Ivory Joe Hunter began establishing himself as singer, pianist, and bandleader on the West Coast beginning with his first self-produced records in 1945. His 1947 recordings for the 4 Star label showed the world a seasoned performer, ready for success. The real break took place in New York City on September 6, 1947, when Ivory Joe Hunter made his first recordings for the King label. The personnel in the band backing him on this auspicious occasion have not been identified, although the conjecture that Ben Webster was blowing tenor is probably accurate. "Don't Be No Fool-Fool" signals a new degree of honesty in popular music, sorely needed but scarcely heeded by the mainstream. Ivory Joe's next recording session took place in Nashville, TN, on November 18, 1947, with Owen Bradley's electrically amplified guitar out in front. "In Time" serves as a premonition of Hunter's eventual involvement with country music. "The Code Song" is a delightful number with Morse code syllables built right into the lyrics. There is a wonderful brooding horn arrangement on "No Money No Luck Blues," with a tenor sax solo by Sammy Ford. The real cream of this crop is the amazing session of December 5, 1947, which took place in Cincinnati, OH. Here Ivory Joe was backed by a quintet of players from Duke Ellington's orchestra. There are ballads, blues, rhumba, and boogie played by Harold "Shorty" Baker, Tyree Glenn, either Wendell Marshall or Oscar Pettiford, and reedman supreme Russell Procope, who was the real instrumental star on this particular occasion.
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AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf