Various Artists

Foxy R&B: Richard Stamz Chicago Blues

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If you're not from Chicago, the question would make some sense: who is Richard Stamz? He was one of the great Windy City DJs of the '50s and '60s, helping to propel a swinging, gritty, soulful sound into the consciousness of Midwestern listeners during the height of Chess and Curtis Mayfield. Stamz was responsible for the rest of Chicago, mining the sound that existed somewhere between the sophistication of the Impressions and the down-home funk of Chess, while retaining the swing of a big band. Stamz liked a big, blowsy swing and had a flair for showmanship, often showing up for events in a crown and cape, and that flamboyance does translate to Foxy R&B: Richard Stamz Chicago Blues, a collection of 25 sides of blues and soul popularized on the man's radio show. Big names are absent but that's kind of the point: surely, Stamz played some of Chicago's stars on his show but here, the unknown get to illustrate his low-down, grooving feel, how there's a lot of mischief and fun within these deep, bluesy rhythms. "Foxy" is appropriate, as this music is sexy and fun, sometimes silly, often trashy, but it never takes itself very seriously, which is the joy of this compilation: it captures a time and place that hasn't necessarily been forgotten but hasn't been explored in detail. Foxy R&B digs deep into the Chicago of the early '60s, a time where the uptown feel ran head-on into South Side grit, and the results are still intoxicating.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:48
2 2:53
3 2:33
4 2:34
5 2:35
6 2:21
7 2:32
8 2:12
9 2:33
10 2:38
11 2:45
12 2:18
13 2:34
14 2:39
16 2:48
18 2:44
19 2:39
20 2:17
23 2:45
24 2:49
25 3:51
blue highlight denotes track pick