Rogers re-emerged after a long layoff with a 1972 album for Leon Russell's Shelter label called Gold Tailed Bird. It wasn't the equivalent of his immortal Chess stuff, but the Shelter sides, here in their entirety, are pretty decent themselves (and no wonder, with the Aces, Freddy King, and reliable Chicago pianist Bob Riedy all involved). A few extra numbers not on the original Shelter LP make this 18-song set even more solid.
Starkly printed in black and white with washed-out, grainy photographs, this is one heavy slab of blues by a player who is not as well-known as he should be. Guitarist Jimmy Rogers was usually overshadowed by the leaders he worked for, Muddy Waters particularly. He was also sometimes confused with the hillbilly singer Jimmie Rodgers, and although they might have sounded good together, they don't have anything in common. This reissue collection grabs 14 tracks done at various times in the mostly early '50s which involve practically a who's who of performers associated with the most intense and driving Chicago blues. This includes the aforementioned Waters, leaving behind his role as leader for a few numbers to add some stinging guitar parts. There is also a pair of harmonica players, each of whom could melt vinyl siding with their playing. These are the Walters, big and little, as in Big Walter Horton and Little Walter. Pianist Otis Spann, bassist Willie Dixon, and drummer Fred Belew are also on hand, meaning the rhythm section action is first class.
Kenneth Ray "Kenny" Rogers is an American singer-songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Though he has been most successful with country audiences, Rogers has charted more than 120 hit singles across various music genres, topped the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone and has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He was voted the "Favorite Singer of All-Time" in a 1986 joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People. He has received numerous such awards as the AMAs, Grammys, ACMs and CMAs, as well as a lifetime achievement award for a career spanning six decades in 2003.
Mention the style “cool jazz” to a music fan and most likely their first thought will be of Chet Baker or Dave Brubeck. All well and good, but there was a cat who came before them who actually laid the groundwork for the style. That was Gerry Mulligan, the baritone saxophonist, arranger, and composer whose original piano-less quartet introduced Baker to the world, and who was also present at the early Miles Davis BIRTH OF THE COOL sessions.