Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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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 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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