Personnel: Big Bill Broonzy (vocals, guitar); Buster Bennett (alto saxophone); Walter Williams (trumpet); Horace Malcolm, Joshua Altheimer, Albert Ammons, Blind John Davis (piano); Fred Williams (drums).
Liner Note Author: Keith Briggs.
Recording information: 09/15/1938-02/10/1939.
Big Bill Broonzy's popularity continued to rise during the five months covered by this CD (the eighth of 11) in Document's "complete" Broonzy series. In addition to 21 studio sides (five previously unissued) made in Chicago, Broonzy is heard performing "Done Got Wise" and "Louise, Louise" at John Hammond's "Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall (with the backing of pianist Albert Ammons and bassist Walter Page). Otherwise, the influential guitarist/singer is featured with the Memphis Five (a group including trumpeter Walter Williams and altoist Buster Bennett) and various trio/quartets with his regular pianist of the period, Joshua Altheimer. This CD is particularly notable for including the original version of "Just a Dream," which became a standard. Otherwise, Broonzy shows off the influence of both swing and country-blues in varying combinations; his repertoire here includes "Trouble and Lying Woman," "Flat-Foot Susie With Her Flat Yes Yes," "Preachin' the Blues" and "Fightin' Little Rooster." ~ Scott Yanow