Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

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.

Title: Let The Good Times Roll: The Music of Louis Jordan | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: MCA

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I'm Going To Eat Dessert
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read 20 CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read "En Corps Generation" CD/LP/Track Review En Corps Generation
by John Sharpe
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Highsmith" CD/LP/Track Review Highsmith
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Stolen Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido - From Rio to Wayne Shorter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Storyteller" CD/LP/Track Review Storyteller
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "The Source" CD/LP/Track Review The Source
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 26, 2017