Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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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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Bunk Johnson Volume 2

Bunk Johnson 1942 - 1945 Recordings

Featuring:
Bunk Johnson's Original Superior Band
Bunk Johnson's Jazz Band
Bunk Johnson And His New Orleans Band
Louis Armstrong And His Foundation Six

8 Page informative booklet written by Alyn Shipton.
Detailed discography.

Although jazz trumpet player, Bunk Johnson, undoubtedly played a part in the early story of Jazz and was at the forefront of its development in New Orleans around 1907-1914 (he taught Louis Armstrong), he never recorded during the vintage-jazz era of the late teens through to the 1930`s. After spending the thirties as a truck driver, he was contacted by a group of enthusiasts, was fitted out with a new set of teeth and set on his second career as a professional musician. He is now regarded internationally as one of the great jazz legends of all time. Continued...




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Lucille Hegamin Vol 4 1920 - 1926

Lucille Hegamin Volume 4: Alternative Takes & Remaining Titles (1920-1926)

Featuring:
Lucille Hegamin with Harris' Blues and Jazz Seven
Lucille Hegamin and Her Blue Flame Syncopators
Lucille Hegamin with Woodling's Society Entertainers
Lucille Hegamin with the Dixie Daises
and others...

Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith
Detailed discography

The life and career of Lucille Hegamin (1894-1970) are dealt with in detail in the notes to Document DOCD-5419/20/21. Her chief claim to fame is as the second African- American blues singer to record, after Mamie Smith; she is also noteworthy for a more bluesy delivery than Smith generally managed, albeit often on songs that are close to the pop end of the blues. In those early days, the interaction that generated recordings took place between stage and vaudeville artists, usually female, the record companies, and Tin Pan Alley composers, both white and black. For many years neglected by comparison with the folk blues singers, and even with the more consistently jazzy stage performers, artists like Lucille Hegamin may perhaps be finally accorded their true place, and their true merits, thanks to the Document series which is now approaching its conclusion. Continued...




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Vocal Blues & Jazz Vol 2 1921 - 1938

Alternative takes & remaining titles

Featuring:
 
Ethel Waters
Lillian Harris
Lizzie Miles
Rosa Henderson
Viola Bartlette
Sara Martin
Betty Gray
Laura Bryant
Tiny Mayberry
 
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

Volume two of this three volume series features ten female singers who to a greater or lesser degree found the blues in their lives, from the highly successful Ethel Waters, Lizzie Miles and Sara Martin to the more obscure Laura Bryant, Tiny Mayberry and others, including Rosa Henderson of whom the famous blues / jazz record producer John Hammond once said was “an underrated artist”, the sides appearing here add weight to that comment. As with the vast majority of the CDs featuring female classic blues singers in the Document Catalogue, this collection is given double strength by the inclusion of some excellent accompanists including Fletcher Henderson, Lovie Austin, Jimmy Blythe, Clarence Williams, Porter Grainger, Teddy Bunn and Lil Armstrong. Continued...




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Josh White The Remaining Titles 1941 - 1947

Josh White, vocal, guitar.

Including;
Libby Holman, vocal.

With contributions by
Brownie McGhee, vocal, guitar.
Sonny Terry, harmonica.
Bill White, vocal.
John Simmons, stand-up bass.
J.C. Heard, drums.
And others…

Genres; blues, folk blues, Carolina blues

Informative booklet notes by Dave Moore
Detailed discography.

During the 1940s Josh White made the transition from blues and gospel performer to night-club and cabaret act. His repertoire expanded accordingly to encompass ballads and folk songs of the white tradition. Based on the evidence of his recordings, this change-over was thought to have occurred around 1944, when folk songs and ballads first appeared on his discs. But now, new evidence dates recordings of such material for Keynote, initially believed to have been made in 1947, to the period of 1941-42. And hence, if this unconfirmed evidence is correct, it appears that Josh began recording songs other than blues and gospel some two or three years earlier than was once assumed. Continued...




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Robert Shaw The 1971 Party Tape

This CD includes a 22 page booklet, an article by Ben Conroy, a list of all Robert Shaw's recordings and what key they are played in by Konrad Nowakowski, a list of all unissued recordings by Robert Shaw by Konrad Nowakowski, photographs, musician personnel, and original discographical details.

