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Showing posts with label Document Records. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Document Records. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Document Records release - Blues, Blues Christmas Volume 4 1925 ~1962 - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Blues, Blues Christmas Volume 4 1925~1962 from Document Records and it covers a lot of area. Opening disc one is Charles Brown's R&B classic, Please Come Home For Christmas. Roy Milton And His Solid Senders put up a bluesy, Christmas Time Blues and The Drifters a swinging R&B cover of White Christmas. One of my favorites is Arthur Guitar Boogie Smith's Sensational Trio on Guitar Jingle Bells. Classic blues from Peetie Wheatstraw is as solid as it gets on Santa Claus Blues. Clarence Williams' Blue Five covers the same track but in 40's swing/big band style. Bob Wills does an easy country swing, Santa Is On His Way. With a Latin twist big band Sam Manning with the Melodettes dances into Looking For Me Santa Claus. The Qualities do an unusual arrangement of It's Christmas Time and Freddie King lays down some hot riffs on I Hear Jingle Bells. Champion Jack DuPree is hot on the keys and great vocal delivery on Santa Claus Blues, another of my favorites. The Cadillacs have a rocking arrangement on Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer with a hot sax solo and the Marquees do a 50's trip, Santa Done Got Hip. Bobby and Boobie do a quick rocker, Cool Cool Xmas with a swinging guitar solo and Chuck Blevins does straight up rock n roller Sleighbell Rock. The Enchanters have a definite island feel with Mambo Santa Mambo and Bill Lacey with Lil Armstrong and her Ebony-Aires do Cowboy Santa Claus with an authentic cowboy feel. The Mighty Spoiler does Father Christmas, another track with an island feel. Jackson Trio with the Ebonaires are as simple 50's as it gets with solid male vocals and piano driver and the first disc closes with Billy Ward and His Dominoes and a heartfelt R&B Christmas in Heaven. Little T-Bone opens disc 2 with a hot guitar solo T-Bone Walker style on Christmas Time. His vocals are hot and the overall pace superb making this another of my favorites on the release. Nathaniel Mayer does a twisting Mr Santa Claus and Marvin & Johnny harmonize on R&B track, It's Christmas. Prairie Ramblers really set up terrific harmonies, cowboy style on Cowboy Santa Claus and Kathy and Jimmy Zee put up an early 60's style rockin Santa Clause Rock And Roll. Nap Hepburn & March of Dimes set a terrific island feel on Tell Santa Claus backed by a full orchestra and Johnny Moore's Blazers with Frankie Ervin do a real nice Christmas Eve Baby in solid electric blues style. Dixon Brothers use rural country vocal harmonies and simple acoustic backing on A Mother, A Father, A Baby and Gribble, Lusk York do a real folk jig with banjo and fiddle on Christmas Eve. The Dixon Brothers are back with another nice rural country vocal, Answer To Maple On The Hill - Part 4. The Golden Gate Quartet present a traditional arrangement of Silent Night acapella, certainly one of the more rich and somber tracks on the release. The Victory Five do a terrific acapella spiritual Children Go Where I Send Thee followed by the Middle Georgia Four on Twenty-Fifth Day Of December. Very rich! The Ward Singers are all out spiritual with piano on Sweet Little Angel Boy followed by Angelic Gospel Singers on A Child Is Born in uplifting style. The Ward Singers return with Glory Glory To The King continuing for one last spiritual followed by R&B The Falcons and Orchestra on Can This Be Christmas. This track drips 50's with a wealth of backing vocals followed by a calypso Lord Executor with Gerald Clark and His Caribbean Serenaders on Christmas Is A Joyful Day, a really cool track. The Qualities return one last time on Happy New Year To You, a simple track with paired male and female vocals and wrapping the release is R&B track After New Years Eve by The Heartbeats. This is an interesting mix of holiday tracks with a splash of music from many decades. Check it out!

