Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

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Roosevelt Sykes Vol 9 1947 - 1951

Document’s ninth volume devoted to the complete chronologically reissued works of Roosevelt Sykes covers a four-year period beginning in November 1947 and combines 20 Victor, Bullet, and Regal recordings with four titles that feature Kentucky-born guitarist John Brim and his wife Grace, a convincing singer who is also heard playing drums and harmonica. A perusal of the other identified participants reveals a healthy contingent of seasoned Chicago sessionmen, including trumpeter Johnny Morton, saxophonists Bill Casimir, Walter Broadus, and Oett “Sax” Mallard; guitarists Willie Lacey and Emmanuel Sayles; bassists Ransom Knowling and J.C. Bell, as well as drummers Judge Riley, P.F. Thomas, and Armand “Jump” Jackson.

By the time he cut eight sides for Regal in 1949, Sykes had been making records for a full 20 years. Unfazed by changing patterns in pop culture, he matured with dignity by assimilating some of what was in the air and subjecting it to his well-established, straightforward approach to singing and playing the blues. What you get in this package is a fascinating prologue to his adventures in the ’50s (see volume 10) and his extraordinary comeback in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and early ‘80s. – arwulf arwulf


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Roosevelt Sykes Vol 10 1951 - 1957

Roosevelt Sykes Vol 10 12th July 1951 to 1957.
Roosevelt Sykes, vocal, piano, celeste.
With contributions by: Robert Nighthawk, guitar; Ransom Knowling, bass; Fred Below, drums;
Remo Beondi, violin; And others…
Genre; 1950s Chicago Blues, New Orleans Blues, Blues Piano.
Informative booklet notes by Chris Smith
Includes detailed discography.
As the fifties began, Roosevelt Sykes was recording for United, a Chicago independent owned by black businessman Leonard Allen. July 12 1951 was United Records’ first recording day, and Sykes was on hand, both to back J. T. Brown and Robert Nighthawk and to play the small group jump blues he’d been cutting for Victor in the forties. On his own session that day Robert Nighthawk seized the chance to play his gorgeous brand of slide guitar blues, but behind Sykes he displays his remarkable versatility, playing big, jazzy chords. All Sykes’ masters from this session were issued and they are all quite successful, with “Sax” Mallard and “Sax” Crowder producing fierce, preaching tones, or playing in more lyrical vein as required.

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