JazzTimes - 10/97, pp.132-133
"...There are good, dire, amusing and five previously unissued tracks here. Together they form a useful kind of documentary."
Recorded between 1951 and 1954.
Audio Remasterer: Kirk Felton.
Liner Note Author: Billy Vera.
Recording information: 12/23/1947-02/08/1955.
If you ever wanted to get an idea of just how wide the parameters of jump blues actually were in their heyday, this 25-track collection will go a long way toward spelling it out. Acquiring various labels' catalogs can sometime make for strange compilation bedfellows and never more so than here, a three-way collision between Specialty's West Coast version of the genre, Prestige's New York City school of be-bop approach and a few stray tracks from the Texas-based Freedom label. The real treat for West Coast-style mavens is the inclusion of six tracks from Roy Milton; "Tell It Like It Is," "Gonna Leave You Baby," "Baby You Don't Know" find Milton's sound getting rougher, almost in anticipation of the rock'n'roll that's coming down the pike. Other notable additions to the package include Daddy Cleanhead's potent "Something's Goin' On in My Room," Leo Parker's baritone sax romp "Mad Lad Returns," King Pleasure's be-bop vocal turn on the classic "Moody's Mood for Love," and King Perry's surreal "I Must Have Been an Ugly Baby." And collectors will welcome the CD appearance of Big Joe Turner's "When the Rooster Crows," one of his ultra-rare Freedom singles from just before he signed on with Atlantic in 1951. Yes, the genre flavors shift around quite a bit on this disc, but that's half the fun, and as jump blues compilations go, this makes a pretty great little genre primer for the novice as well. ~ Cub Koda