Sunday, 3 January 2010

Various Artists "Chess Club Rhythm & Soul"

Various Artists

"Chess Club Rhythm & Soul"
( LP Kent Records UK, 1996 )
Catalog # 134

1. Mellow Fellow - Etta James
2. Messin' With the Man - Muddy Waters
3. Get Out - Mitty Collier
4. Summertime - Billy Stewart
5. Ooh Baby - Bo Diddley
6. You Left the Water Running - Maurice & Mac
7. Hey Mr. O.J. - Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces
8. Can't Make It Without You - Fred Hughes
9. Ain't It? - Jack McDuff
10. Let's Wade in the Water - Marlena Shaw
11. Fire - Koko Taylor
12. Do I Make Myself Clear? - Etta James/Sugar Pie DeSanto
13. Knife and a Fork, A - Kip Anderson
14. My Babe - Little Walter
15. Help Me - Sonny Boy Williamson
16. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - Don & Bob
17. Who's That Guy? - The Kolettes
18. Here Comes the Judge - Pigmeat Markham
19. Function at the Junction - Ramsey Lewis
20. Grits Ain't Groceries - Little Milton
21. Must I Holler - Jamo Thomas
22. Every Day I Have to Cry - Steve Alaimo
23. Musty Rusty - Lou Donaldson
24. I Don't Wanna Fuss - Sugar Pie DeSanto
25. Hi-Heel Sneakers - Tommy Tucker

Etta James, Marlena Shaw, Mitty Collier, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley (vocals); Lou Donaldson (alto saxophone); Jack McDuff (organ), and more.

This compilation is a good but peculiar British import of 25 Chess tracks from the 1960s, with the anachronistic exception of Little Walter's 1955 classic "My Babe." It's mostly soul, but sometimes blues, and sometimes a mixture of the two. There's not a solid concept linking the selections, except perhaps that they were (and are) considered good songs to dance to at English clubs. For the most part these are fairly obscure cuts that aren't that easy to pick up in the States, though a few -- "My Babe," Little Milton's "Grits Ain't Groceries," Billy Stewart's "Summertime," Sonny Boy Williamson's "Help Me," and Tommy Tucker's "Hi Heel Sneakers" -- are apt to already be in the collections of soul and blues fans who are likely to be interested in a LP like this. The choosy buyer would probably want this more for the lesser-known items, and there are some good ones here, such as Etta James' robust, brassy 1964 outing "Mellow Fellow," Muddy Waters' blues-with-horns "Messin' with the Man," Don & Bob's raucous rock version of "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl," the Kolettes' girl-group-soul "Who's That Guy," and soul-jazz from Lou Donaldson, Ramsey Lewis, Brother Jack McDuff, and Bobby Moore. You won't find cuts by Fred Hughes, Marlena Shaw, Kip Anderson, and Jamo Thomas on many other anthologies, Chess-only or otherwise. There are a lot of Ace/Kent compilations geared toward soul specialists that are pretty scattered in focus; although this is one of them, it's one of the best. The tracks are very respectable at worst, and excellent at best. The source label put out so much quality stuff, and this is a good supplement to the libraries of those looking to fill out their Chess sections.
25 track compilation goes back to the 60's club concept, mixing blues, jazz & soul w. Muddy Waters, Etta James, Lou Donaldson, Marlena Shaw, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Milton, Sugar Pie DeSanto.
By Richie Unterberger (AMG)

By Celo

1 comment:

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