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Document Records - Blues, Blues Christmas Volume 3 - New release Review

I just received the newest release, Blues, Blues Christmas Volume 3 and it's a lot of fun! Led Belly opens with Christmas Is Coming, a rudimentary Led Belly chant blues followed by Rev JM Gates in a rousing Gettin' Ready For Christmas. Victoria Spivey does a great job on I Ain't Gonna Let You See My Santa Claus, a great blues number. John Lee Hooker sings and plays Blues For Christmas in great style and it goes without saying that his older work stand strongly on it's own merit. Johnny Hooks plays a nice sax part on this track as well. Dee Dee Ford does a cool shuffle number, Good Morning Blues. On The Penguins, Jingle Jangle, Christmas and the blues sees a rhumba beat. One of my favorite tracks on the first cd of this two cd release is The Magnolia Five singing a solid early gospel/ field call version of The Holy Baby (acapella). The Famous Jubilee Singers do a straight up gospel rendition of Go Tell It On The Mountain which of course is a strong stand alone tune. Cordell Jackson does Rock And Roll Christmas, an early rock a billy style track with time appropriate steel guitar. Coy McDaniel & Shorty Warren do a country (real country) track Christmas Choo Choo Train. This is a fun little track with nice vocal harmonies and simple accompaniment and soloing. The Davies Sisters sing the Christmas Boogie, catching a real super groove and impeccable vocal harmonies. Thelma Cooper belts out I Need A Man, a swing blues track. Another of the best tracks on disc one, has a super sax solo by an unidentified sax player. Jimmy McCracklin steps up with a more modern blues cut, Christmas Time Part 1. Wiley Kizart plays a real sweet sax solo on this track backing McCracklin's vocals. Bumble Bee Slim does a classical blues interpretation of Santa Claus Bring Me A new Woman. This is one of thise blues tracks that you would just say was good blues if you never heard the words. Nice construction and execution. Ella Fitzgerald joins Louis Jordan for the big band ballad track Baby It's Cold Outside. Of course the vocals are flawless. Amos Milburn does his standard piano shuffle blues on Christmas (Comes Once A Year). This is a cool track on it's own as well with Milburn not only right on with his vocals but also on keys. Freddy King steps up with classic Christmas Tears and does what Freddy does best, call and response with his own vocal and guitar. Terrific. Another country song, this time with a Texas Swing, Jo Poovey and the Big "D" Boys deliver on Santa's Helper. Cajun style Fiddlin' John Carson gets your feet tappin on Christmas Time Will Soon Be Over. Wrapping the first disc is Wardell Gray with the Dexter Gordon Quintet and Jingle Jangle Jump, another big band swing track. Disc 2 opens with classic Lightnin' Hopkins and Santa Claus, my favorite track on the release. Hopkins has a special style and this is it. Jimmy McCracklin is back with Christmas Time 2 and a cool easy swing blues and another thundering sax solo from Kizart. Hop Wilson accompanied by Elmore Nixon with great piano sings a smokin blues track, Merry Christmas Darling, also adding some cool slide. Duke Ellington Orchestra does a classic instrumental of the Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy. Really smooth. Ozie Ware joining Ellington's Hot Five sings a super blues vamp, Santa Claus, Bring My Man Back,  followed by Barney Bigard on clarinet and Freddie Jenkins on trumpet. Rev. Rice's Sanctified Singers does a revival style Who Do You Call That Wonderful Counselor. Spartanburg Famous Four do a really solid acapella, Go Where I Send Thee. Super! The Ravens perform a very classic and straight up version of Silent Night for the traditionalists. The Youngsters sing a playful Christmas In Jail, a light hearted sing track. The Jackson Trio really rock out with Jingle Bell Hop, a blend between rock and new Orleans jazz. Very cool instrumental track. Cordell Jackson rocks the joint with Be-Boppers Christmas. Vernon Dalhart sings a very period piece in Santa Claus That's Me. This is a clever UK based track with simple accompaniment and fiddle. Lil McClintock has a driving country blues style on Don't Think I'm Santa Claus with only simple acoustic guitar and vocal. Walter Davis does a nice piano blues, New "Santa Claus" and his vocals are gripping. Very nice. BB King rolls out is the kings typical with full orchestra on Christmas Celebration but of course adds some tasty guitar riffs to his already super vocals. The Larks do big band swing Christmas To New Years. The Five Keys do 50'S style ballad on It's Christmas Time, a strong vocal harmony track. Oscar McLolli and His Honey Jumpers roll out a really swinging blues track, Dig That Crazy Santa Claus and the title tells a lot. Done in a light hearted manner, this track is a super choice to begin the wrap up of this set. Billy Ward And His Dominoes perform a multivoice Ringing In A Brand New Year. Last up is Ella Fitzgerald singing the ballad, The Secret Of Christmas. Fitzgerald has always been one of the benchmarks for vocalists and she does a super job here.

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