Walker has his place in the history books as one of the forefathers of jump blues and electric R&B – a long way away from his days as a guide/pupil of Blind Lemon Jefferson, as influential a figure as T-Bone.
Classics In Jazz was released in 1953, I Get So Weary in 1961, whilst the other three albums saw the light of day in 1959. Avid have chosen to print release dates in the accompanying booklet rather than recording data, which remains very sketchy. Although personnel line-ups are also included for each album these are similarly unreliable hence unidentified musicians are clearly to be a heard on a couple of tracks.
By the time all this music arrived on disc Walker had become an established figure, with many electric guitarists subscribing to many of his licks and figures, which on a personal front had become well-worn clichés; many are in evidence over the course of these 55 tracks. Interestingly, there are a few tunes sporting musical phrases that became synonymous with Chuck Berry, begging the question “Who stole from whom?”
It has to be said there is a similarity about much of the material, all of course set into a jump or R&B mould; many of the tunes follow a similar pattern, i.e., guitar solo followed by vocal. T-Bone is in good voice, apart from on a couple of ballad-like numbers where he sounds less assured. Needless to say his guitar work has that instantly recognisable resonance about it.
There are others soloists to enjoy such as Plas Johnson, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and briefly an audibly unrecognisable Barney Kessel, illustrating T-Bone’s long association with jazzmen that would continue for many years after these recordings.
CD1: [T-Bone Walker – Classics In Jazz] T-Bone Shufffle; Call It Stormy Monday But Tuesday Is Just As Bad; Hypin’ Woman Blues; She’s My Old Time Used To Be; I Know Your Wig Is Gone; First Love Blues; You’re My Best Poker Hand; Born To Be No Good [T-Bone Walker – Sings The Blues] Strollin’ With Bones; You Don’t Love Me; You Don’t Understand; Say! Pretty Baby; Tell Me What’s The Reason; Blue Mood; The Sun Went Down; Travelin’ Blues; Evil Hearted Woman; Cold Cold Feeling; I Got The Blues Again; Blues Is A Woman [T-Bone Walker – T-Bone Blues] Two Bones And A Pick; Mean Old World; T-Bone Shuffle; Stormy Monday Blues; Blues For Marili; T-Bone Blues (76.45)
CD2: [T-Bone Walker – T-Bone Blues] Shufflin’ The Blues; Evenin’; Play On Little Girl; Blues Rock; Papa Ain’t Sally [T-Bone Walker – Singing The Blues] Glamour Girl; The Hustle; Alimony Blues; News For My Baby; Love Is Just A Gamble; I’m Still In Love With You; I’m About To Lose My Mind; I Got The Blues; Everytime; Bye, Bye, Baby; I’ll Understand; Teen Age Baby [T-Bone Walker – I Get So Weary] Here In The Dark; I Miss You Baby; Life Is Too Short; Welcome Blues; I Get So Weary; You Just Wanted To Use Me; Through With Women; Street Walking Woman; Party Girl; High Society; Lollie Lou; Got No Use For You (78.52)
Walker (g, v) with various personnel including Plas Johnson (ts); Barney Kessel (g); Earl Palmer (d); Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis (ts) and Dave Bartholomew (t). Recording data incomplete or inaccurate.