Let the Good Times Roll: The Complete Decca Recordings 1938-54 [CD]

  • Artist: Louis Jordan
  • SKU: 2295199
  • Release Date: 03/31/1994
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Let the Good Times Roll: The Complete Decca Recordings 1938-54 [CD] - Larger Front
Let the Good Times Roll: The Complete Decca Recordings 1938-54 [CD]
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  • $189.99
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would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Sassy, jiving jump blues from the master


    I grew up listening to the blues, soul, and Motown, but I wasn't familiar with Louis Jordan until several months ago, when I purchased this Bear Family box set as a retirement gift for a family member. Jordan was a gifted saxophonist and one of the leading architects of R&B; his prototypes paved the way for Chuck Berry and mainstream rock and roll. Jordan scored 57 R&B chart hits with Decca between 1942-51, and his influence was enormous on blues artists such as Ray Charles and B.B. King, who recorded an album of Jordan covers, including such standards as Let The Good Times Roll, Choo Choo Ch'Boogie, Buzz Me and Saturday Night Fish Fry on Let the Good Times Roll: The Music of Louis Jordan. Jordan's street-smart sense of humor permeated songs such as Open the Door, Richard, What's the Use of Getting Sober and Beware, Brother, Beware and double-entendre gems such as That Chick's Too Young To Fry. There are also a few tunes devoted to large women on You're My Meat and I Like 'Em Fat Like That (tempered, on the other hand, by You're Much Too Fat (and That's That)). Jordan's earliest recordings lack his later polish, and the brass tends to lean more towards Dixieland jazz than tight swing. Early gems include jitterbugs (Doug the Jitterbug), swing (After School Swing Session, At the Swing Cat's Ball), laid-back blues ('Fore Day Blues, Hard Lovin' Blues), and even Bing Crosby-style crooning on Away From You. The subsequent discs include alternate versions for several tracks including Yip, Yip de Hootie with Bing Crosby and Petootie Pie with Ella Fitzgerald, and a tamer version of Open the Door, Richard. Disc 9 is a partial disc at best; it features seven tracks with Ella Fitzgerald, including a spirited version of Baby, It's Cold Outside that puts most other renditions to shame. Bear Family has more than done Louis Jordan justice, with nine CDs and extensive liner notes. The remastering sounds as fresh and clear as if the songs had just been recorded. There are plenty of undiscovered gems buried among Jordan's earlier years on Decca, and enough solid hits to keep you listening for weeks.

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