Compilation producers: Clint Eastwood, Bruce Ricker.
Includes liner notes by Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Nat Hentoff.
Personnel: Dr. John, Fats Domino, Henry Townsend, Otis Spann, Charles Brown (vocals, piano); Ray Charles (vocals, electric piano); Jimmy Rushing (vocals); Ernest McLean, Freddie Green, Howard Roberts , Johnny Moore Band (guitar); Robert Edwards (slide guitar); Ernie Watts, Gene Cipriano, Ernie Small, Thomas Scott , Charlie Rouse (saxophone); David "Fathead" Newman (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jack Washington (alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Earle Warren (alto saxophone); Lester Young , Clarence Hall, Herb Hardesty, Buddy Tate (tenor saxophone); Hank Crawford, Alvin "Red" Tyler (baritone saxophone); Conte Candoli, Dave Bartholomew, Ed Lewis, John Paul Hunt, Fred Hill, Harry "Sweets" Edison , Marcus Belgrave, Shad Collins, Bobby Bryant , Buck Clayton (trumpet); Dicky Wells, Benny Morton, Billy Byers, Dan Minor, Michael Wimberly (trombone); Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone); Count Basie, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Jay McShann, Jimmy Yancey, Albert Ammons, Marcia Ball, Meade "Lux" Lewis, Pete Johnson , Pete Jolly, Art Tatum, Thelonious Monk (piano); Earl Palmer , Jo Jones , Johnny Otis, Max Roach, Milt Turner (drums); John Guerin (percussion); The Raelettes (background vocals).
Liner Note Authors: Nat Hentoff; Martin Scorsese.
Photographers: Paul Brissman; Adam Traum; Ray Flerlage; Frank Driggs; Wayne Knight; Hank O'Neal.
Arrangers: Eddie Durham; Oliver Nelson.
Clint Eastwood's chapter in Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues centers around the piano's role in the development of the blues. In typical Eastwood fashion, he goes not for the easy or common associations of the instrument with the music, but looks expansively at how the restricted sonics of the piano as a melodic instrument and its possibilities as a percussion instrument created a spiralling and deep-rooted bottom for the music in all genres of popular music as it developed in the 20th century. Here is Jimmy Yancey's primitive and profound version of "How Long Blues" juxtaposed against the harmonically sophisticated read of the song by Count Basie and his orchestra. The New Orleans blues are celebrated in their modern incarnations -- as they contributed to the architecture of rock & roll by the inclusion of Fats Domino's "Fat Man" and Joe Turner's "The Ladder." The blues as exemplified in soul music as it came from R&B are revealed by Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" -- both parts -- and as they informed modern jazz in the glorious trio recording of "Backwards Country Boy Blues" by Max Roach, Charles Mingus, and Duke Ellington, and in Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk." What Eastwood is trying to show in the film and on the soundtrack is how the 12-bar blues was not only a platform, but a devil's playground for experimentation, rhythmic invention, and harmonic extrapolation. And he succeeds in this aural document by creating the most provocative of the series' soundtracks. ~ Thom Jurek