Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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Piano Discoveries 1928 - 1943




This compilation disc contains an astonishing array of blues and boogie-woogie piano artists that will be of interest to anyone who has an ear for this genre of music. Some of the selections are outtakes, while others are never-before-released recordings. The latter are from vinyl records that were made in the ’40s. Among the artists featured are Lee Green, Judson Brown with Charlie “Bozo” Nicherson, Leroy Carr with Scrapper Blackwell, Charles “Cow Cow” Davenport, Georgia Tom with Tampa Red, Memphis Slim, Little Brother Montgomery, Roosevelt Sykes with Walter Davis, Thomas A. Dorsy, Ivy Smith, Ezra Howelett Shelton, Cripple Clarence Lofton, Jimmy and Mama Yancey, and Alonzo Yancey. The quality of the recordings is variable, but listening to them is still worthwhile for their historical and musical value. The repertoire ranges from the well-known The Girl I’m Looking For, Beer Drinking Woman, and Church House Blues to the more obscure Mama and Jimmy Blues, Deep End Boogie, and Poor Old Bachelor Blues. Dialogue by various artists is interspersed throughout this fascinating historical document. – Rose of Sharon Witmer.

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The Boogie Woogie Boys - 1938 & 1941

The Complete Library of Congress Recordings 1938. Plus Film Soundtracks 1941. Bonus Tracks; Alternative Takes 1936 - 1939.


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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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Pete Johnson Radio Broadcasts, Film Soundtracks, Alternate Takes 1939 - c.1947

Pete Johnson – Radio Broadcasts, Film Soundtracks, Alternate Takes 1939 – c. 1947
Pete Johnson – Boogie-woogie piano
Includes performances by:
Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
Big Joe Turner
Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra
Lena Horne
Albert Ammons
And others…
Extensive, 22 page illustrated booklet notes by Axel Zwingenberger.
Detailed discography.
This compilation, gives the overall impression of a player who had good knowledge of harmonic structures, great command of rhythm and plenty of experience of swinging along with high calibre Jazz musicians. Pete Johnson’s influences included Charles "Smash" Johnson, then Louis "Bootie" Johnson, who made Pete change from drumming to playing piano in 1926. Other main inspirations came from Fats Waller and for boogie-woogie, Pinetop Smith's recordings and Jelly Roll Morton. Tracks on the CD include the big band "Roll 'Em" by Benny Goodman's Orchestra, "Buss Robinson Blues" was a favourite of Pete's being a tribute to a friend and fellow pianist. "Goin' Away Blues" was a number from Pete's first commercial recording session, accompanied by the singer Joe Turner, "Boogie Woogie Prayer" is a piano duet with Albert Ammons. Other highlights are several songs featuring the singer Lena Horne, these are "My New Gown" and the excellent "Unlucky Dream". Continued...

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Pete Johnson The St Louis Parties 1954

Genres: Piano Boogie-woogie, Piano blues.
24 page, illustrated booklet with booklet notes written by Tom Harris, Axel Zwingenberger and Konrad Nowakowski.
Detailed discography.
What a weekend! John Steiner and I had driven to St. Louis from Chicago to hear Pete Johnson play at the Circus Lounge in the Forest Park Hotel. The date was Friday, July 30, 1954. Having never met Pete, I was as excited and nervous as I had been when I first met Albert Ammons in 1948.
On Saturday, July 31, we were joined by good friend Charlie Castner and Donald "J. J." Stoll who flew up from Louisville, Kentucky. Charlie and I met in '48 at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Charlie played the most authentic boogie piano I had ever heard outside of Albert, Pete and Meade Lux Lewis. We still play today - 50 years later. J.J. was an avid Jimmy Yancey piano stylist and an ardent fan. All music was recorded that day on Magnacord equipment (all tubes and very heavy) by mentor and friend John Steiner, possessor of one of the finest and largest jazz collections in the United States as well as a noted and oft-quoted historian of Chicago style jazz. As this CD attests, it was as fulfilling and musically exciting an afternoon as any boogie fan could ever desire. All of us played - solos, duets, trios, crosshanded - from slow blues to fast and furious stomps and popular tunes on an acoustic spinet piano. One special image remains: Pete is sitting back in an overstuffed chair listening to the enthusiastic boogie played by the next generation. He was smiling, and so were we. Continued...

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Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey DOUBLE CD

Double CD
Various Artiists
Compiled by Bill Wyman
Informative 24 page full colour booklet by Bill Wyman & Richard Havers
Detailed discography
Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman asked Document Records to produce a CD which would be part of a life long ambition; to pay tribute to and share with others the music that he has loved and been influenced by, The Blues. This double CD, accompanied by a twenty-four page colour booklet, compliments the book, television documentary and DVD of the same name. It features some of the very best blues to have been recorded from the early “Classic” female blues and “Country Blues” of the nineteen-twenties through to the electric “Down Home” blues of Chicago.
Whether you are a collector or just inquisitive about what the blues are and the history the music, this CD is one of the finest collections of vintage blues recordings available. Continued...

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