Little Walter - Juke

Your chance to write big-time blues reviews. Only two rules: First, if you're connected to the band or artist, go to Shameless Promotion; Second, don't write a book -- keep it relatively short and simple, no 1,000+ word epics.

Oh .. and make it fun.

Little Walter - Juke

Postby blueswriter » Fri Jan 07, 2005 9:34 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jan-07-05 AT 04:45 PM (EST)]Little Walter
Proper (2004) CD 2006 ... 65_170.jpg

23 tracks, 66 minutes. Recommended. If there's anything left to say about Little Walter and his importance that hasn't already been spoken, chances are you haven't looked around enough. Marion Walter Jacobs helped revolutionize blues in the late 1940s through his association with Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, and Baby Face Leroy Foster as part of The Headhunters, a four-piece aggregation that quietly sauntered into Chicago taverns and clubs, took the stage (if there was one), and managed to tear a number of headline acts apart. That in itself would have been enough to land Little Walter in the history books, but by welding his massive harmonica talents with technology through amplification, Jacobs left his mark on virtually any harp player who has picked up the instrument since. While others were ahead of him and his use of amplifiers, not one of them managed the swooping, saxophone-like, thick-toned playing that Walter was to display time and time again on recordings that outsold those of Muddy, Howlin' Wolf, and practically any other artist in the Chess/Checker catalog, never mind competing labels from New York to Los Angeles. Although everything on this twenty-three track disc has seen issue before, it stands up well as its title suggests; A Proper Introduction To Little Walter. And while it may be intended for those just landing in the blues pool, by including Boogie, Last Boogie and Fast Boogie along with other searing instrumentals in Juke, Crazy Legs, Sad Hours, Off The Wall and more, it also stands up to other 'Best Of' compilations of Walter's work. A few of his early recordings are tossed in for good measure as well; I Just Keep Loving Her plus its flipside Ora Nelle Blues by Othum Brown from 1947, and Blue Baby from 1948, along with Jacobs playing behind Jimmy Rogers on That's Alright from 1951 - not Chance To Love as the track listing and session information points to. Even with that minor blunder, this is a sharply-packaged and budget-priced gathering of Little Walter at his best showing how his playing gathered intensity, creativity, and insurmountable importance in the amplified Post-war years in Chicago and beyond.

© 2004 by Craig Ruskey
User avatar
Posts: 314
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 1:58 pm

Return to Reviews The Blues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests