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Jay McShann ‎– The Last Of The Blue Devils (1977)

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Jay McShann ‎– The Last Of The Blue Devils (1977)

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1 	Confessin' The Blues 	4:43
2 	'Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do 	6:59
3 	Hootie Blues 	4:29
4 	Blue Devil Jump 	3:25
5 	My Chile 	4:15
6 	Jumpin' At The Woodside 	4:36
7 	Just For You 	5:37
8 	Hot Biscuits 	3:25
9 	'Fore Day Rider 	4:08
10 	Kansas City 	4:51

Bass – Milt Hinton
Drums – Jackie Williams 
Electric Guitar – John Scofield
Piano, Electric Piano, Vocals – Jay McShann
Tenor Saxophone – Buddy Tate, Paul Quinichette
Trumpet – Joe Newman

 

When Charlie Parker first came to New York in 1942, he was a sideman in Jay McShann's big band. Every jazz fan knows what happened after that -- Parker changed the world and McShann became a footnote in Parker's biography. That's too bad, and not just for him; if the 1978 session remastered and reissued on this disc is anything to go by, McShann had much more to offer the world than his role as caregiver to the inventor of bebop. Leading an all-star cast that includes saxophonist Paul Quinichette, the ubiquitous Milt Hinton on bass, and a young, up-and-coming guitarist named John Scofield, McShann teaches an entire course on the history of blues-based jazz, going from his own "Confessin' the Blues" through "Hootie Blues" (which he co-wrote with Parker and Walter Brown) and an intensely swinging version of Count Basie's "Jumpin' at the Woodside." He goes off on a welcome tangent with Pete Johnson's sweet stride ballad "Just for You" and comes on home with the boogie-woogie composition "'Fore Day Rider" and Leiber and Stoller's "Kansas City." Highly recommended. ---Rick Anderson, AllMusic Review

 

Blues musician Jay McShann was born in Muskogee, OK, in 1916. As a young man he taught himself to play the piano. At 20 years of age he moved to Kansas City, MO, and secured gigs playing in the city's jazz clubs and lounges. He normally played with a quartet, but in 1938 he expanded that to a seven-piece band, expanding it again to an 11-piece outfit the next year (one of its members was future sax legend Charlie Parker). The band became wildly popular in Kansas City and in 1941 it signed a recording deal with Decca Records.

The band was amassing a large following in Kansas City when World War Ii broke out, and many of its members found themselves drafted into the armed forces, including McShann himself. After the war, McShann put together another band, although a much smaller one this time and oriented more towards R&B than blues (among this band's members was Jimmy Witherspoon). The band recorded regularly, but by the 1950s the emergence of rock-and-roll meant that McShann's blues/swing/R&B sound was on its way out. The band broke up, but McShann himself continued performing. In the 1970s he made several tours of Europe. In 1988 he was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.

He died in Kansas City, MO, on December 7, 2006. ---imdb.com

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