Various Artists

Blues Masters, Vol. 5: Jump Blues Classics

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Jump blues, of course, was crucial to the birth of R&B and rock & roll. More important, the infectious swing, grit, and humor were great in themselves. Jump Blues Classics collects 18 tracks from the golden days of the genre in the late '40s and 1950s. Most of the pioneers of the style are here -- Joe Turner, Wynonie Harris, Roy Brown, Ruth Brown, Roy Milton, Big Jay McNeely, and others, even Louis Prima. The collection includes several cuts that were revived to become rock & roll classics, including "The Train Kept A-Rollin'" (Tiny Bradshaw), "Shake, Rattle, And Roll" (Joe Turner), "Good Rockin' Tonight" (Wynonie Harris), "Hound Dog" (Big Mama Thornton), and the little-known original, pre-Muddy Waters version of "Got My Mojo Working" (Ann Cole). This is, of course, just the surface of a genre that was hugely successful in its time, producing hundreds of memorable recordings. This well-annotated anthology is a good starting point and a good representative sampling for those who only want the cream of the crop in their collection.

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