic necessity due to Buddy Guy's feud with Vanguard Records, would never have happened. According to producer Michael Cuscuna's liner notes on the CD reissue, Vanguard wouldn't pick up the tab for Guy to fly to New York to mix an album he'd cut with Junior Mance and Gary Bartz -- also produced by Cuscuna. Being an ever-enterprising genius, Cuscuna pitched the idea for a recording between Guy, Mance, and Junior Wells to Blue Thumb label boss Bob Krasnow; he jumped. The all-acoustic Buddy & the Juniors was recorded on December 18 of 1969, and on December 19 they mixed this album and the Vanguard date! While an acoustic pairing betweenGuy and Wells is a natural one, adding jazz pianist Mance -- a Chicago native whose early influences were the boogie-woogie recordings of Meade "Lux" Lewis and Albert Ammons -- to the mix was risky in terms of interpersonal dynamics, but in retrospect, proved a brilliant idea. The proceedings are informal and raw with plenty of fireworks. The first two tracks -- "Talkin' 'Bout Women Obviously" and "Riffin' [aka A Motif Is Just a Riff]" -- were the last two recorded. They're blazing, hairy, on-the-spot improvisational duets between Wells and Guy: the former offers lyrics in a back-and-forth extemporaneous style; the latter develops in intensity as it goes on. The playing by Guy and Wells is inspirational. "Buddy's Blues," the first interplay of the trio, has Mance digging deeply into the Otis Spann tradition, just rolling inside it, accenting lines, punching chords, and offering beautiful tags to Wells' harmonica lines. Wells' vocal on "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man" meets Guy's six-string head-on, with Mance comping and popping a melodic fill underneath each sung phrase. He introduces "Five Long Years" as a piano blues that gets countered in exponential grit by Guy's vocal and Wells' punchy harp; he shuffles, fills, trills, and blows straight at the the keyboard, creating a forceful gale of dialogue. On the slippery boogie-woogie set closer, Wells' "Ain't No Need," the listener grasps the deep communication of this trio. Given how earthy, informal, and joyful this acoustic session is, it conveys everything rightabout Chicago blues.



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Hugh masekela

Hugh masekela
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Hugh Ramopolo Masekela ''was born on April 4, 1939, in Witbank, South Africa. He began singing and playing piano as a child. But at age 14, after seeing the film, YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN, where Kirk Douglas portrays American Jazz trumpeter, Bix Beiderbecke, he took up trumpet, given to the young Hugh by Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, the anti-apartheid chaplain at St. Peters Secondary School''.

Masekela'' had been greatly moved by the music he heard on the 78 RPM gramophone records of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, Sy Oliver, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Jordan, The Ink Spots, the Mills Brothers, Billie Holiday and Charlie Christian''. 

''In his teens, he fell in love with Dizzy Gillespie, George Shearing, Miles Davis, Clifford Brown, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham, Oscar Peterson, Bud Shank, Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Stan Getz, Jackie & Roy Kral, June Christy Shorty Rogers, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Bud Powell and Mahalia Jackson''. 

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