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8.9.09

Jimmy Witherspoon




Jimmy Witherspoon - Live at the Mint -1996 - Private Music

"Aside from being one of history's GREATEST BLUES SINGERS (in my mind THE GREATEST) he was a master performer and the EPITOME of "COOL." - Robben Ford

"When you would go see Spoon you were transported immediately from the time he opened his mouth and started to sing. He transported you from wherever you were to another place."
- Joe Williams

Recorded live at L.As' small but popularl The Mint venue in November 1994, this official album was later nominated for a 1997 Grammy award for best trad. blues album. This is a great album from the late Jimmy Witherspoon, backed by his great friend Robben Ford, and members of the great jazz fusion group, The Yellowjackets. The musicianship from the band, especially the guitar work from Robben Ford is just glorious. There could not have been a better band assembled to play some of the beautiful jazz blues tracks here. "Live at the Mint" is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to the brilliant live album, "Jimmy Witherspoon & Robben Ford Live" , the great Jimmy Witherspoon "Blowin' in from Kansas City" album, and The Yellowjackets "Mirage a Trois" album which features Robben Ford, and Russell Ferrante.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Goin' Down Slow - Oden
2. Big Boss Man - Smith, Dixon
3. Goin' to Chicago - Basie, Rushing
4. Intro - N/A
5. Ain't Nobody's Business - Grainger, Robbins
6. Medley: Trouble Mind/Cherry Red - Johnson, Turner, Jones
7. Intro - N/A
8. Past Forty Blues - Witherspoon, Roach
9. What a Wonderful World - Thiele, Weiss
10. Medley: Whose Hat Is That/C.C. Rider - Otis, Witherspoon
11. Stormy Monday - Walker
12. Money's Gettin' Cheaper - McShann, Witherspoon
13. Intro - N/A
14. S.K. Blues - King
15. Nothing's Changed - Armstrong, Vaughn

MUSICIANS

Jimmy Witherspoon (Vocals)
Robben Ford (Guitar)
C. Roscoe Beck (Bass)
Russell Ferrante (Keyboards)
Tom Brechtlein (Drums)

REVIEW

Beloved old blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon had a party thrown for him twice a year by guitarist Robben Ford at L.A.'s quintessential blues club, the Mint. Although throat cancer intensified the already ultra-raspy quality of Mr. Witherspoon's voice, he never failed to deliver a textured show with surprises and genuine radiance. Backed by the Robben Ford Band, we hear a reunion of Yellowjackets keyboardist Russ Ferrante, Blue Line's drummer Tom Brechtleinm, and bassline driver Roscoe Beck, with significant enthusiastic contributions by the club's intimate audience. Witherspoon presents songs ("Ain't Nobody's Business," "Goin' to Chicago") that are in fact identified with a West Coast blend of Kansas City, New Orleans, and Chicago influence; although he enjoyed moderate success within all those musical regions, he developed much of his "shouting" style touring Europe and stationed himself, for the latter decade of his life, in Los Angeles. At some moments there's a scratched-up, old-recording feel, probably due to the quality of his voice and the nature of venue-recordings at large. But you can't miss a note of how slow he goes down on "Goin' Down Slow," and there should surely be a dance named after "Big Boss Man." Recorded three years before Jimmy succumbed to cancer in L.A., although that did not curtail continuing tribute parties at the Mint. A fine blues document. © Becky Byrkit, allmusic.com

