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JIMMY ROGERS

CHICAGO BOUND - HIS COMPLETE SOLO CHESS RECORDS As & Bs 1950-1959

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Jasmine (JASMCD3054)

That’s Alright, Ludella, Going Away Baby, The World’s In A Tangle, Back Door Friend, The Last Time, Act Like You Love Me, Chicago Bound, Sloppy Drunk, You’re The One, Walkin’ By Myself, One Kiss and more…

Jimmy Rogers was a major component in the classic Chicago blues band that Muddy Waters created in the early 1950s and, even if he never recorded anything under his own name, his place in blues history as an inventive guitarist would already be assured.

Like other major figures in Muddy’s band of the period, however, Jimmy was actively encouraged and helped by Chess Records to develop his own sounds and material, using down-time in Muddy’s own recording sessions to capture his own library of Chicago blues classics. And, with his friends from Muddy’s band and other musicians in the Chess phone book to call on as required (Little Walter, Otis Spann, Walter Horton, Willie Dixon, JT Brown, and others - including Muddy himself), it is not surprising that these recordings delivered some of the greatest Chicago blues ever cut to wax.

Jimmy himself as a band-leader may not have had the imposing musical presence or thunderous vocal power of Muddy, but he had a more than pleasant singing voice and a real talent for writing (or re-writing) material using established blues themes. Peter Guralnick once advised that the best way to enjoy Jimmy’s recordings was to see his relaxed and easy-going style as an ideal vehicle for channelling an ensemble that allowed the variety of musical talents to shine. And it is on these recordings that the classic Muddy Waters band can again be heard showing off their musical chops to thrilling effect.

Given the enduring quality of the material and performances here, it is surprising that Jimmy Rogers CDs aren’t as numerous and plentiful as those of Muddy, Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf and other greats of the period. While there is little on this CD that most blues lovers won’t already have acquired at some point, this CD is a superb way to upgrade your collection or fill in an existing (and surprising) gap you really shouldn’t have!

Review Date: April 2016

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