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Charley Jordan, the essential DOUBLE CD
Classic Blues is devoted to re-issuing the classic recordings of America's greatest blues artists. LIMITED STOCK



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Blues, Blues Christmas 1925 - 1955

Various artists
Double album with full colour 20 page booklet by Jeff Harris. 
Detailed discography
  
The idea of Christmas themed blues and gospel numbers stretches back to the very dawn of the recorded genres. “Hooray for Christmas” exclaims Bessie Smith to kick off her soon to be classic “At The Christmas Ball”, which inaugurated the Christmas blues tradition when it was recorded in November 1925 for Columbia. A year later, circa December 1926, the gospel Christmas tradition was launched when the Elkins-Payne Jubilee Singers recorded “Silent Night, Holy Night” for Paramount Records. After these recordings it was off to the races with numerous Christmas blues numbers recorded by singers of all stripes, a pace that continued as blues evolved into R&B and then rock and roll. Continued...



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Charley Jordan Vol 1 1930 - 1931

Charley Jordan, vocal, guitar   
St. Louis Bessie (Bessie Mae Smith), vocal with Charley Jordan, guitar.
 
With contributions by Peetie Wheatstraw, piano.
 
Genres: St Louis Blues, Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
 
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.  

From this albums booklet notes:

Charlie Jordan is one of the many major figures in the blues of whom we know surprisingly little. He was born in Arkansas, around 1890, and is reported to have led a hobo's life after service in the US Army during World War I. By 1925, he was living in St. Louis, which was to be his home for the rest of his life. He was already a guitarist by this time, and it's a good bet that his wanderings had taken him to Memphis and the Mississippi Delta, for the guitar styles of the city and the repertoire of the Delta are both evident at his first recording session. He played in a clean, confident three-finger style that owed a good deal to ragtime, but more to his own extraordinary sense of rhythm. The steady pulse that underlies his playing and singing is often a long way removed from the accenting of the guitar part; what Bernard Klatzko calls "inexact timing (that is exact)". Continued...




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Charley Jordan Vol 2 1931 - 1934

Charley Jordan, vocal, guitar.
 
With contributions by Peetie Wheatstraw, piano.
 
Genres: St Louis Blues, Country Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
 
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.
 
Between June 1930 and March 1931, Charley Jordan had recorded for Vocalion, but in September 1931 he cut four titles for Victor, accompanied, as had become the norm, by his friend Peetie Wheatstraw on piano. These were fine performances, but the Depression was biting hard; sometime in 1933, probably around March, Victor noted the sales figures for their 23000 series releases. Jordan was in exceptional form on guitar, as may be heard on all his titles at this two day session, but particularly perhaps on Honey Sucker Blues and Hell Bound Boy Blues, which also features one of Peetie Wheatstraw's finest accompaniments. If he was outstanding accompanying himself, however, Jordan was truly sensational in guitar duet with "Hi" Henry Brown, whose nickname was presumably adopted to distinguish him from the celebrated St. Louis piano player whose name he shared. Jordan is particularly inspired on Titanic Blues; to his usual rhythmic freedom, even more remarkable than when he was accompanying himself, he adds a near three octave playing range, and extremely forceful picking. Continued...



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Charley Jordan Vol 3 1935 - 1937

Charley Jordan: vocal, guitar.

With contributions by; Peetie Wheatstraw, piano; Verdi Lee, vocal; Charlie Manson, guitar; Leroy Henderson, vocal; Casey Bill Weldon, slide guitar.

Genres: Country Blues, St Louis Blues, Country Blues Guitar. Blues Piano.

Informative notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

Charley Jordan was not the strongest of blues singers but his voice is not off-putting, in fact it has quite an unusual characteristic which one easily brings to mind when one returns to any of his records. The strengths of his recordings are in his guitar playing and his song writing. Steffan Grossman wrote; "The often whimsical songs recorded belie the violent world that he apparently lived". He was shot in 1928 during his bootlegging activities leaving him with a bullet lodged in his spine and having to use crutches.

There's a wry, gentle humour in Jordan's songs, a child-like delight in playing with words and imagery. His melodies, too, often evince a naive charm. Jordan's guitar picking masterfully combines an airy delicacy with punchy dynamics he may have gathered from such Mississippians as Big Joe Williams. Paul Oliver has praised Jordan's "uncorrupted country style of blues guitar with an effortless, light technique". Chris Smith observes in Jordan "an extraordinary sense of rhythm. The steady pulse that underlies his playing and singing is often a long way removed from the accenting of the guitar part."




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