Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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Memphis Harp & Jug Blowers 1927 - 1939

It just might be that Memphis invented the harmonica blues or at least that they grew up in the city and environs considering the number of major harp players living there. Will Shade, Jed Davenport of neighbouring Tennessee, Noah Lewis from Ripley, Hammie Nixon from Brownsville and later John Lee (Sonny Boy Wiliamson No. 1) Williamson from Jackson, Tennessee. As an indication of the Memphis areas pre-eminence in affairs of the harp we could look at the record company's field trips. For example with over 30 trips each to Atalnta and Texas (compared to just 12 to Memphis) only a hand full of harmonica players were discovered. Atlanta could only muster Palmer McAbee (who may have been white). De Ford Bailey (from Nashville). Birmingham's Jaybird Coleman and a Buddy Moss accompaniment While Texas produced one William McCoy and an unknown accompanist to Hattie Hyde! But more important than mere superiority of numbers is the difference in style; while the other harmonica players were fox-chasing and playing trains (see DOCD-5100) the Memphis men were playing hard blues.

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Rare Live Cuts - Cafe Society 1939 & Milwaukee 1943

Rare Live Cuts
Cafe Society (1939 Airchecks) & Milwaukee (1943)

Billie Holiday with Frankie Newton Orchestra
Albert Ammons
Meade "Lux" Lewis
Joe Turner
Pete Johnson
Joe Williams
Red Feather Trio

Genres: Boogie-woogie, swing, jazz, blues.
Informative booklet notes by Axel Zwingenberger
Detailed discography.

In recent years, the ever growing community of jazz and blues lovers has been fortunate to profit from a real work of love - tracing the rarest material from the pioneers of the genre, putting it into a context with their better known recordings and thus allowing the enthusiast (or musician) to get a more complete picture of their oevre than could ever have been hoped for. Some treasures from the past times of 78 rpm shellack recordings have been known to just a few insiders, but their musical and historical value deserves to be discovered by today's audience.

This CD contains such a treasury - live recordings from the mecca of boogie woogie, New York's famous Café Society, when the Boogie Woogie Trio had just hit the road to fame, along with Billie Holiday, Frankie Newton and the other luminaries from the club's roster. Moreover, we have the opportunity to witness a celebrated performance of Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson at Milwaukee's jazz club "Frenchy's" during their travelling period as piano twins after their Café Society years. Continued... 

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Jaybird Coleman & The Birmingham Jug Band 1927 - 1930
Burl C. "Jaybird" Coleman (born June 28, 1896 in Gainsville, Georgia. He was the son of sharecroppers and one of four children. He was born, raised and worked on a farm, and picked up and learned the harmonica at 12 years of age.

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