Monday, May 28, 2007

Louis Jordan in the 1960's, part 2 - One Sided Love/Sakatumi

Last week I began this piece, focusing on some of the later years of Louis Jordan's long recording career.

(for some background, click here for part one)

Jordan recorded this LP in 1968 for Paul Gayten's Pzazz record label.



It's an odd, mixed bag of an album to be sure, with some hits and misses. Even on the few cuts that make some attempt to capture something close to his old sound, the music here comes off as VERY different from the style of what Jordan was recording in the forties and fifties.

The tracks that are the most fun are the more contemporary ones. Even if Jordan was past his prime years, they show that he was not merely a 'remember when' artist, preserved in amber. Especially exciting are the few where he rips it up on the sax.

He's tough as hell covering Lalo Schifrin's them from 'Bullitt'. Listening to it I find the notion thrilling that we're hearing the same Jordan who recorded 'Five Guys Named Moe' back around 1943, 25 years previous.

'Monkey See, Monkey Do' would sit well in very good company with Dave Bartholomew's classic, 'The Monkey (Speaks His Mind)'...

...and then there's 'Sakatumi'. Good-natured but unfortunate, it rivals Screamin' Jay Hawkins' 'Hong Kong' in its 'inappropriate yet compelling train-wreck' qualities.

In addition to a couple of slow croony numbers, one of the tracks I *didn't* include for you features Louis singing in duet with his wife, Martha.

A dancer, formerly Martha Weaver, that's her on the cover. She became Jordan's fifth wife in 1966. She also can be found singing and dancing with the band in some of the 1966 appearances on 'The !!!!Beat' TV show I mentioned in part one of this piece.

Hope you enjoy, I'll leave off with excerpts (below) from the album's back cover liner notes, written by Sammy Davis, Jr.:

**********************

IT'S BEEN A GAS! A REAL GAS!

Sitting, Listening and Reminiscing with these power packed performances by this Dynamic, Artistic Personality.

At one time or another you probably have heard claims to the Title "Soul Brother Number One", All due respect to some of those that make this claim or have had it thrust upon them, but as far back as I can remember the man in question (Mr. LOUIS JORDAN) is the Original Soul Brother.

LOUIS JORDAN (possibly the greatest hit maker of all times) was the first recording artist to project basic Negro Life and Situations (Life and Situations of the Black Community, if you prefer) on records with humor and dignity.

I and many others like me have dropped nickel after nickel in the juke box to enjoy his messages in song and monologue. Remember "Beware", "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying", "Outskirts of Town", "Five Guys Named Moe", "Saturday Night Fish Fry", "Let the Good Times Roll", and many others! Well, Chillun', in case you weren't around, you missed some goodies. In fact, some of the above mentioned set the pattern for several of our present day performers.

In many instances, liner notes are not so important, but in this particular situation they are of the utmost importance due to the historical involvement here. In LOUIS JORDAN we find a career that spans over some thirty-five or more years unceasingly, and still the fire and enthusiasm of the earlier JORDAN illuminates as much as ever.

Thanks to Paul Gayten and PZAZZ RECORDS for bringing this truly great Musician, Vocalist and Entertainer to the attention of the record conscious public again, A note of thanks also to the arrangers Teddy Edwards, Jack Scott and Carroll Skinner as well as the new composers for helping make this album one of the finest of this or any other year.

As I said before, IT'S BEEN A GAS! A REAL GAS!

SAKA-TU-EM, Brother Jordan, SAKA-TU-EM!

SAMMY DAVIS, JR.

P.S.: It's good hearing this most important Saxophone voice again. Dig "ONE SIDED LOVE" AND "BULLITT"!

**********************

A-men, Sammy!

(click for audio) From the LP 'One Sided Love / Sakatumi' (1968, Pzazz #321), listen to:

One Sided Love
Bullitt
You Gotta Go
Sakatumi
Monkey See, Monkey Do
The A-men Corner

(click for audio)

2 comments:

Lex10 said...

....y'know, for me it's that Gulf of Mexico/Caribbean connection of Run Joe and Junco Partner that always got to me. It's like he's a connecting point in the evolution of popular music.

Plus, I'm a big fan of (You Dyed your Hair) Chartreuse.

Now, on to the 89 character CAPTCHA, or, the reason my son never comments.

jackthatcatwasclean said...

Brilliant tunes on this album, been spinning some of the tracks since a couple of years now and it is still in my dj box .

Freshly-stirred links