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Jimmy Witherspoon
Live in London

Live in London
(Harkit Records HRKCD 8065)
Harkit Records

Introduction by Ronnie Scott Every Day In the Evening Kansas City Trouble in Mind Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out Take This Hammer Mean Mistreater Lotus Blossom St. Louis Blues Hey, Mrs Jones I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues Big Fine Girl Just a Dream I Don't Know Big Rollin' Blues Roll 'Em Pete

Jimmy Witherspoon, vocals; Ronnie Scott, tenor saxophone; Stan Tracey, piano; Freddie Logan, bass; Bill Eyden, drums
Recorded live at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, London in May 1966.
Recorded by Les Tomkins
This CD has never been issued before!

And what a sublime selection it is! Spoon sails through an assortment of the choicest items from his considerable blues repertoire. After Ronnie's enthusiastic introductory statement, the full impact of his rich, rumbustious delivery registers with the perennial Every Day. Then he takes the tempo down for a heartfelt In The Evening, with nice Scott noodling. Up again for the comparatively recent Leiber/Stoller favourite, Kansas City, and back to slow and soulful for the classic Trouble In Mind.

Described by Spoon as 'the story of my life', Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out holds special significance for him, re that fallow 'fifties period. Take This Hammer has a particularly hard-hitting Ronnie Scott solo. In Mean Mistreater some jollity in the crowd brings amusement to the singer. Lotus Blossom proves a groovy vehicle for Ronnie and Stan; the song's actual meaning is revealed in his last chorus.

The revered W.C. Handy wrote St. Louis Blues, but Spoon adds some useful couplets of his own. This ends his first set, and the second follows, kicked off by a groovy tune that uses a 'shuffle' mode and some stop-time: Hey, Mrs. Jones. The female blues pioneer 'Ma' Rainey recorded her See See Rider in 1924, and 42 years later it's still an ideal slow-burner; It's great to sing today, for that matter. The easy swing of the declamatory I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (famously recorded by Louis Jordan) engenders inspired spots of Stan and Ronnie. The spaced-out Some Of My Best Friends Are The Blues had been written as a Spoon special. Big Fine Girl is an up-tempo tribute to a luscious lady.

Another one bringing audience reaction is Big Bill Broonzy's ironic Just A Dream, well-remembered from his previous visit. I Dont Know, with its lively, witty lyrics, also earns a big response. No Rollin' Blues is an easy-going opus that could only end with 'Oh - yeah'. Thai Pete Johnson/Joe Turner standby Roll 'Em, Pete is superbly sung and soloed on, and makes a stirring closer. What an evening it was - The Blues at its very best!
Les Tomkins

(Contact Andrew Geddes)
Tel: 01689 899012

Further information available from:
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United Kingdom.

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