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Home Jazz Albert Ammons Albert Ammons - 1936-1939 (The Chronological Classics) (1993)

Albert Ammons - 1936-1939 (The Chronological Classics) (1993)

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Albert Ammons - 1936-1939 (The Chronological Classics) (1993)

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1 	–Albert Ammons And His Rhythm Kings 	Nagasaki 	
2 	–Albert Ammons And His Rhythm Kings 	Boogie Woogie Stomp 	
3 	–Albert Ammons And His Rhythm Kings 	Early Mornin' Blues 	
4 	–Albert Ammons And His Rhythm Kings 	Mile-Or-Mo Bird Rag 	
5 	–Albert Ammons 	Shout For Joy 	
6 	–Albert Ammons 	Boogie Woogie Stomp 	
7 	–Albert Ammons 	Chicago In Mind 	
8 	–Albert Ammons 	Suitcase Blues 	
9 	–Albert Ammons 	Boogie Woogie Blues 	
10 	–Albert Ammons 	Untitled Ammons Original 	
11 	–Albert Ammons 	Bass Goin' Crazy 	
12 	–Albert Ammons 	Backwater Blues 	
13 	–Albert Ammons 	Changes In Boogie Woogie 	
14 	–Albert Ammons 	Easy Rider Blues 	
15 	–Harry James And The Boogie Woogie Trio 	Woo-Woo 	
16 	–Harry James And The Boogie Woogie Trio 	Jesse 	
17 	–J.C. Higginbotham Quintet 	Weary Land Blues 	
18 	–Port Of Harlem Jazzmen 	Port Of Harlem Blues 	
19 	–Port Of Harlem Jazzmen 	Mighty Blues 	
20 	–Port Of Harlem Jazzmen 	Rocking The Blues

Albert Ammons 	Piano, Primary Artist
Dalbert Bright 	Clarinet, Alto Saxophone	(1-4)
Teddy Bunn 	Guitar	(17-20)
Big Sid Catlett 	Drums	(17-20)
Israel Crosby 	Baritone Saxophone	(1-4)
Eddie Dougherty 	Drums	(15-16)
J.C. Higginbotham 	Trombone, Tuba	(17-20)
Jimmie Hoskins 	Drums	(1-4)
Harry James 	Trumpet		(15-16)
Pete Johnson	Piano	(15-16)
Guy Kelly 	Trumpet	(1-4)
Frankie Newton 	Trumpet	(17-20)
Ike Perkins 	Guitar 	(1-4)
Johnny Williams 	Baritone Saxophone (15-20)


Albert Ammons, father of Gene Ammons, became so thoroughly associated with boogie-woogie and Blue Note Records that it is thrilling to hear him in 1936 leading a straightforward swing band in a solid stride treatment of "Nagasaki" for the Decca record label. Naturally, the flip side is an authentic, upbeat rendition of "Pinetop's Boogie Woogie," and most of the material on this disc contains five times its weight in danceable blues protein. "Mile-Or-Mo Bird Rag," however, swings like "Nagasaki" did, and once again we get to hear Albert playing genuine stride piano with outstanding support from bassist Israel Crosby and guitarist Ike Perkins. There are refreshing solos from trumpeter Guy Kelly and from a fine alto player by the name of Dalbert Bright. Act two opens in 1939 with ten piano solos, packed with blues and boogie. While some folks disparage the woogie, they are most likely complaining about imitators rather than this archetypal, fundamental body of definitive good-time piano. If you're lucky enough to be able to submerge yourself in this many Albert's solos, you'll most likely succumb to his dignified realism, his gut-level understanding of the blues. The coolest surprise of the whole package is the session of February 1, 1939, whereby Harry James made two sides for Brunswick backed by the "Boogie Woogie Trio." The pure excitement of "Woo-Woo" is worth a million bucks, as muted trumpet wails over a churning rhythm section, egged on by neat little crashes of the cymbal. "Jesse" is a minor stomp on open horn, with Albert back in a Harlem stride piano groove. When James puts the mute back on his horn it becomes clear that these are two of the very best undiluted jazz records that this trumpeter ever made! The CD ends with four sides recorded at the Blue Note "Port of Harlem" session of April 7, 1939. The sound quality is a bit misty, but that seems to be the case with most reissues of this material. On the "Weary Land Blues," trombonist J.C. Higginbotham was designated as leader. Frankie Newton's expressive trumpet was added to this band to form the Port of Harlem Jazzmen, resulting that day in three 12" 78 rpm records, each containing more than four minutes of undiluted blues. The moods are disarmingly intimate and uncontrived. Teddy Bunn's guitar sounds particularly good throughout the entire session. Things begin to solidify during a stern walk through the "Mighty Blues," and everybody cuts loose during "Rocking the Blues," a boogie-woogie for sextet driven at a healthy clip by two powerful engines: the drumming of Sidney Catlett and the double-fisted piano of Albert Ammons. ---arwulf arwulf, AllMusic Review

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