Various Artists

Trumpet Records: The Best of Blues & R&B

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During the early '50s, the Trumpet label assisted the transition of country blues into citified R&B with amped-up recordings from Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Joe Williams, Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, and Jerry "Boogie" McCain. The Collectables label packaged five discs in its Trumpet Masters series to create Trumpet Records: The Best of Blues & R&B, a bulky five-disc box. Trumpet ranged through the South (Jackson, Memphis, Texas, St. Louis) for blues/R&B nuggets, including tracks from a host of excellent musicians. Aside from the well-known names, there's still much of interest here. Though Willie Love's name may not ignite a fire in the minds of most blues fans, two members of his band the Three Aces definitely will -- Little Milton and Elmore James. For the early R&B fan who's heard it all, this music is worth investigating, whether in this form or in individual volumes (also available separately) like Trumpet Masters, Vol. 2: She Left Me a Mule and Trumpet Masters, Vol. 4: Crazy 'Bout That Mess.

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