244

Lil' Son Jackson: Rockin' and Rollin' (Volume 1; 1948-49)

By

Sign in to view read count
Lil' Son Jackson: Rockin' and Rollin'  (Volume 1; 1948-49) Instant nostalgia for veteran blues fans: the opening track here, "Roberta," the first ever recording by Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson, came out on a pioneering anthology of mostly pre-war blues some forty years back. Few blues records, new or otherwise, had then been available very far from the blues' native home and birthplace.

Almost exactly two years older than John Lee Hooker, Jackson seems to have been induced to do a Hooker cover on his second, 1949 session in Houston, and "Talkin' Boogie" is amazing. Where Hooker could play only Hooker, Jackson was a real guitarist. Here as elsewhere he could produce the occasional wonderful chord nobody with orthodox training would dream of.

Jackson sounded more like Lightnin' Hopkins than like Hooker, though not the same. Each of them continued the country blues current when they were boys in Texas. Weirdly, on the other side of the disc with "Talkin' Boogie" and "Milford Blues," Jackson might have been asked to try to sound just like Hopkins. The recording's plainly been doctored, decades before computing, to boost the lower resonances characteristic of Hopkins' voice and guitar.

Over these first 23 recordings before rock 'n' roll ended Jackson's studio career (the CD title is ironic), there are signs of efforts to enhance his real individuality. Numbers not entirely his own work, like the two apparent pastiches, drew out more variety within his personal resources. "Talkin' Boogie," though failed imitation Hooker, is a unique guitar tour-de-force. "Rockin' and Rollin'" is the chestnut "Rock Me, Baby" under another name, with a lovely individual guitar part. "Travelin' Alone" is a blues with unusual harmonies, composed, I think, by Memphis Minnie.

Different degrees of surprise continually pop up within the same sort of constant individual ground that will be known to listeners of Hooker and Hopkins, if not yet Jackson. He died in 1976. A final two solo titles from his first batch of recordings should appear on Volume 2, most of the tracks on that will have small band accompaniment. His last twelve commercially recorded titles, before 1954, when there ceased to be a market for his music, were solo again.

Other than on the added and overdone bass reverb title on the Hopkins imitation, which Modern Records apparently engineered fifty-odd years back (and that's interesting and fun in itself), the sound's impeccably good.


Track Listing: Roberta Blues; Freedom Train Blues; Ground Hog Blues; Bad Whiskey Bad Women; Gone With The Wind (She's Gone); No Money, No Love; Talkin' Boogie; Milford Blues; Cairo Blues; Evil Blues; Gambling Blues; Homeless Blues; Ticket Agent Blues; True Love Blues; Evening Blues; Spending Money Blues; Tough Luck Blues; Peace Breaking People; Rockin' And Rollin'; Two Timin' Woman; Rocky Road; Disgusted; Travelin' Alone.

Personnel: Melvin "Little Son" Jackson: vocal, guitar.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Document Records | Style: Blues


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "At This Time..." CD/LP/Track Review At This Time...
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "O Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review O Horizonte
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Tribute to Andrezej Przybielski Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Andrezej Przybielski Vol. 1
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction" CD/LP/Track Review Vars & Kaper:Deconstruction
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "The Inner Spectrum of Variables" CD/LP/Track Review The Inner Spectrum of Variables
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 25, 2016

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!