Thursday, December 26, 2013

Louis Jordan - The Best of

With his blend of jazz, swing, big band and jump blues (which he helped to create), Louis Jordan was one of
the most successful African-American musicians of the 20th century, selling millions of records, crossing over to the white audiences and appearing in numerous movies. This multi-instrumentalist is known primarily as a saxophonist and singer and his comedic personality won over many fans throughout his several decade career. His style pre-dated r'n'r and was highly influential on early practitioners such as Bill Haley.

This 20 song set includes many of his best known tunes, from the jumpin' boogie-woogie of  "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie", "Caldonia", "Beans and Cornbread" and "Let the Good Times Roll" (which did end up in many r'n'r combo's repertoires) to the jovial "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens" and "Barnyard Boogie", to the party tune "Saturday Night Fish Fry", to the jokey marriage warning of "Beware" to some slower numbers like "Knock Me a Kiss" and "Blue Light Boogie", to the Calypso-like "Run Joe" and "Early in the Mornin'" to the nursery rhymes of "School Days" to the always-relevant "What's the Use of Getting Sober". He has a tune called "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin'" that is not related to the Gerry and the Pacemakers song, but is a slow blues, as is "Somebody Done Changed the Lock on My Door" and "Nobody Knows You When You Are Down and Out".

This is an excellent selection of pre-r'n'r jump blues, with plenty of humor and fun and swingin' times. I am not as familiar with this genre as I would like to be, but this certainly seems to be a great place to start learning!