Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records
James Booker - Manchester '77

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James Booker

01 - Let The Good Times Roll Listen
02 - Blues Minuet Listen
03 - Junko Partner Listen
04 - Black Night Listen
05 - Tipitina Listen
06 - Come Rain Or Shine Listen
07 - Pixie Listen
08 - We've Only Just Begun Listen
09 - Send Me Some Loving Listen
10 - A) Rip It Up B) Long Tall Sally Listen
11 - Let Them Talk Listen
12 - A) Hound Dog B) Hambone Listen
13 - Every Day I Have The Blues Listen

Informative booklet notes by Gary Atkinson.

Norman Darwen of Blues Matters magazine review:

New Orleans may be full of eccentrics but James Booker was one of the more eccentric of them! If Professor Longhair's vocals could seem a little wayward, Booker's are completely off the beaten track, always in tune but only because it followed his piano playing, which pursued a similarly untrammelled path. He had enjoyed a big hit in 1960 with his organ instrumental 'Gonzo' and had gone on to play with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Maria Muldaur and Ringo Starr.

A year or so before this concert, Island had released a mid-price solo piano album in Britain, which had certainly raised his profile - even if it did puzzle many critics with its mix of quasi classical playing (Blues Minuet) and barrelhouse Blues (Junko Partner), with Booker's well-documented heroin addiction adding a very personal touch to the latter. Both these titles are included on this set recorded at the Lake Side Hotel in the much-missed Belle Vue complex in Manchester. There is also the near Jelly Roll Morton-styled Pixie, some rock 'n' roll, heavily adapted covers of '50s R&B numbers, such as Black Night and Let Them Talk , and a wonderful Tipitana - and don't forget that back then Professor Longhair was definitely an esoteric taste !

All solo, except for the last two numbers of the album, on which local  outfit  - now much better known too - The Norman Beaker Band, with Victor Brox on electric piano, help out, though the vocals are rather low in the mix. This tape may have languished for thirty years but it is certainly good to hear it now. With so little of Booker's material readily available, this is essential for Crescent City lovers.


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