Jazz Gillum

Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1936-1938)

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William McKinley "Jazz" Gillum was a good-time singer and a fine harmonica player whose style predated the first Sonny Boy Williamson but was more advanced than the players of the 1920s. His complete output up to 1949 has been made available by the Austrian Document label on four CDs. The first volume has his first five sessions and one song from his sixth. Gillum is joined by guitarist Big Bill Broonzy on all of the dates with appearances by pianist John Davis, Washboard Sam and electric guitarist George Barnes (who is heard a year before Charlie Christian debuted). Highlights include "Jockey Blues," "Don't You Scandalize My Name," "Reefer Head Woman," "Good Old 51 Highway" and "You're Laughing Now." Fine blues-oriented music.

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