You may remember him as the leader of the All-Star Frogs (1970-1983) and the Power Trio (1983-present), doing humorous and raunchy blues originals such as “Tie You Up!” and “More Love, More Money”. You may remember the Tumatoe tours of local clubs and endless spins of his songs on college radio in the ’70s and ’80s. You may not know that he played in a FIJI house band (Lothar and the Hand People) at the University of Illinois, the band name created by Bill Geist, CBS Sunday Morning News Correspondent; recorded for Warner Bros. (I Like My Job, produced by John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival fame); and was a member of REO Speedwagon — he left in 1969, evidently taking all rocking bluesy rootsy-ness with him — and he grew up on the South Side of Chicago, a blues-loving youth who hung with the legends.
In 1971 George Duke, having just recently done his time with the Mothers of Invention, was engaged by the Cannonball Adderley Quintet. Beginning in April of that year, Duke made two recordings over a short timespan that on their release in 1973 as a double LP (against the desire of the artists, by the way), would be a major statement. On Chapter One of his fusion autobiography, “Solus”, Duke, along with the skeleton crew of bassist John Heard and drummer Dick Berk, tries out the new compositional philosophy he had absorbed from his work with Adderley. The album was obliged to maintain a jazzy environment, illustrated by the harmonically flowing piano improvisation on “Love Reborn” and the bop-influenced busyness of “The Followers”. But the record also signifies the importance of the keyboards in all their diverse contexts – the funky rock of “Au-right”, and the smoldering, dreamy feel of “Peace”, for instance.
This stalwart independent label, headquartered in San Francisco, began in a small Ann Arbor club and grew into one of the most important imprints in blues. Thirty-three tunes ricochet between the potent old-school Chicago stylings of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells's classic "Hoodoo Man Blues" and Big Walter Horton'ss swinging shuffle "Put the Kettle On" to the intriguing pop-folk hybrid of Roy Rogers and Norton Buffalo and the dashing retro-nuevo guitarisms of Nick Curran & the Niteflies to the brawny Texas-schooled sounds of Omar & the Howlers and Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King. The label's Delta blues side is underrepresented, although James Cotton and Elvin Bishop offer two great flavors of cottonland grind.
This 1959 album is the second of Oscar Petersons two 50's Duke Ellington Songbook recordings and the first one in stereo. On this album the line-up is Oscar Peterson (Piano), Ray Brown (Double Bass) and Ed Thigpen (Drums). The first Ellington songbook album by Peterson and his trio, the 1952 album Oscar Peterson Plays Duke Ellington was a mono recording. Both albums were digitally remastered and compiled on one CD for the Verve Master Edition re-release series in 1999.
During 1928, the main stars of Duke Ellington's orchestra (in addition to the leader/pianist/composer/arranger) were trumpeter Bubber Miley, trombonist Joe Tricky Sam Nanton, clarinetist Barney Bigard, and (starting in June) altoist Johnny Hodges. All of the master takes (including ones for different labels) are being reissued in the Classics series. This disc is highlighted by "Black Beauty" (particularly Ellington's solo piano version), the heated "Hot and Bothered" (featuring guest guitarist Lonnie Johnson and singer Baby Cox), "Louisiana," and "I Can't Give You Anything but Love." Two songs feature singer Ozie Ware backed by a small combo taken from Ellington's big band. This CD has plenty of timeless classics, most of which are also available in other reissue programs.
As usual with the Classics series, the music on this CD is released complete and in chronological order, covering the music originally released by several record labels but without including alternate takes. In the case of Duke Ellington, because he would frequently record the same song slightly rearranged on several occasions for different companies, there are multiple versions of some titles on this CD, but the alternate versions that he made for the labels have been left out. During the very important period covered by this disc, the Duke Ellington Orchestra (having recently found their sound) was hired by the Cotton Club as the house band and they hit the big time…