Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Few Roots Favorites

Since it's impossible to post on everything I would like to, the first week of every month I will post a few roots favorites in the different genres. Some very nice things are happening over at youtube, and without it much of what I do here would be without sound. I have some interesting ideas for upcoming posts, but for now let's just enjoy some top roots sounds. I will be posting again on Friday.


1) Wardell Gray: Gray never got the press that Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon and Lester Young did, but he is a first rate tenor player. Check out his "One for Prez," an early bop experiment.

2) I left Irving Ashby off my top guitarists of the fifties, and he could very well have been there due to his versatility in so many styles. . This recording of "Route 66" with Nat King Cole is after Ashby replaces Oscar Moore. Fine arrangement and nice solo by Ashby.


1) He may not have been Blind Blake, but Buddy Moss came about as close as anyone. Buddy could lay down some wicked ragtime/blues guitar. "Tricks Ain't Walkin' no More" was recorded in the late twenties.

2) Blind Blake is one of my favorites and now that everything has been remastered and put up on youtube, check out one of his finest songs of all: "Sweet Jivin Mama." Never get tired of this one. Covers fall far short.

2) Frank Frost , from the musically rich Delta around Helena, Arkansas, is a one man show. Coming out of the Sonny Boy Williamson tradition, this recording of "Back Scratcher" is probably from the early 1960's. A really nice sound.


1) From Sunset, Texas comes sax player and vocalist Link Davis whose musical career stretches back to the 1930's. He cut some classic early rockabilly as well as R&B. Check out this classic, "Don't Big Shot Me." Incredible sound from 1956, really nice.

2) Rudi Grayzell the TexMex rockabilly ace from San Antonio, Texas. Rudi is an energetic vocalist with a great band, as his 1957 rendition of "You're Gone." demonstrates. Very nice vocals and guitar.

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