Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Did You Miss This Week? (Week 215 #258)

Japanese Folk Songs!!!

Joe's in Brazil hanging with Rick Estrin and Ivan Marcio so Shoji ran group classes this week. The Old Town School is planning a benefit concert for Japan and Shoji brought some Japanese folk melodies in for us to work on. We'll play these as an ensemble for this benefit show.

Here are the three transcriptions to work on: Japanese Folk Songs

And Shoji has prioritized them in the order listed on the transcriptions so work on Roses In Bloom first, then Sukiyaki and Aka Tombo. Roses In Bloom has a tricky bend section that an ensemble may not hit together, so work on that section on your Eb harp too.

Here are youtube links so you can hear the melodies:

Roses In Bloom
Aka Tombo

Blues Notes from Scott Dirks!!!

- Little Walter recorded Juke May 12, 1952. Joe was interested to learn from Scott Dirks when exactly itactually hit the streets, so we reached out to him for an answer:

"Nice to hear from you. “Juke” was first advertised as a new release in Cashbox and Billboard magazines the last week of July, 1952. If it wasn’t actually on the streets (i.e., in record stores) then, it was soon after. It first appeared on the Billboard top 40 R&B chart the first week of September, hit #1 a few weeks later, and stayed at #1 for eight straight weeks. It was still in the Top 40 when the next single, “Mean Old World / Sad Hours” appeared on the charts in December.

An interesting note that I haven’t really heard many people mention: “Juke” was a side that was pushed in the advertising, not the vocal flipside “Can’t Hold On Much Longer”. It’s interesting because no blues harmonica instrumental had ever appeared anywhere on the charts previously – in fact, not many had even been released, let alone been a hit. So Leonard Chess obviously recognized how unique and compelling “Juke” was at the time, and purposely tried to capitalize on that fact."
- Scott also recently shared this interesting Walter Horton news with YouMissedMonday:

Previously undocumented Walter Horton session

"In the big Chess discographies book, there are several early ‘60s sessions listed for J.C. Davis, but absolutely no info other than song titles on any of them. No dates, personnel, not even a mention of what instrument Davis himself played. From the session this track came from, there were four other titles, all unissued.

A little bit of searching elsewhere turns up the fact that Davis was a sax player, but not much more info.

There are no other blues-related sessions that Horton may have been on adjacent to this session, so it appears he must have been brought in specifically for this. Which to my mind, suggests Willie Dixon’s involvement in producing this session."

- thanks Scott!

Class Notes
  • Joe is back in classes next Monday - business as usual.
- Grant Kessler, B1 Blues Crew