Sonny Boy Williamson II

I Ain't Beggin' Nobody

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These are Sonny Boy Williamson's first commercial recordings, originally made for the tiny independent Jackson, Mississippi blues label Trumpet. They're looser and jazzier than his later work for Chess, thanks in part to the presence of saxophone on some tracks; in fact, some of the tracks here hew closer to the jump blues sound of Louis Jordan than they do Chicago or delta styles.

Sound quality is suprisingly good (who knew you could make such excellent recordings in a furniture store?) and a very young B.B. King can be heard on guitar on the concluding "From the Bottom" and "No Nights By Myself." Best cut is the splendidly titled "Clownin' With the World," a smoking instrumental that occasions some of Williamson's fiercest-ever harp licks.

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