Thursday, 10 February 2011

Chicago Southside - Collectors Items Label ID. 019

Chicago Southside - Collectors Items Label ID. 019 - Jukebox Jazz: From the Southside of Chicago

Jimmy Blythe Junie Cobb Bill Johnson Tampa Red

Vinyl Condition VG 

Description from the Sleeve

The description "South Side Jazz" applied to the informal exuberant music of the State Street Ramblers and other similar recording groups in Chicago in the late twenties may or may not be an entirely apt social or geographical description (and there is Insufficient space to go Into that here) but it does convey a particular meaning to all lovers of the Negro music of the period. The unassuming character of South Side jazz and the fact that humour and unbridled enthusiasm are never very far from its surface may have led us to understimate the expertise of its main practitioners who although often men who did not fit happily into the context of the then-blossoming big bands had plenty of talent and experience to offer. The knockabout atmosphere of the genre also allowed the less formally gifted purveyors of hokum who were very much part of the South Side scene to make their presence felt adding greatly to the'enjoyment of all concerned. This feeling of the musicians having a good time in the studio allows the listener inside the music which is at least partly representative of the rent parties which the local residents organized when their landlords were pressing. If the gaiety is symptomatic of the more desperate aspects of ghetto life it is also evidence of the ability of music to assist survival and of a close community spirit of which the musicians were an important part. In that sense South Side jazz is folk music but it is capable of giving much pleasure and inspiration to those who hear it far away from its original context.

A particular prime mover of the South Side rent party activity was Jimmy Blythe a man whose vast talent was equal to any occasion; a superb accompanist who graced many Paramount blues sessions a versatile and imaginative soloist and perhaps the best small-group pianist of his period. Blythe made many recordings but his life outside the studio remains largely a mystery. His State Street Ramblers were the achetypal South Side group using various different instrumental combinations and with the horns omitted the Dixie Four and Midnight Rounders feature the same approach. Also prominent in these groups is William E. "Buddy" Burton a jack-of-all-trades who recorded on piano drums.washboard and kazoo but whose most distinctive contribution to the South Side style lay in his exuberant vocalizing.

ID. 100045 - Chicago Southside - Collectors Items Label ID. 019

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