FEATURED ARTIST / S
Roosevelt Sykes (The Honey Dripper), vocal, piano.
Including contributions by;
Prob. Big Bill Broonzy, electric guitar.
Alfred Elkins, satnd-up bass.
Armand “Jump” Jackson, drums
Ted Summit, guitar.
Genre; Blues piano, “City Blues”, Chicago Blues.
This CD begins with the balance of a notably high quality session held in February 1941 (also see DOCD-5121). Sykes' next session marked the end of his association with Decca, which had lasted from 1934 to 1941. "Let The Black Have His Way", his first recording for the Columbia Recording Corporation, was evidently wrongly titled for release; it features some vintage piano from Sykes, with a typically elaborate right hand, and swinging drumming, thought to be by Sidney Catlett. All eight titles from Sykes' Columbia debut session were issued, in a variety of combinations, on Okeh, Conqueror and Columbia itself.
From the other two sessions, again of eight titles apiece, that were held before commercial recording came to a temporary halt in July 1942, only two titles were released, one from each date. "Training Camp Blues", from the first of them, was a fine topical effort, recorded a mere two weeks after the USA was plunged into war with Japan and Germany. "Sugar Babe Blues", from the other session, had original lyrics, but its melody was that of the venerable "Crawdad Song". (Three unissued sides are from the latter session are also presented here)
Once recording resumed, Roosevelt Sykes was naturally among the first to find his way back to the studios, making a four title session for Bluebird late in 1944. Ted Summitt's Charlie Christian-influenced electric guitar, Jump Jackson's swing era drumming, and Sykes' choice of repertoire, make it a quintessentially mid-40s set, but it still retains a compelling excitement, due in no small part to the obvious enjoyment of all concerned, but perhaps most of all to Roosevelt Sykes' unmistakable blend of infectious enthusiasm and impressive piano technique. He'd been a recording star for 15 years by this date, but there was still a lot of mileage in him.