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Singer Jimmy Rushing was often call “Mr. five-by-five.” The name described his height and width. Rushing, who gained fame singing for Count Basie’s band from 1935 to 1950, often sang from the middle of the stage obscuring the view of half the saxophone section. The recordings culled here are from three mid-fifties sessions for Vanguard Records, the creation of legendary producer John Hammond who went on to ‘discover’ Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen. Vanguard Records with the help of Nat Hentoff of Downbeat Magazine documented and recorded some of the great jazzmen of the 1950s. Heard here are legends of early jazz, not given much space or exposure in this digital age, they include boogie-woogie pianist Pete Johnson, Basie alumni Buddy Tate and Walter Page, and swing drummer Jo Jones. Rushing is more of a blues singer than a jazz crooner. In the early days, before electrical amplification he often sang through a megaphone. Impeccably recorded then, now re-mastered into 24-bit digital sound, Rushing’s boisterous voice is warmly wrapped by solid jazz and boogie. A special look back.
Track List:Evenin’; Good Morning Blues; See See Rider; Take Me Back Baby; Sent For You Yesterday; Roll ‘Em Pete; Sometimes I Think You Do; Take Me With You Baby; My Friend Mr. Blues; Every Day; Don’t Cry, Baby; Rock And Roll.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.