Little Walter

The lowdown on the Mississippi Sax. Just for Google, this section is about harmonicas.

Little Walter

Postby jeffl » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:19 pm

Man,I plugged in Little Walter again today,drivin' around on my lunch break. Power and speed,like Muhammed Ali. I jus' can't think of a guy with more of a package than that guy....ballsy tone,like a jazz trombone,with a constant change-up of licks and staggered rhythms,and a rockand roll singer's voice. I wish I coulda caught him live in a club setting.
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Postby songdog » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:15 am

Yeah, he was pretty special.

I've been listening to a lot of Big Walter lately too.
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Postby bosco » Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:35 am

That's a great assessment, he really did have it all. Just amazing.

Unfortunately, his career was like meteor. He cranked out the majority of those hits while playing with Muddy for a few short years. After "Juke" he struck out on his own. Without Mud as a chaperon he began a long downward spiral.

From what I've read, quality club appearances were nearly non existant as Walter was usually stoned out of his gourd and generally abusive...he even had trouble keeping a proper rig out of the pawn shop. A real shame.

Still, just like you, sure would have liked to have seen him !!!!

Bubba- Do you have Walter's biography, "Blues with A Feeling"?

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Postby jeffl » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:19 pm

Bosco,I don't have his biography. I would think that would be a good read. Maybe I oughta check around for it; I've been able to get alotta good buys from online booksellers on used books and CDs. Thanks brother. Hey,it's about time for me to give you a phone call again and share some more laughs...I oughta try gettin' aholda that ole curmudgeon Doc again; I haven't heard from him in months. I wonder how his health and business are holdin' up.
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Postby sennor blues » Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:48 pm

Little Walter IS God Man, whenever I listen to his records he just reminds me why I choose to play the humble harp over the much more popular guitar (altought I've been messing with the guitarra lately)... the way he made the harmonica the front instrument over guitars its just amazing...
I mean if you're a big guitar freak the guy makes you think twice bout who's the big boss in blues... he played with huevos no doubt about it.
I've read the biography and its an essential blues reading, and I love certain passages as when louis or... well one of the myers (backup guiterists in "the aces") recounts how heavily experimental were sometimes their sets when on stages he says they never got to record some of the true heavy jazz stuff walter played cuz of the commertial nature of the records, can you imagine it? probably we just get to hear some part of his true repertoir increible!!!
Other passage that i love is when some horn players of some big band come across a jukebox and one of them play "mean old world" a bunch of times with the whole brass section left in awe as they ask each other wich instrument could made such a noise jajaja !!!
great book
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Postby barbequebob » Thu Jul 13, 2006 4:58 pm

If you begin to listen to horn players like many of the jump sax players such as Louis Jordan, Illinois Jacquet, Willis Gator Tail Jackson, etc., you will hear, along with the influence of BOTH Sonny Boys and Big Walter, what the essence of his style is coming from, and parts of Roller Coaster are Illinois Jacquet and Ornette Coleman lines. In order to play what he did sucessfully, he himself said he basically didn't play very hard, especially when playing amplified, and many of the phrases he played can NOT be duplicated properly if you play too hard all the time, as many players tend to do.
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LITTLE WALTER

Postby colmanL » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:20 am

I`M READING ALL THIS STUFF HERE ,SO LET ME PUT MY 2CENTS IN.
FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY AND STING LIKE A BEE. DON`T BLOW YOUR COOKIES OUT ON YOUR FIRST NOTE. PLAY LIKE YOUR NATURALY
BREATHING TREAT THOSE REEDS ON THAT HARP LIKE YO` MAMMA
TALK WHEN YOU WANNA` TALK SING WHEN YOU WANNA` SING AND
SCREAM WHEN YOU MEAN IT. `NUF SAID.......
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Thanks for the Advice Colmanl

Postby brass finger » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:43 am

I haven't been playing that long, and I appreciate your first bit of advice, not to blow to hard on the first note, and breath naturally.
I usually blow like crazy,especially on the take-off, and then I'm out of breath after two measures.
That sucks, because I work out a whole lot on the aerobic side and quit smoking 3 years ago.
So I'm going to take it down easy, or something..hoping I don't get out of breath.
I don't like long solo's anyway, especially when I played guitar, I like short and sweet, but it seems that long solo's are what a lot of bands are doing live now.

Thanks for the tips!
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Postby bosco » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:10 pm

I like short and sweet, but it seems that long solo's are what a lot of bands are doing live now.

It's important to stretch a song here and there to fill time, especially when you have dancers and the band finds a solid groove that you don't want to abandon too soon.

Even the best players will run out of ideas if they overdo it, trying to play a 48 bar solo. Better to have the guitar and harp trade 12 bar solos back and forth or sandwich a harp solo in between two guitar solos. A call and response exchange between instruments is a nice change as well. Extended solos get monotonous and there are a lot of alternatives.

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Postby brass finger » Fri Sep 08, 2006 7:44 am

Absolutely, call and response, it's especially nice with keyboard, harp,guitar,
sax, the more the merrier.

But sometimes if a guitar player is ready to switch from rhythm to soloing and there's no piano or second guitar he'll mess up the feel during the transition, and just totally throw you off.
You just stop movin to the music.
Stretching it out for dancers could easily be done just playing the rhythm parts and let them dance.
It's better than falling out of the groove.
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Postby Bournio » Fri Sep 08, 2006 6:31 pm

One group I played with did a completely Call and Response song, we were playing a II, IV, I, V Jazz thing, but each instrument had a verse where'd they'd call, and then one would respond, so with 4 people, each verse would have person one, then person two, person one, person three, and finally person one person four. I'll see if any of us have any recordings, it got better as we improved!
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Postby Erikjr21 » Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:27 am

He was a legend and a special person hes cds are a must own and his autobiography was a great read
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Postby Iron Bear » Tue Oct 24, 2006 7:43 pm

Huge Little Walter fan. I have his CD's from Chess
The Essential 1993
Blues With A Feeling 1995

Any other recommendations??? These 2 pretty much cover everything from Chess? Has lots of "Best Of" out but all those are covered in the 2 above that I have.

Thanks!
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