Big Bill Broonzy

1934-1935, Vol. 6

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In a pleasant case of blurred delineations, the Masters of Jazz label has honored legendary Chicago bluesman Big Bill Broonzy by giving him the kind of deluxe, meticulous chronological treatment normally reserved for jazz icons like Charlie Parker, Wardell Gray and Sidney Bechet. Volume Six in the Broonzy chronology documents his recording activity from October 18, 1934 to January 10, 1935. Tracks one through seven were issued on 78 rpm Vocalion records under the name of Teddy "Big Boy" Edwards with accompaniments by Broonzy and (at times) banjoist Papa Charlie Jackson. "Troublesome Mind," a variant on Richard M. Jones' "Trouble in Mind," was recorded on the same day with a vocal by Irene Sanders. Broonzy cut two sides by himself to close out the afternoon, returning the following day to wax four more titles and the day after that for two takes of "C.C. Rider" with pianist Black Bob. Tracks 17 through 21 were recorded in early January 1935 by the State Street Boys, a band that included in its lineup singing harmonica man Jazz Gillum, guitarist Carl Martin, violinist Zeb Wright, bassist Bill Settles (identified here only as "Joe"), Black Bob and Big Bill Broonzy. This is classic scruffy Chicago blues from the middle of the '30s. Nothing pretty, no tippy-toeing around. It's refreshingly honest, up front and for real.

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