BIO

One of the greatest blues singers of the Post-World War II period, Jimmy Witherspoon recorded over 200 albums during his illustrious career. Born in Gurdon, Arkansas in 1923 and raised in a musical family, 'Spoon's first musical experiences were in the church where his father sang in the choir and his mother played piano. In his teens Witherspoon moved to Los Angeles in search of work and during that time he befriended the legendary T-Bone Walker on Central Avenue and sat in with him frequently. His first professional work came during World War II performing with bandleader Teddy Weatherford for Armed Forces Radio while stationed in Calcutta, India. After returning to the states, he joined the Jay McShann Band (featuring a young Charlie Parker). He recorded with McShann for several years before striking out on his own. His first hit record in 1949, "Ain't Nobody's Business" was one of the biggest records of that era, and a #1 R&B hit that stayed on the Billboard charts 34 weeks that year. During the next several decades 'Spoon managed to span the worlds of blues, R&B and jazz with his deep baritone and unique style anchored in the big band blues traditions. In 1959 at the Monterey Jazz festival, Witherspoon appeared with an all-star group of jazz musicians including Ben Webster, Roy Eldridge, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, and Earl "Fatha" Hines. His amazing performance that day was captured on the album, "Jimmy Witherspoon at Monterey" and that recording cemented his place forever among the world's leading ranks of jazz and blues singers. His 1963 record "Evening Blues" with T-Bone Walker on guitar and Clifford Scott on saxophone became another classic. Witherspoon continued making records and performing throughout the 70's and 80's and 90's working with a wide assortment of artists such as Dr. John, Earl Hooker, Eric Burdon, Kenny Burrell, Doc Pomus, Jack McDuff, Charles Brown, Van Morrison, Duke Robillard and Count Basie among others. His recording "Live at The Mint" with guitarist Robben Ford garnered him a 1997 Grammy nomination. 'Spoon was also an accomplished actor and appeared in many films and TV shows during these years including "The Black Godfather", "Georgia" and "The Big Easy". Up until his last show, Witherspoon still had a big, rangy, booming voice, an intimate and highly personal way with a lyric, and an ability to plumb the emotional depths and soar to ecstatic peaks. He was a singer that constantly reminded us that without the blues, jazz simply would not exist. On September 18, 1997 he passed away in his sleep at the age of 74 in Los Angeles, his longtime home.



BIO (WIKIPEDIA)

Jimmy Witherspoon (August 8, 1920 – September 18, 1997) was an American blues singer. James Witherspoon was born in Gurdon, Arkansas. He first attracted attention singing with Teddy Weatherford's band in Calcutta, India, which made regular radio broadcasts over the U. S. Armed Forces Radio Service during World War II. Witherspoon made his first records with Jay McShann's band in 1945. In 1949, recording under his own name with the McShann band, he had his first hit, "Ain't Nobody's Business," a song which came to be regarded as his signature tune. In 1950 he had hits with two more songs closely identified with him: "No Rollin' Blues" and "Big Fine Girl". Another classic Witherspoon composition is "Times Gettin' Tougher Than Tough". Witherspoon's style of blues - that of the "blues shouter" - became unfashionable in the mid-1950s, but he returned to popularity with his 1959 album, Jimmy Witherspoon at the Monterey Jazz Festival, which featured Roy Eldridge, Woody Herman, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Earl Hines and Mel Lewis, among others. He later recorded with Gerry Mulligan, Leroy Vinnegar, Richard "Groove" Holmes and T-Bone Walker. In 1961 he toured Europe with Buck Clayton and returned to the UK on many occasions, featuring on a mid-sixties live UK recording Spoon Sings and Swings (1966) with tenor sax player Dick Morrissey's quartet. In 1970, he appeared on Brother Jack McDuff's London Blue Note recording To Seek a New Home together with British jazz musicians, including Terry Smith and Dick Morrissey. In the 1970s he also recorded the album Guilty (later released on CD as Black & White Blues) with Eric Burdon and featuring Ike White & the San Quentin Prison Band. He then toured with a band of his own featuring Robben Ford and Russ Ferrante. A recording from this period, Spoonful, featured 'Spoon' accompanied by Robben Ford, Joe Sample, Cornell Dupree, Thad Jones and Bernard Purdie. He continued performing and recording into the 1990s. Other performers with whom Witherspoon recorded include Jimmy Rowles, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Vernon Alley, Mel Lewis, Teddy Edwards, Gerald Wiggins, John Clayton, Paul Humphrey, Pepper Adams, Kenny Burrell, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Jimmy Smith, Long John Baldry, Junior Mance, Ellington bassist Jimmy Woode, Kenny Clarke, Gerry Mulligan, Jim Mullen, Count Basie and others. Witherspoon died of throat cancer in Los Angeles, California on September 18, 1997.

3 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

p/w aoofc

Anonymous said...

very good

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Anonymous. He was one of the best. Thanks