J’étais célèbre, on me reconnaissait dans la rue, on m’offrait des concerts dans tout le pays, mes disques sortaient en Europe… Les télévisions me demandaient, les stars de cinéma aussi me réclamaient à leur table, Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, la minuscule Natalie Wood…
On this reissue CD of a Contemporary set (bassist Leroy Vinnegar's first as a leader), six of the seven songs have the word "walk" in their title, including "Would You Like to Take a Walk," "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," "I'll Walk Alone," and Vinnegar's original "Walk On." Vinnegar actually does not take much solo space and generously features his talented sidemen: vibraphonist Victor Feldman, trumpeter Gerald Wilson, tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, pianist Carl Perkins, and drummer Tony Bazley. A fine, straight-ahead session.
The 40 tracks compiled on this two-disc set represent the entire span of pianist and singer Leroy Carr's recording career that spanned a brief seven years, from 1928-1935. The material represented here – all but one of these tracks were recorded for the Vocalion label – features accompaniment by guitarist Scrapper Blackwell on all but one selection, and Josh White on a handful as well. Carr's material here ranges from the classic piano blues of the era that spawned Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith to vaudeville and hokum tunes made popular by artists like Tampa Red and Georgia Tom. Carr's voice is the haunting thing here; it's higher and very clear, sweet almost, as evidenced by most of these sides. But there was an edge, too; one that belied a kind of pathos underneath even the most cheery material – check "Mean Mistreater Blues" or "Bread Baker." But the darker material such as "Suicide Blues" (one of six previously unissued performances), "Straight Alky Blues," or "Shinin' Pistol," is strange and eerie given Carr's smooth approach. Carr may not be the most well-known bluesman of the era, but his contribution is profound and lasting. This collection puts to shame almost all others with the exception of the multi-volume complete recordings on Document.
Leroy Jenkins (March 11, 1932 – February 24, 2007) was a composer and avant-garde jazz violinist and violist. Happy Birthday… Violinist Leroy Jenkins was at the helm of Sting, which played funky and free, did originals and vintage spirituals, and would shift from stretches of collective improvisation to challenging solo exchanges. They were a unique, intriguing group, but sadly didn't last. This 1984 album, reissued on CD, presented them at their best, displaying the breadth of influences, genres, sources and styles that converged and resulted in the work of a great band.