Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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Blind Blake Vol 4 1929 - 1932

Blind Blake Vol 4 (August 1929 to June 1932)
 
Blind Blake, vocal, guitar.
 
With contributions by Papa Charlie Jackson, banjo; Irene Scruggs, vocal; and others...
 
Genres: Ragtime Guitar, Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Alan Balfour.
Detailed discography.
 
From this album's booklet notes: 
Despite the name of Blind Arthur being used for two guitar solos recorded in October 1929, there can be little doubt that it is Blind Blake who is playing his "famous piano-sounding guitar" (to quote a Paramount advertisement) on Guitar Chimes. It has the same use of harmonics as in 'Police Dog Blues' (DOCD-5026) but played in the key of C and latterly commented on by a noted musicologist thus, "most country blues guitarists were not sufficiently well versed in C to have hazarded such an instrumental". Continued...



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Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe Vol 1 1929 - 1930

Kansas Joe (Joe McCoy), vocal, guitar.
Memphis Minnie, vocal guitar.
 
With contributions by: Memphis Jug Band: Will Shade, harmonica; Charlie Burse, guitar; Hambone Lewis, jug.
 
Genres: Country Blues, Memphis Blues, Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Alan Balfour.
Detailed discography.
 
From this albums booklet notes:
Recording as "Kansas Joe" and "Memphis Minnie" at their 1929 debut recording session the couple cut six numbers, three featuring Kansas Joe as a vocalist, two with Minnie taking the vocals and the third found them duetting. These recordings weren't afforded immediate issue but were released over a period of time. For example, the coupling Bumble Bee / I Want That was not on sale until some fifteen months later. It was to be the suggestive "Bumble Bee" ("Got the best stinger I've ever seen") that was to make Memphis Minnie. So successful was the song that Victor "borrowed" Minnie to record a version fronting a caucus of the Memphis Jug Band. Vocalion then responded with Bumble Bee No. 2 and New Bumble Bee. The song was such hot property on the race market that in the last six months of 1930, unreleased recordings apart, there were no fewer than five versions, on three different labels, of "Bumble Bee" — three of which are present on this compilation. Continued...

 




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Memphis Minnie & Kansas Joe Vol 4 1933 - 1934

Memphis Minnie, vocal, guitar; Kansas Joe McCoy, vocal, guitar.
 
With contributions by: Charlie McCoy, guitar; and others…
 
Genres: Memphis Country Blues. Country Blues Guitar.
Informative booklet notes by Alan Balfour.
Detailed discography.
 
From this album's booklet notes:
After a gap of almost two years Memphis Minnie returned to the studio in November 1933 but this time it was as a solo artist. The session only produced four numbers of which two were commercially released. My Butcher Man, a double-entendre employing some nice 'meat cutting' imagery ("slice my pork chop, grind my sausage too" etc) and culminating in the vivid, "if anybody ask you "butcher man where you bin?", show them that long bladed knife, tell 'em you've bin butchering out in that slaughter pen" was coupled with the outstanding, Too Late, a blues that in structure and attack owed more to Mississippi than Memphis or Chicago, the superb guitar accompaniment so reminiscent of Mattie Delaney. Continued...



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Gus Cannon Vol 1 1927 - 1928

Gus Cannon (Banjo Joe), vocal, banjo, speech, whistling, kazoo.
With contributions from:
Cannonís Jug Stompers. Including: Gus Cannon, vocal, banjo, jug, Ashley Thompson, vocal, guitar; Noah Lewis, harmonica; Elijah Avery, banjo, guitar, kazoo, Hosea Woods, kazoo.
Blind Blake, guitar.
Gus Cannon was already in his mid-forties when he came to record in 1927, so it's not surprising that at his first sessions he cut Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home, one of the earliest blues, setting it to a unique slide banjo accompaniment. His sessions as "Banjo Toe" also featured ragtime pieces and medicine show songs, among them the once-typical Can You Blame The Colored Man, a funny,albeitsomewhat Uncle Tommish, song about Booker T. Washington's 1901 visit to the White House. Blind Blake, who helped out with second guitar on most titles, was added at Paramountís behest; they had never met before the session. Continued...



