Jimmy Rushing

Livin' the Blues

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Jimmy Rushing enjoyed great success in applying the blues to jazz rhythms and in doing so he had the best those two genres could offer, soul and swing. On this 1968 session, one of the last recordings he made for the Blues Way label, he is joined by a combination of Count Basie alumni (with whom he enjoyed perhaps his greatest success), Dave Frishberg, and other jazz musicians who do not quite raise to the level of the former two groups. The play list is dotted with tunes that were part of the basic Rushing repertoire including his classic "Sent for You Yesterday (And Here You Come Today)." The list also includes two pieces by Connie Rushing. Basie trombonist Dicky Wells gets in some good drawn-out licks here. Similarly on the almost pure blues, another former Basie-ite, Buddy Tate, gets a couple of prolonged, mournful choruses. Not everything is down-in-the-dumps material. Wells' "We Remember Prez" gets a thorough workout featuring Frishberg's earthy piano, Bobby Bushnell's fender bass, Buddy Tate's honking tenor, and Wells again as Rushing sits this one out. Despite that this was one of the last recordings Rushing made before his death, he was still in the top of his form and could shout the blues with the best of them. This LP needs to be transferred to CD.