190

Don Wilkerson: The Complete Blue Note Sessions

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
One of the paragons of the "Texas tenor" style, Don Wilkerson gained his greatest notoriety as a soloist with Ray Charles throughout much of the 50s and 60s. Less known is Wilkerson’s limited work as a leader, the majority of which is collected on this two-disc package from Blue Note. Wilkerson made three albums for the label during the fruitful years of 1962 and 1963: Preach Brother!, Elder Don, and Shoutin’! All three records feature guitarist Grant Green, who certainly knows how to cook in such a setting. The first also boasts a classic Blue Note rhythm section: Sonny Clark on piano, Butch Warren on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums, with Jual Curtis sitting in on tambourine on "Dem Tambourines" and "Camp Meetin’." On the second album, Johnny Acea takes over on piano, with Lloyd Trotman on bass and Willie Bobo on drums. The last of the three sessions is particularly down and dirty, with Green, John Patton on organ and Ben Dixon on drums.

The prevailing ethos of Preach Brother! is simply summarized: blues, blues, and more blues. And not the fancied-up bebop variety, but straight-up shuffle and boogie and soul. Every track is a blues except for the closer, "Pigeon Peas," a funky thing in AABA form. The two later albums are a bit more compositionally varied. Wilkerson begins Elder Don with exquisitely singing tenor work on "Senorita Eula" and then salutes his fellow Texan Bob Wills with "San Antonio Rose." (Grant Green’s solo on the latter has to be heard to be believed.) From this point on there’s still plenty of blues, but Wilkerson breaks it up with originals like "Scrappy" and "Drawin’ a Tip." He also showcases a totally different aspect of his talent on the ballads "Poor Butterfly" and "Easy Living."

Title: The Complete Blue Note Sessions | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Nonesuch


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Door Girl CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Incidentals CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "Rumbler" CD/LP/Track Review Rumbler
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Story Tellers" CD/LP/Track Review Story Tellers
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Avalon
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Red Nation "1"" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.