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Gus Cannon & Noah Lewis Vol 2 1929 -1930

Cannon And Woods (The Beale Street Boys); Gus Cannon vocal, banjo; Hosea Woods, vocal, guitar.
Cannon's Jug Stompers; Gus Cannon, vocal, banjo, jug; Hosea Woods, vocal, banjo; Noah Lewis, vocal, harmonica.
Noah Lewis, harmonica solo.
Noah Lewis' Jug Band; Noah lewis, vocal, harmonica; Sleepy John Estes, guitar; Yank Rachel, mandolin; Ham Lewis, jug. Mrs Van Zula Carter Hunt, vocal.
 
Genres; Blues, Memphis Blues, Country Blues, Jug Band, Blues Banjo, Blues Harmonica.
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith.
Detailed discography.
 
From this album's booklet notes:
After Cannon's Jug Stompers recorded in September 1928 (see Document DOCD-5032) it was about a year before Gus next faced the mikes; when he did, it was as one half of "Cannon And Woods" (The Beale Street Boys)", making a disc for Brunswick in breach of his contract with Victor. "Woods" was Hosea Woods, older even than Gus, a splendid singer with a strong falsetto, and about to replace Elijah Avery as the Stompers' second banjoist and guitarist. Gus Cannon is said to play guitar on the Beale Street Boys sides, but as the instruction to "Percolate that banjo!" is given to "Joe" (i.e. Banjo Joe), it seems more likely that Woods is the guitarist. Continued...



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Sam Collins - Complete Recorded Titles - 1927 - 1931

Sam Collins, vocal, guitar, bottleneck-slide guitar.

 

With contributions by: John D. Fox, vocal.

 

Genres; Country Blues, Mississippi Blues, Country Blues Guitar, Bottleneck-slide Guitar.

Informative booklet notes by Keith Briggs.

Detailed discography.

 

From this album's booklet notes:

Sam Collins, "Salty Dog Sam", was something of an enigma to record collectors in the late fifties and early sixties. The bulk of the known facts regarding Sam Collins' life are the results of field work undertaken by American collector Gayle Dean Wardlow. It was discovered that Collins was raised in McComb, Mississippi, birth-place of another, later, innovator, Bo Diddley. Despite its location in the Sunflower state, McComb was just across the line from Louisiana and it was in that state that Sam was born to Sam Sr. and Sophie in August 1887. By the time he had reached maturity he was carrying his music to the barrelhouses in an area that covered both states. This stamping-ground seems to have overlapped one being worked by Joe Holmes, a son of McComb who relocated in Sibley, Louisiana, because the two men formed one of those loose partnerships that we hear of so often in blues history. Maybe they knew each other from McComb, before Holmes moved to Louisiana. Joe was only to record once; for Paramount in 1932, two years after Sam's last session - and under the name "King Solomon Hill".

 

The result of all this cross-fertilisation is to be heard on the disc now before you. By accepted standards Sam's limited slide guitar work is often out of tune. Out of tune to our ears that is but not to Sam's because it fits perfectly with a voice employing what is often described as an "eerie" falsetto to earn its owner the nom du disque "Crying" Sam Collins. Continued...




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Backwoods Blues 1926 - 1935

Bo Weavil Jackson (Sam Butler), vocal guitar.

Bobby Grant, vocal, guitar.

King Solomon Hill, vocal guitar,

Lane Hardin, vocal, guitar

 

Genres: Country Blues; Alabama, Mississippi, Texas Blues Guitar including Bottleneck Slide Guitar.

Informative booklet notes by Paul Oliver.

Includes detailed discography.

 

Beyond the few metalled highways in the South of six decades ago the dirt roads wound through the country, linking the settlements and farm communities of the backwoods. Some farms were literally in the woods, established in the untidily cleared forest. But the term "backwoods" was loosely applied to any isolated settlement where few people had any experience of the larger world of the Southern cities. In most communities though, there were musicians who played for dances or at the roadside jukes, and a number of them gained a more than local reputation. Some, more adventurous than their companions, went "down the dirt road" to try their luck in town. Continued...




