T-bone walker

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COMPOSERS: T-bone walker
LABELS: Metro Blue
ALBUM TITLE: The Best of the Black & White and Imperial Years
WORKS: The Best of the Black & White and Imperial Years
PERFORMER: T-Bone Walker (guitar, vocals), etc
CATALOGUE NO: 64715 2
Although Aaron ‘T-Bone’ Walker was best known for authoring the well-worn blues standard ‘Call It Stormy Monday’, his warm vocal stylings, guitar virtuosity and showmanship paved the way for BB King and Chuck Berry, filtering through Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and beyond. These recordings date from Walker’s prime years (1940-53). Many selections are packed with talented jazz sidemen of the day, scrambling to get their solo licks in like harried rush-hour commuters trying to land a seat. Walker rises Zen-like above the clutter, and once you focus on him alone, you immediately perceive what’s great: decisive chord strokes that shape the arrangements, subtle fills that finish the sentences started by his suave vocals. The blues patterns dominating his guitar solos are always informed by a strong and ever-inventive melodic sense that retains its freshness more than ever in vibrant, clean transfers from the best existing source material. Jed Distler

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