Roosevelt Sykes

1931-1941

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

The Wolf label's 20-track sampler of vintage Roosevelt Sykes traces a chronology that includes six collaborations with the pianist's St. Louis carousing companion Charlie "Specks" McFadden (1895-1940). The collection opens with four titles they recorded together in April 1931; two of these were revisited again at what turned out to be McFadden's last recording session in April 1937. The rest of this useful retrospective is devoted to Sykes' prewar Decca recordings, ending with the purposeful "15 Cents a Day," which was made on the last day of April 1941. At times Sykes is accompanied by jazz drummer Sidney Catlett. These two made quite a number of records together, and one of their very best efforts is "Doin' the Sally Long (Flames of Evaporation)." The title suggests a dance that involves a lot of creative overhead arm waving.

blue highlight denotes track pick