Johnnie "Geechie" Temple

The Essential

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Cherry-picked from three volumes of his complete works as reissued by Document in the mid-'90s, The Essential Johnnie Temple offers an excellent overview of this Mississippi blues man's musical legacy, touching upon his first recordings from 1935 and tracing a path to his final session in 1949. In addition to the lively "Fix It Up and Go" and two different recordings devoted to the effectiveness of the suggestive phrase "Yum Yum Yum," Temple's poetic sensibilities are given free rein in titles like "What Is That Smells Like Gravy" and "The Sun Goes Down in Blood." Note also the presence and participation of musicians with varying degrees of involvement in jazz circles, including pianists Lil Hardin Armstrong and Sammy Price; bassist John Lindsay; guitarists Lonnie Johnson, Joe McCoy, Al Casey, and Teddy Bunn; trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen, and clarinetists Buster Bailey and Odell Rand, as well as tenor saxophonist Paul Quinichette. Before diving headlong into a three-CD series containing nearly every side Temple ever waxed, it might be wise to get a well-rounded taste of his overall sound, and that's exactly what you'll encounter on this fine 36-track double-disc edition.

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