T-Bone Walker

T-Bone Blues [Atlantic]

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The last truly indispensable disc of the great guitar hero's career, and perhaps the most innately satisfying of all, these mid-'50s recordings boast magnificent presence, with T-Bone Walker's axe so crisp and clear it seems as though he's sitting right next to you as he delivers a luxurious remake of "Call It Stormy Monday." Atlantic took some chances with Walker, dispatching him to Chicago for a 1955 date with Junior Wells and Jimmy Rogers that produced "Why Not" and "Papa Ain't Salty." Even better were the 1956-1957 L.A. dates that produced the scalding instrumental "Two Bones and a Pick" (which finds Walker dueling it out with nephew R.S. Rankin and jazzman Barney Kessel).

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