This is a good collection of piano-accompanied vocals sporting bluesmen who worked the lumber camps and oil fields of rural Texas, as well as the red-light districts of cities like Galveston and Houston. Big Boy Knox shows a strong city influence in his decorative right-hand work, as does Robert Cooper, whose playing points to the influence of Fats Waller. Joe Pullem is on board with his hit, "Black Gal," which is perhaps overstated by three takes and a variation. The vocals are good, however, and the piano playing is uniformly excellent. Stylistically, this music falls somewhere between ragtime, blues, and vaudeville.
Five of the best southern territory bands of the 1920s are represented on this intriguing CD: Blue Steele, Slim Lamar, Mart Britt, Sunny Clapp, and Phil Baxter. The only sidemen who became known a little bit later on were cornetist Tony Almerico, clarinetist Sidney Arodin, and pianist Terry Shand (with guests Hoagy Carmichael and guitarist Roy Smeck), but the musicianship is pretty decent and the music generally swings well. Serious 1920s jazz collectors will want this CD, which is full of worthy obscurities.
Texas Rhody Blues, featuring Jimmie Vaughan and Duke Robillard, is the third Knickerbocker All-Stars CD release. This CD has its roots in The Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals of the late 1950s and early ‘60s which turned many white soul searchers on to blues, rhythm and blues, and jump blues…
With over a dozen dates under their belts Crimson were really hitting their stride, playing a high-energy show and unveiling new material such as The Night Watch, Lament and Fracture. In the latter’s case, it’s so new that the paint is still wet with a couple of sticky moments evident around the intro. However, the real surprise comes around the 6.30 mark in Fracture - with an unreleased section they later discarded, propelled by a mighty Wetton bass line that reappears on Red’s Starless. An improvised section prior to those familiar rasping chords adds a pinch of wonder to this tale of the unexpected, making it a glimpse of an alternative Fracture.
Don Wilkerson was among the unsung heroes of the tenor sax. Although he backed heavyweights like B.B. King and Ray Charles, the improviser's own albums aren't nearly as well known as they should be. But those who were hip to Wilkerson swore by him, and one of his allies was alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley. It was in 1960 that Adderley produced The Texas Twister, Wilkerson's first album as a leader. The tenor man (who was 27 at the time) shows a lot of promise on this album, embracing standards as well as bop-oriented material by Adderley, pianist Barry Harris, and obscure Texas musician Jim Martin.