Louis Jordan & His Tympany 5

Rock 'n Roll Call

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Rock 'n Roll Call Review

by Scott Yanow

Louis Jordan's string of hits ended in 1952, but he was still in his musical prime throughout the 1950s, even though he was no longer on the charts. During 1955-56, he cut three record sessions for the RCA subsidiaries Vik and X, which resulted in the dozen numbers on this 1993 CD. Due to its brevity (just over 29 minutes), this release was sold as a budget item by RCA. Few of Jordan's fans have probably heard these rarities. The altoist/singer/entertainer was doing his best to adjust to the times, performing early rock & roll, a couple of ballads (including "Whatever Lola Wants"), and novelties. The recordings, which sold poorly, do have their moments. On two of the three sessions, Jordan's septet is greatly expanded, but he is always the star throughout. Among the better numbers are "Slow, Smooth and Easy," "Chicken Back," "Hard Head" and "Texas Stew." Not essential, but Louis Jordan fans who wonder what happened to their hero will want to hear these obscurities.

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