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Kokomo Arnold Vol 1 1930 - 1935

Kokomo Arnold, bottleneck-slide guitar, vocal.

 

Genres; “Country” Blues, Georgia Blues, Early Chicago Blues, Bottlenck-slide Guitar.

Informative booklet notes by Keith Briggs.

Detailed discography.

 

Putting a bottleneck onto the little finger of the fretting hand and ‘sliding’ it up and down the strings of a guitar to produce a spine-chilling and almost vocal sound is a trick employed by many blues players. From Bukka White to Joe Louis Walker, many blues players have made startling use of the style, two of the most famous being Elmore James and James Kokomo Arnold. Kokomo, often placing his guitar in his lap Hawaiian-style and ran a glass across the strings. He was left-handed and had a somewhat erratic sense of time - but he was probably the fastest bottleneck guitarist ever to record. Continued...




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Kokomo Arnold Vol 3 1936 - 1937

Kokomo Arnold Vol 3: 22nd May 1936 to March 12th 1937

Kokomo Arnold, vocal steel, bottleneck-slide guitar’

 

With contributions by; Alice Moore vocal, Signifying Mary Johnson, vocal; Lovin’ Sam Theard, vocal; Roosevelt Sykes, piano; Albert Ammons, piano, Peetie Wheatstraw, piano and others...

 

Georgia blues , Chicago blues, Bottleneck-slide guitar.

Informative booklet notes by Keith Briggs

Detailed Discography

 

James “Kokomo” Arnold was born in Georgia on September 15, 1901, and began his musical career in Buffalo, New York in the early '20s. During prohibition, he worked primarily as a bootlegger, and performing music was a only sideline to him. Nonetheless, he worked out a distinctive style of bottleneck slide guitar and blues singing that set him apart from his contemporaries. Continued...

 




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Kokomo Arnold Vol 4 1937 - 1938

Kokomo Arnold, vocal, slide guitar.

With contributions by Peetie Wheatstraw, piano, and others...

Genres: Country Blues, Country Blues guitar, bottleneck-slide-guitar, Georgia blues, Chicago blues.
Informative booklet notes by Keith Briggs.
Detailed discography

At the time that the first records appearing on this CD were made, March 1937, Kokomo Arnold had been with Decca for two and a half years and his relationship with Mayo Williams was deteriorating. It was all to end in the following year when Kokomo decided that Williams was not dealing fairly with him and broke away from recording altogether. He had never been a committed bluesman anyway, having he felt, many other rows to hoe. Not that you would have guessed that from the quality of the recordings that he made during his last sessions; from the contemporary blues reportage of Mean Old Twister through to his final, aptly named, display piece Something’s Hot he maintained an enviable level of excellence enlivened here and there by the odd flash of brilliance. Maybe it was a reflection of his clash with Williams that many of his recordings from this period remained unissued - or maybe it was part of its cause.




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Jimmy Yancey Vol 1 1939 - 1940

Jimmy Yancey piano solos.
 
 Also, two tracks by vocalist Faber Smith, accompanied by Jimmy Yancey.
 
Genres: Blues piano, Boogie-woogie piano.
Informative booklet notes by Konrad Nowakowski
Detailed Discography.
 
“Veteran...Jim Yancey, whose dancing thrilled the King and Queen of England in 1913, still is active. Jim taught Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons some of his tricks, but went unrecorded until a few months ago when Solo Art waxed his blues. Today Yancey is a grounds keeper for the Sox.”



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Jimmy Yancey Vol 2: 1940 - 1943

Jimmy Yancey, piano solos, vocal.  
Also, one track with Estella “Mama” Yancey, vocal, accompanied by Jimmy Yancey on harmonium.
 
Genres: Blues piano. Boogie-woogie piano.
Informative booklet notes by Konrad Nowakowski
Detailed Discography.
 
Some have spoken of Yancey as “blues singer of the most touching accents” (Rudi Blesh) and in similar terms. Yancey’s few vocals, originally released on three different labels, are among the items on this CD. Continued...



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