193

B.B. King: Let The Good Times Roll: The Music of Louis Jordan

Ed Kopp By

Sign in to view read count
B. B. King pays tribute to his late friend Louis Jordan with this swingin' collection of covers.

Jordan’s music has not been lacking for attention of late. First, the Broadway show "Five Guys Named Moe" became a smash hit on the strength of his tunes. Then a horde of zoot-suited ex-rockers became Jordan imitators during the retro-swing craze. With the swing thing now waning, the King of the Blues has decided the time is right to put his own stamp on Jordan's ground-breaking songs.

King's versions are less rowdy than Jordan’s originals, but they possess plenty of soul and charm. Despite the fact that nearly every song includes a concise, swinging guitar solo, Lucille pretty much takes a back seat on this one. The songs are the real focus of attention, and King sings them with style and affection.

King is supported by some great players, including Dr. John (piano), New Orleans legend Earl Palmer (drums), jazzman Russell Malone (rhythm guitar), and three of Ray Charles’ finest collaborators in Hank Crawford (alto sax), David Fathead Newman (tenor sax) and Marcus Belgrave (trumpet). The musicians play with a kind of restrained tastefulness that reinforces King’s stylish, citified approach to Jordan’s music. Credit Crawford for some imaginative horn arrangements.

Highlights include an amusing duet version of "Is You Is, or Is You Ain't (My Baby)" featuring King with Dr. John. There's also an irresistible clap-along version of "Saturday Night Fish Fry." As you’d expect, King really shines on the more blues-oriented tracks like "Somebody Done Changed The Lock On My Door," the shuffle "Ain't That Just Like a Woman," and a slow rumba version of "Early in the Mornin'."

King’s past interpretations of "Caldonia" and "Let The Good Times Roll" were far punchier than the covers included here, but the rest of the album swings with confidence and ease. King's vocals may have lost some of their edge, but he's still the most soulful 74-year-old on the planet, and his supporting cast couldn't be better. Few artists could pay better tribute to the man who invented R&B.

| Record Label: MCA | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 23, 2016
Read "Zanshin" CD/LP/Track Review Zanshin
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 3, 2016
Read "Emergence" CD/LP/Track Review Emergence
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Occasional Poems" CD/LP/Track Review Occasional Poems
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)" CD/LP/Track Review Stille Post (Radio Works: 2003-2011)
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Lockout Station" CD/LP/Track Review Lockout Station
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 1, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!