Before there was Joe Williams, there was Jimmy Rushinga gritty, down-home belter whose big break came when he joined Count Basie's big band in the 1930s. By the time the 1958 and 1959 sides heard on this reissue (which combines the LPs Rushing Lullabies and Little Jimmy Rushing And The Big Brass on a single CD) were recorded, Rushing had been on his own for eight and nine yearsand the Rushing influenced Williams was wailing away for The Count. This material (which finds Rushing joined by both a big band and small groups) is full of the type of unpretentious blues shouting he was known for, but interpretations of "I Cried For You," "Deed I Do" and "Russian Lullaby" remind us that he was equally impressive when it came to standards. Among the sidemen who get to solo are Buddy Tate (tenor sax), Sir Charles Thompson (organ) and Skeeter Best (electric guitar).
Rushing was 54 and 55 when these recordings were made, and it's clear that he was still in his prime.
Reprinted with the permission of Myrna Daniels and L.A. Jazz Scene , the largest jazz publication in Southern California.