The world of Urban Blues - pioneered on the Old Town label - is explored on this CD. The pioneers of Urban Blues peppered their tracks with Big Band sounds and touches of Swing and R&B - among the great artists you'll hear here are Buddy Johnson and his sister Ella, Wild Bill Moore, Hal Paige & Wailers, and Bob Gaddy.
New York-based Old Town Records, run by brothers Hy Weiss and Sam Weiss, made its biggest splash as a doo wop label in the 1950s and early '60s, but the brothers also recorded a fair bit of jump blues, gospel, R&B, and early soul sides as well, and their records have a distinct Southern feel even though they were recorded in the North. This generous single-disc set focuses on jump blues pieces recorded for Old Town during that time span, including Hal Paige's smooth-rolling "My Angel Chile," Ella Johnson's breezy "I Got to Talk to Somebody," Larry Dale's almost rockabilly "Big Muddy," and a thundering "Down to the River" by Lester Young (not the same person as Pres, the legendary tenor sax player). A fine collection. ~ Steve Leggett