Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Hank Crawford - Mr. Blues

When Ray Charles' musical director has the words "blues" and "soul" in large type on the covers of his own releases, there's a strong chance that's what the listener will find inside. They're definitely there in this compilation that reissues two of altoist Hank Crawford's Atlantic albums from the late '60s. The Mr. Blues set from 1968 is Crawford and a small horn section playing rocking blues riffs with a crack rhythm section. Instrumental R&B doesn't get much hipper. Crawford's tough but lyrical sound -- informed by a bebopper's command and facility -- is tailor-made for this blues-charged music. Highlights include the title track, a cool, finger-popping "Route 66," a sleazy, churning "Lonely Avenue," and a couple of no-nonsense Crawford originals. A middle-of-the road "On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever)" is the only departure from the set's satisfyingly gritty feel. - by Jim Todd, AMG

Artist: Hank Crawford
Album: Mr. Blues
Year: 1965-66
Label: WEA Japan (2013, 24 bit remastered)
Runtime: 33:03

Tracks:
1.  Mr. Blues (Hank Crawford) 3:48
2.  On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever) (Alan Jay Lerner/Burton Lane) 3:40
3.  Hush Puppies (Hank Crawford) 3:07
4.  Danger Zone (Percy Mayfield) 4:15
5.  Route 66 (Bob Troup) 3:28
6.  Lonely Avenue (Doc Pomus) 3:06
7.  Teardrops (Sylvester Thompson/Seaphus Scott) 3:32
8.  Smoke City (Hank Crawford) 3:52
9.  The Turfer (Hank Crawford) 4:15

Personnel:
Hank Crawford (Alto Saxophone, Piano)
Fielder Floyd (Trumpet)
John Hunt (Trumpet)
Wendell Harrison (Tenor Saxophone)
Sonny Forriest (Guitar) - 1,2,4,6,7
Lonnie Shaw (Baritone Saxophone) - 1,3,5,7,8
Howard Johnson (Baritone Saxophone) - 4,6,9
Charles Green (Double Bass) - 1-3,5,7,8
Charles Lindsay (Double Bass) - 6,9
Charles Dungey (Double Bass) - 4
Milt Turner (Drums) - 5,7,8
Wilbert Hogan (Drums) - 3,6,9
Isaac Walton (Drums) - 1,2
Joe Dukes (Drums) - 4

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