Just Jimmy Reed was originally released in 1962 on Vee-Jay Records and reissued by Collectables in 2000. This short ten-track set doesn't include any of Reed's most beloved hits ("Oh John" being the closest), but it does highlight material that could have been. Reed's patented swamp blues guitar and harmonica lines mixed with his uniquely lazy vocal style are in the forefront of tunes like "Let's Get Together," "Kansas City Baby," "In the Morning," and "Good Lover." There are some unusual touches -- the album opens up with the strangely offbeat, organ-dominated and trumpet- and sax-ornamented "I'll Change My Style"; and Mama Reed shows up on backing vocals on "Take It Slow," adding some variety to the singing. Jimmy Reed, Jr., who was increasingly being featured at the elder Reed's shows, is present on guitar on two tracks and on bass elsewhere. And instead of Eddie Taylor, who played on most of Reed's classic sides, much of the guitar here is played by Lefty Bates. But despite this difference, the best of the material on Just Jimmy Reed -- which is most of the contents -- could easily have qualified for placement on Reed's indispensable first two albums.
AllMusic Review by Al Campbell