JJ 04/64: Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley’s Beach Party

Sixty years ago Sinclair Traill said reviews of R&B were included in JJ because much of it was firmly based in the true blues tradition. First published in Jazz Journal April 1964


Although we have been accused of drifting away from jazz by including reviews of records by Bo Diddley (and other R&B artists) in these columns, I find much of his work firmly based in the true blues tradition.

The beat is strongly emphasised – sometimes almost too strongly – and a lot of his single-string work on the guitar is inventive and strongly swinging. The only thing I have against records of this nature is that, although the material is original and varied as to interpretation, it is by the very nature of the way it is played and sung, extremely repetitive, and somewhat coarse.

Recorded live at the Beach Club, South Carolina, the disc has audience partici­pation that is noisy and annoying.

Memphis; Gunslinger; Hey; Bo Diddley; Old Smokey; Bo Diddley’s Dog (15 min) – I’m All Right; Mr. Custer; Bo’s Waltz; What’s Buggin’ You; Road Runner (15½ min)
(Pye NPL 28032 12inLP 30s. 7d.)