Jimmy Witherspoon – Big Blues (1981) [Reissue 2004] MCH SACD ISO + Hi-Res FLAC

Jimmy Witherspoon – Big Blues (1981) [Reissue 2004]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 69:11 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 4,14 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 1,42 GB
Features Stereo & Multichannel Surround Sound / JSP Records ‎# JSP5101 | Genre: Blues

One of the great urban blues/jazz singers of the post World War II period, Jimmy Witherspoon (1923-1997) recorded prolifically until contracting throat cancer in the 1980s. This delightful set was laid down in a London studio in June 1981, before he fell ill, when he was still roaring like a lion. Three members of his backing combo – Peter King (sax), Mike Carr (keyboards) and Jim Mullen (guitar) – were top-flight British jazz musicians perfectly in tune with the singer’s needs, while drummer Harold Smith was an American then living in Europe. They’re joined by one of Spoon’s contemporaries, tenor saxist Hal ‘Cornbread’ Singer, whose career path resembles the singer’s in its fascinating R&B/Jazz duality.

Reissue of a 1981 double LP, Big Blues is a sprawling piece of modernized electric jump blues that honestly never quite catches fire despite the best efforts of Jimmy Witherspoon and his guest star, tenor saxophonist Hal “Cornbread” Singer. Both Witherspoon and Singer play and sing with soulful grit and a relaxed ease, but the band backing them never quite comes together. One issue is that there’s no bass player on the album, just keyboardist Mike Carr working a set of bass pedals with his feet à la Ray Manzarek of the Doors; this leaves drummer Harold Smith out in the cold, unable to work up the kind of in-the-pocket groove this kind of slow-cooking blues needs to get over. The overextended song lengths are no help either; one-third of these 12 songs break the seven-minute barrier, with “Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman” and “Lotus Blossom” weighing in at a staggering eight and a half minutes each. Although both Witherspoon and Singer get in a few good solos, the length is simply not justified by the mostly lackadaisical performances.


01. You Got Me Running
02. Whiskey Drinking Woman
03. Once There Lived A Fool
04. Just A Dream
05. Lotus Blossom
06. Big Boss Man
07. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
08. That’s The One
09. Let’s Think A While
10. Swing On It
11. The Point
12. The Snow Was Falling

Jimmy Witherspoon – vocals on “1-7”
Hal Singer – tenor sax on “8-12”, vocals on “12”
Peter King – alto sax on “1,2,5,6,8-12”
Mike Carr – organ, bass pedals, electric piano, piano
Jim Mullen – guitar
Harold Smith – drums

Produced by John Stedman. Engineered by Alex Burak.
Recorded in June 1981 at The Point Studio, London.
Newly Mixed by Martin Atkinson at M.A.R.S. England.







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