Blues Singers and Hot Bands on Okeh 1924-1929

Blues Singers and Hot Bands on Okeh 1924-1929

by King Oliver


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Between his initial triumphs as leader of his Creole Jazz Band in Chicago and the Victor sessions he led with his Orchestra in New York at the close of his recording career, Joe King Oliver tried to continue leading his own groups but did his best work as sideman and accompanist. Much of the recorded evidence came together under the influence of Clarence Williams, producer, session organizer, and talent scout for the Okeh label. In 2008, Frog Records compiled a dynamic core sample of Oliver's adventures with Okeh beginning with a date with Butterbeans and Susie in September, 1924 and a rendezvous with Sippie Wallace and Hersal Thomas in February, 1925. This album deals largely with the year 1928, during which Oliver worked closely with Clarence Williams as a member of the Jazz Kings, the Blue Five, and the Novelty Four, while providing backing for vocalists Elizabeth Johnson, Hazel Smith, Texas Alexander, and Victoria Spivey. Clarence Williams' Novelty Four combined Williams and Oliver with guitarist Eddie Lang (who sang Oliver's "What Ya Want Me to Do?") and percussionist Justin Ring, who sounds like he's hitting a liquor bottle with a pencil during Lang's "In the Bottle Blues." "Jet Black Blues" and "Blue Blood Blues" were recorded in May, 1929 by Blind Willie Dunn's Gin Bottle Four. Although Lang participated in several other racially mixed recording dates during this period, the producers at this particular session decided to apply the pseudonym that had been used to mask the whiteness of Lang whenever he recorded with guitarist Lonnie Johnson. The collective interplay between those two guitarists, Joe Oliver, pianist J.C. Johnson, and singing percussionist Hoagy Carmichael resulted in two of the best sides ever associated with any of the participants. This fascinating slice of history is highly recommended as a valuable addition to King Oliver's posthumous discography. There's room for at least one additional volume, as Oliver showed up on many a record date during this period, largely thanks to the efforts of Clarence Williams.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/17/2008
Label: Frog Uk
UPC: 0641654766821
catalogNumber: 68
Rank: 126248

Album Credits

Performance Credits

King Oliver   Primary Artist
Lonnie Johnson   Guitar
Victoria Spivey   Vocals
Sippie Wallace   Vocals
Texas Alexander   Vocals
Ed Allen   Cornet
Ed Cuffee   Clarinet,Trombone,Alto Saxophone
Eddie Durham   Trombone
Joe Edwards   Vocals
Arville Harris   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Leroy Harris   Banjo
J.C. Johnson   Piano
Omer Simeon   Clarinet
Cyrus St. Clair   Bowed Bass
Clarence Williams   Piano,Celeste,Vocals
Justin Ring   Percussion
Hersal Thomas   Piano
Floyd Casey   Drums
Joe Oliver   Cornet
Hazel Smith   Vocals

Technical Credits

Sippie Wallace   Composer
Andy Razaf   Composer
Texas Alexander   Composer
Joe Edwards   Duet
Clarence Williams   Arranger,Composer,Director
John Capes   Liner Notes
Paul Swinton   Producer
Joe Oliver   Composer

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