This CD includes 3 bonus tracks.
Personnel: Joe Williams (vocals); Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson (vocals, alto saxophone); Phil Upchurch (guitar); Red Holloway (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jack McDuff (piano, organ); Gerryck King (drums).
Recording information: Annex Studios, Hollywood, CA (11/16/1983/11/17/1983).
Photographers: Mary Ellen Webster; Ray Avery.
Unknown Contributor Role: Ray Avery.
In 1983, Williams and a smoking sextet of jazz artists led by Red Holloway went into a recording studio, without charts or rehearsals, and spontaneously combusted these delicious, jazz-flavored blue tracks. The whole recording has the relaxed mood of a late-night jam. Williams set aside his sophisticated jazz-standards mode and really gets down and dirty into the blues with an absolutely wailing, growling, and gravelly vocal approach. One gets the sense that Williams can (and will) do anything with his remarkably flexible voice just to make a point in a song.
NOTHIN' BUT THE BLUES, an album of warm blues tracks, has the down-home feeling of musical comrades hanging together, playing, and having a great time. The fine organ work of Jack McDuff smolders sexily throughout. A highlight of the set is Williams' sultry but funny version of Big Bill Broonzy's disillusioned blues "Just a Dream." This, at heart, is what Williams' artistry is all about. He never loses track of the fun. No matter how bad things get, warmth and optimism are always there.