Big Joe Turner

1949-1950

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You know it's about time somebody took all the little records that Big Joe Turner managed to make back in the day and brought them out in sequence the way they appear in the Classics Chronological Series. Nobody in the world ever sounded quite like Joe Turner and nobody ever will. There is a magical quality that makes his blues performances feel like rituals full of clarity and grace. Each and every Joe Turner record is as beautiful as a massive stand of tiger lilies growing up through the middle of a brickyard, silent, solid, and dignified under the dew in the first light of dawn. Incredibly, despite his enormous popularity during the Second World War, by 1949 this gifted vocalist was scuffling to get recording gigs. Ten tasty sides were cut in Los Angeles for the MGM label with a solid band fairly bursting with hot horns and driven by Pete Johnson's piano. Joe Turner closed out the year by waxing two sides for Rouge Records in Baton Rouge, LA, and four for the Freedom label in Houston, TX. In April of 1950, Joe Turner made a fistful of records in New Orleans backed by Dave Bartholomew & His Orchestra with Fats Domino at the piano. Issued on the Bayou and Imperial labels, each of these sides exudes primal R&B and rock & roll energy. This is outstanding music, ideal for both rambunctious carousing and reflective relaxation.

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