By the time he was a teenager, Robert Shaw would slip away from the farm to hear Jazz musicians play in the clubs and roadhouses in and around Houston. As soon as he was able Robert sought out a piano teacher and paid for the lessons out of his own earnings. The ragtime elements and the "barrelhouse" piano style that he learnt at this time were to influence his playing throughout his life. The barrelhouse piano style that Shaw played employs a heavy, hard-hitting contact coupled with a fast release. The name of this style came from the barrelhouses, where it was performed in sheds lined with beer and whisky, an open floor and a piano on an elevated platform in the corner of the room. Shaw learnt this unique style of playing from other Jazz Musicians in the Fourth Ward, Houston, which was the centre of black entertainment in the city. Continued...




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Vocal Blues & Jazz Vol 3 1921 - 1928

Genres: Blues, Classic Blues, Female Blues Vocal, Jazz.
Informative booklet notes by Steve Tracy.
Detailed discography

Volume three of this three volume series presents an interesting selection of blues influenced popular and vaudeville tunes of the day. At the time of this CDs production most of the recordings were not included in the collectors Bible 'Blues and Gospel Records' which is regarded by many as a comprehensive discography.

The range of subject matter across these tracks covers many aspects of every day life but the main theme is love; Cora Green and Hamtree Harrington's trade insults with comedy dialogue on If I Can't Get In and Marjorie Royce uses her full bodied voice on the humorous My Daddy's Growin' Old. Gertrude Dwyer delivers her suggestive material with panache... 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.
 
A BALL WITH PETE JOHNSON
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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Jazzin' The Blues 1943 - 1952

Genres: Female Blues singers, Female Jazz singers, Classic Blues Singers.

Informative booklet notes written by Steven C. Tracy.
Detailed discography.

The great vaudeville blues singers who first emerged on record in 1920 with the recordings of Mamie Smith were a varied group in term of talent, technique, and repertoire. A number of them outlasted the vaudeville blues craze through their capabilities with a pop song, while others benefitted from the revival of interest in Dixieland jazz, and still others updated to a jazzier approach that fit in with the updated urban blues styles of the 1930s and 1940s. Of course, there were those artists who mixed these approaches in their work and, of course, performers who faded into obscurity due to an inability to update or a decision to retire. Continued...




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Vocal Blues & Jazz Vol 4 1938 - 1949

Genres: Female Blues vocal, Female Jazz, Swing.

Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.

It will be evident from the track listing and discography that this CD consists of 'Albinia Jones plus the war effort.' The other singers are more famous than Albinia, but that doesn't mean she's outclassed. Even so, 'Song Of The Wanderer' is testimony to the collective ability of HELEN HUMES, Count Basie and his sidemen to work their magic with the most unpromising material. 'St. Louis Blues' is a better bet, the only danger being over- familiarity. Helen's airshot, sung 'for the boys overseas' is evidently a wartime performance, and is accompanied by a starry lineup, but the riffing (head?) arrangement seems curiously unfocused, and perhaps doesn't give the band enough to do. There's no doubt about Humes' enthusiasm for the song, though. Continued...




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Vaughn De Leath - Dancing The Devil Away (1920-1929)

Genre: 1920s Popular
Informative booklet notes by Gillian Atkinson.
Discography.

Vaughn De Leath CDs Vaughn De Leath, although forgotten today, was a household name in the 1920s. Born in Mt. Pulaski, IL, in 1884, she joined the showbiz world in 1921, singing over the WJZ radio station in Chicago. Her success in the pioneering days of Radio broadcast was probably down to her ability to accompany herself on banjo, ukulele, guitar and piano and also to her enduring strength, being able to entertain for hours in the days when there was an excess of air time. By 1923 she was the first woman executive to run a radio station, WJZ and a small network of low power stations. In 1925 she went back to full time performing. She had begun her recording career in 1920 and throughout the decade she recorded for just about every record label. In 1928 not only was she the featured guest of Voice of Firestone Radio Hour’s first programme but she also appeared on experimental television broadcasts. By this time she had become known as “The First Lady of Radio” and although she successfully sued another singer who had used this moniker, she recorded her last side for Crown records in 1931 and then disappeared into obscurity, dying 12 years later in Buffalo, New York. The extraordinary breadth of her repertoire and flexible style can be heard by the on this CD.




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Country Music Pioneers On Edison (1922-1929)

Country Music Pioneers on Edison Records (1922-1929)

Various Artist
Genres: Vintage Country / Old Timey
16 page, illustrated, informative, booklet notes by Lawrence Tedder

Almost since the time that recording sound became a reality, record companies both large and small continually sought out new idioms of entertainment to keep ahead of their competitors. For some unknown reason, however, country music recording was continually overlooked - citing it more as a folk tradition, than an actual vehicle for profit. Continued...




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