As an artist who incorporated jazz phrasing into a blues repertoire, Jimmy Witherspoon is an often-underrated titan of post-war music. His formidable back catalog has been neglected for many years, but this release attempts to repair much of the damage. Containing all the cuts from Witherspoon's first golden era, 1947-1948 is revelatory. Singing in front of Jay McShann's orchestra, Witherspoon is assured and already a hugely distinctive vocalist. Witherspoon's own compositions, especially "Spoon Calls Hootie" and the magnificent "Destruction Blues," are given their definitive readings, and this Classics disc presents them in wonderful fidelity and with excellent, informed liner notes.
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AllMusic Review by Thomas Ward