Various Artists

Harlem Rock n' Blues, Vol. 1

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In the late '40s and early '50s, Harlem was quite the scene, as saxophone bar-walkers ruled the roost. They paved the way for the rock & roll that followed, from Elvis Presley onward. This collection not only feeds on Apollo Theater and local nightclub stars, but players from other regions of the U.S. Red Prysock was perhaps the biggest of these stars, and he's represented by two tracks, followed closely by King Curtis -- dig the King's "Mr. Crow." You also get the very comparable honker Willis "Gator" Jackson, legit bluesmen Sonny Terry and Champion Jack Dupree, the lesser-known but legendary Tarheel Slim and Noble Watts, and all-time great jazz guitarist Tiny Grimes doing "Juicy Fruit." Though not a collection of hits, this recording gives you a good taste of the way it was.

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