Sunday, April 22, 2018

James Booker - Gonzo, More Than All The 45's

When reading about Booker, you will hear the stories of how he was a prodigy, already being recorded while still in high school - these recordings span from 1954 (age 15) to 1962 (age 23) - and labels like Imperial, Duke, Ace and Chess.

"Numerous discs are available featuring the eccentric and tragic New Orleans R&B pianist James Booker usually performing solo, recorded during live gigs from the 1970s and early '80s. This disc provides an amazing collection of the earliest Booker on piano and organ backed by a full band. Booker made his recording debut in 1954 with the Imperial single "Doing the Hambone," backed with "Thinking About My Baby." During the next few years he would release equally exciting, although sporadic, singles on Chess, Ace, Peacock, and Duke, supported by some of New Orleans finest R&B musicians, including the sax section of Lee Allen, Robert Parker, and Red Tyler, drummer Earl Palmer, and bassist Frank Fields. The 1956 Chess singles "You're Near Me" and "Heavenly Angel" find Booker paired up on doo wop vocal duets with Arthur Booker (no relation). The remaining tracks are scorching dance numbers tied in with novelty/twist themes with catchy names such as "Teenage Rock," "Gonzo" (providing a national hit), "Cool Turkey," "The Duck," "The Crown," and "Beale Street Popeye." This is exceptional New Orleans R&B that provides an important piece of the James Booker musical puzzle." AMG

16 comments:

Feilimid O'Broin said...

This blog introduced me to Booker, about whom I had read but not heard, and I've been listening to him gratefully since. When it comes to Southern one--eyed, alcoholic, drug-addicted, homosexual musical talents, Booker's the best. Then again, I don;t know anyone else who falls in that category which only goes to highlight Booker's unique genius. Thanks for this one.

GuitarGus said...

Thanks KC
This is a small but unknown chapter in the NO story for me...early Booker...raw and gritty...but with obvious talent so young...
Cheers

pmac said...

Have this as a 3 song ep. Didn't know that iy also appears as a full album. many thanks, KC! BTW - there's a local pianist, Josh Paxton, who transcribed all of Booker's work. He's also one hell of a keyboardist. He's starting a regular gig at Buffa's on Thursday at 5pm.

KingCake said...

I know Josh, I painted the house he was living in back before the storm and we chatted about Booker all the time.

pmac said...

His gigs at 5, will also feature Alexandra Scott on vocals. He also appears with Debbie Davis and the Mesmerizers (Alex McMurray on guitar and Matt Perrine on sousaphone). Josh also has a solo piano album out - about 3 years old, and damn good.

Greeny said...

Thanks, KC, wonderful compilation of earlier Booker sides!

Anonymous said...

I would REALLY like to hear this, but none of the links are working. I probably have tracked down sources for all but the two "Arthur & Booker" tracks, and have discovered at least three others that should have been included... A little Booker help, please!

Anonymous said...

I would greatly appreciate it if you could be kind enough to re-upload James Booker - Gonzo, More Than All The 45's. Thank you.

Second-hand Maharadjah said...

Would love a re-upload too, when you got the time ! Thx for this beautiful blog, by the way.

KingCake said...

https://www113.zippyshare.com/v/lujNu6DR/file.html

monsieur jujube said...

thanks for the great James booker....

Lil'ol'lady said...

Thanks for the James Booker. What an incredible talent!

stringbass said...

terrific stuff....the unbeatable new orleans masters of sax and the youthful Booker !!

vaiybora said...

I'am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited,Thank you for sharing good topic.

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charles said...

thanks for James Booker

Charles

lucky5 said...

Thank you! Thank you, KC!

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