Man, We're Wailin'

Louis Jordan

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Man, We're Wailin' Review

by Eugene Chadbourne

This particular reissue label had, for awhile, the hands-down reputation as the cheapest of the cheap, mostly earned for their packaging and design, and sometimes for production that suggests the folks in charge were actually on some kind of trip when they should have been taking care of business. Customers of these reissues inevitably overlook these details because of the quality of the music. This is no exception, as Louis Jordan is a classic performer who rarely recorded anything substandard, and whose best music is simply brilliant. The label of course is going to create confusion with the "1958" subtitle on this album, as research would indicate this is actually music from the decade before. It is possible that the album is a mix of sessions from both decades, as are several of the MCA reissues. The presence of female vocalist Dorothy Smith makes this a bit unusual, as does the presence of some more standard material, songs such as "The Nearness of You," for example. But these are details that actually point to a substandard Jordan collection, as most listeners would rather hear the man himself sing, and it is certainly more fun listening to his jive, honky tonk boogie-woogie numbers. Nice version of "Route 66," though.

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