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CLARENCE WILLIAMS

Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home? His 26 finest 1923-1933

RETROSPECTIVE RTR 4303

 

 

 

 

 

    1. Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home? [2:54]

    2. Gulf Coast Blues [3:03]

    3. Wild Cat Blues [2:58]

    4. Kansas City man Blues [2:56]

    5. ‘Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do [2:48]

    6. Texas Moaner Blues [3:10]

    7. Everybody loves my Baby [2:32]

    8. Mandy, Make Up Your Mind [3:03]

    9. Cake Walking Babies From Home [2:54]

    10. Papa De-Da-Da (A New Orleans Stomp) [2:59]

    11. Gravier Street Blues [3:02]

    12. Candy Lips, I’m Stuck On You [2:47]

    13. Cushion Foot Stomp [3:13]

    14. Red Hot Flo From Kokomo [3:08]

    15. Church Street Sobbin’ Blues [2:59]

    16. Wild Flower Rag [3:06]

    17. West End Blues [3:21]

    18. Organ Grinder Blues [3:09]

    19. In The Bottle Blues [2:49]

    20. Breeze, Blow My Baby Back To Me [3:03]

    21. Whoop It Up [2:49]

    22. I’ve Found A New Baby [2:47]

    23. Worn Out Blues [3:24]

    24. He Wouldn’t Stop Doin’ It [3:00]

    25. Shout, Sister, Shout! [2:54]

    26. Dispossessin’ Me [2:39]

      TOTAL PLAYING TIME [79:02]

       

      Clarence Williams (1893-1965) was a singer, pianist and music entrepreneur who was very active in the jazz scene around New York and Chicago during the 1920’s and 30’s. He led and promoted a number of different bands, and he performed and recorded with many of the top jazz musicians of the day. Clarence formed his own highly successful music publishing company in 1915, which he used to publish many of his own compositions. He eventually sold the company to Decca in 1943. This disc features 26 songs Clarence recorded between 1923 and 1933. Clarence composed the 12-bar Gulf Coast Blues, and blues artist Bessie Smith sings the slow, mournful ballad with Clarence accompanying on piano. They recorded the song in February 1923, at one of Bessie’s first sessions with Columbia Records. Clarence co-wrote Texas Moaner Blues with Fay Barnes, who later became known as blues singer Maggie Jones, the “Texas Nightingale”. Clarence and his Blue Five recorded the song in October 1924 for Okeh Records. The Blue Five featured cornetist Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet on clarinet and soprano sax, one of the few times the two played together. The song is a slow, marching blues that allows space for amazing improvisation and solos, which they take full advantage of. The other Blue Five members were trombonist Charlie Irvis, Buddy Christian on banjo and Clarence on piano. Candy Lips, I’m Stuck On You was recorded in January 1927 by Clarence Willams and his Jazz Kings, featuring two fine clarinetists, Ben Whitted and Benny Moten and a wonderfully agile tuba performance by Cyrus St. Clair. Clarence composed West End Blues with King Oliver in 1928, and he recorded it with Ethyl Waters the same year for Columbia Records. Clarence had an easy piano style, frequently using simple left-hand chords and open right-hand arpeggios, and was a natural accompanist who knew how to show-case a vocalist. Clarence plays the jug and sings on the delightful tune He Wouldn’t Stop Doing It, performed by Clarence and his Washboard Band. The band featured Herman Chittison on piano, guitarist Ikey Robinson, and the incredibly versatile clarinetist Cecil Scott, who could alternately soar and growl in the same phrase. Another version of Clarence’s Washboard Band features cornetist Ed Allen, Prince Robinson on tenor sax, Floyd Casey playing a vigorous washboard, and Clarence’s wife Eva Taylor singing Shout, Sister, Shout. Eva sings on several other numbers in this collection and her smooth, expressive alto voice makes for delightful listening.

      Ray Crick compiled the music for this production, and Martin Haskell performed the audio restoration and remastering. A 12-page booklet is included, with interesting notes and information presented by Vic Bellerby. This is a fine collection of songs from one of the pioneers of early jazz.

      Bruce McCollum


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